Lauren Cohan Opens Up About Her Exit From The Walking Dead

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Everyone knows that this Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead season 9 is the last one to feature Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, following the character’s shocking injury at the end of last week’s installment. However, what’s less well-publicized is that episode 9×05, “What Comes After,” is also the final curtain call for Lauren Cohan for the foreseeable future as well, though she’s fully expected to return on a guest basis down the road.

The actress spoke to EW recently and opened up about why she’s deciding to say goodbye to Maggie Rhee on a full-time basis. We’ve been reading reports of Cohan’s exit from TWD for months now, but this is one of the few times to date that she’s really explained her reasons for jumping ship to ABC’s comedy drama Whiskey Cavalier. 

First of all, Cohan says that it was a personal need for change that precipitated her decision.

“So much of it is really simple because eight years is a long time to spend in one character. Eight years is a long time to spend in the emotional mash-up that Maggie’s in and that Lauren is in by virtue of osmosis. I honestly just was looking at this on a multitude of personal levels, and it just made the most sense for me to do this.”

It’s not that she fell out of love with the world of The Walking Dead or her character, though, as the actress went on to say that she just craved a less fixed future for her career.

“I love Maggie and I’ll always love Maggie, and we had a really good time so far,” Cohan said. “And I do say so far, because the beautiful thing I get to experience right now — which I think is such a cherished thing for me in life — is to live in the not knowing, and to embrace it. And I just feel in life generally a sense of that more than I ever have on a personal level. So naturally that was going to bleed over into that, and just taking the information at hand and making a decision based upon the facts in front of me.”

Cohan also opened up about her last day on set, explaining that it was a strange atmosphere as she’s not bowing out of the show for good but nonetheless, her part of the day-to-day process of making TWD is over.

“I think that we like finality, and it’s almost because of how much I like finality that I’m forcing myself not to have it and I’m forcing myself not to give it, because it wouldn’t be sincere. Any kind of guarantee that I could give could not be sincere to the fans, to my Walking Dead family, to myself. And I just have to believe that that’s gonna lead me to a new, hopefully spiritual breakthrough in how life can be. And it was like that on set. It was, ‘I love you guys, I’m gonna come visit.’ But everyone’s really supportive.”

For the past couple of episodes, Maggie has been steeling herself up to finally take care of Negan once and for all, against Rick’s wishes, as vengeance for what he did to Glenn all those seasons ago. Whatever she decides to do, it’ll clearly hit her hard, as she’ll leave her friends and duties at Hilltop behind. And no doubt Rick’s own “exit” (we’re still not totally certain he’ll die) will influence the decision.

Be sure to catch this all-important episode of The Walking Dead on Sunday, November 4th on AMC.

Source: EW

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