There has been a lot of attention focused on Andrew Lincoln leaving The Walking Dead in season 9. And rightfully so. He has been No. 1 on the call sheet since the very first frame of film was shot for the pilot episode. But there is another seismic departure happening early in the season, as Lauren Cohan — who joined the series as Maggie Greene way back in season 2 — will be moving on to go film her new action comedy, Whiskey Cavalier (which will premiere on ABC in 2019).

Cohan discussed the big move on EW Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105), and her emotions surrounding it. “I’m so grateful that this has been my stomping ground for so long,” said Cohan. “And my family here is never gone.”

Unlike, Lincoln, however, Cohan is not necessarily saying goodbye to the show permanently. Depending on the future and filming schedule of Whiskey Cavalier (as well as any future movies like Mile 22, which opens in theaters Aug. 17) she could return in either a limited or full-time basis as soon as season 10. As the star told us herself, “Maggie’s story is open-ended.”

There will be more closure with Lincoln and Rick Grimes, of course, and Cohan addressed the star directly while sitting beside him in the EW Radio studio. “The two things I always think about with you are, one, how much my dad loves you,” said Cohan. “And how much he loves the way you portray Rick in the story, with you and Carl and that father-son story. It’s always meant so much.”

Like Danai Gurira and Norman Reedus, Cohan also spoke emotionally about the lessons that the veteran Lincoln gave some of the more inexperienced members of the cast in terms of not just how to perform, but how to treat others as well. “I’m not even going to look at him while I’m saying all this,” said Cohan. “I remember coming in and being with Steven [Yeun], and both of us sharing that gratitude of having someone like that to guide us. Because before Walking Dead, I had only done recurring roles in different shows. And to come in and to get the opportunity to be so long on a show that was led so well has set me up as an individual to go forward in my life and my career and my art incredibly well because of you and because of what I learned on the show.”

And Cohan’s career and art will now continue — hopefully on both ABC and AMC.

Episode Recaps

The Walking Dead

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

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