Credit: Gene Page/AMC

All guts, all gory! Entertainment Weekly takes you behind the scenes of the series that lives to shock. In this week’s cover story on the pulse-pounding return of The Walking Dead, we’ll take a deep dive into the jaw-dropping twists, scripts that made the cast physically ill, and a new villain who’s more terrifying than any zombie. To buy all six collectible covers, head here – and subscribe now for the exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW. And for more Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

Hey, Glenn’s alive! Now Glenn’s about to die again! Wait, no, Abraham and Sasha just bailed him out. He’s alive!

So it was a bit of a rollercoaster reunion for those expecting lovebirds Maggie and Glenn. But all’s well that ends well (as long as your last name is not Anderson, that is) now that the zombies have been dealt with and Alexandria is once again at least somewhat secure.

We spoke to star Lauren Cohan to get the inside scoop on filming those midseason premiere scenes and what we can expect coming up, including an increased leadership position for Maggie.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about the big midseason premiere we had the other night. Maggie sees Glenn, and he’s alive! But he is then almost killed again saving you. So that’s a bit of a mixed bag, I guess, right?

LAUREN COHAN: Yeah, it’s the ultimate hero return. That episode was so fun to shoot because there was no amount or volume of screaming that was enough for [director Greg Nicotero], and we were up on that tower and just squealing our guts out. And Steven had the same experience. And then we went into ADR afterwards, and he had to do some more “Maggie!” It was the “Adriaaaaaaaan!” of The Walking Dead. We finally see our hero back, and then … it was very scary.

What was filming that like up on the platform?

Being on the platform was great. We were in a harness hanging from that platform, and that was definitely one of those cases of, like, I want to do the stunt. It was fun. I mean, this whole season has had so many more stunts than usual.

These shoots were all-nighters. How is shooting at night different for you guys than shooting at the day?

You get a bit [crazy], to be honest, shooting at night. You need to be in nights for a period of time to be able to function at night. So we just drank, like, a lot of espresso, and acted like fools, and then try and act not like fools. It’s like you’re having a giant slumber party with people at work, but you’re sitting outside, and it’s a good thing that we’re all family because you do just start to see the kooky sides of everyone. You don’t make a whole lot of sense, kind of like me right now, but it’s good. It’s like a giant sleepover. You watch a lot of YouTube videos and cat videos, and there was this ketchup and mustard joke thing that was going back and forth.

Ketchup and mustard?

It was between Steven and Greg. One was the representative for ketchup, and one was the representative for mustard, and so they kept sending back memes or videos that represented their condiment. So stuff like that just bounces back and forth, and you just get weird.

When you guys got to Alexandria, you all got your jobs assigned, and Maggie’s job was to basically be an apprentice to Deanna and to be groomed to lead. Deanna is now no longer with us. So what does this mean in terms of Maggie and her evolution in terms of becoming a leader?

It’s been really interesting, because Deanna saw things in Maggie that she didn’t necessarily see in herself when they got to Alexandria, and I think the most important part was that she could be this intermediary. She understood the way her group functioned, but she also has that hopeful vision and aligned with that hopeful vision that Deanna had to create a sustainable community.

And this is all coming before she’s pregnant, before she knows that they’re going to have a baby, and so it’s very fortunate that she gains these lessons from Deanna. And then what we get to see as we progress is Rick saying that Deanna was right. These are the things you have to do, and he’s realizing that Maggie may be able to deal with certain people that he isn’t able to. He’s, well, you know, brutish.

So we have this sort of combined approach to a lot of the future challenges that we’ll see this season, and it’s fantastic. I feel really lucky to have had both Scott Wilson and Tovah Feldshuh to have as Maggie’s mentors, because they’ve been my mentors too, and these actors, I mean, they’ve just done everything. To be able to learn from them and then have that portray that in the show has been really fun.

RELATED VIDEO: Behind the scenes of EW’s Walking Dead covers

Okay, give us a little tease in terms of what we can expect going ahead now.

Going forward, we’re reunited and stronger, but as a group we need to expand — not just with babies, but we need to expand, and we’re going to go out into a new territory that’s going to really open up the next level of the show. You’ve seen the group look for new safeholds, but the next place we find is going to be the beginning of the show as we’ve come to know it.

Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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