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Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Greene on AMC’s The Walking Dead, compares her own parents to her on-screen dad Hershel and describes her discomfort of eating near walkers.
Q: You have a bit of a British accent! Was it difficult to learn the Southern drawl?
A: I spent one week just thinking about the difference between the British “O” and the Southern “O.” You can get the vibe of it pretty easily, but then you have to really start thinking about the idiosyncrasies. Those scenes of high drama can become bigger than your accent sometimes, and there are moments when I find myself speaking in fear, talking more like I’m in London.
Q: Have you and Andrew Lincoln practiced becoming un-British together?
A: No, but our costume designer is South African. If we speak to her for more than two minutes, we have to hug her and walk away because all the Britishisms start to come up again.
Q: You and Steven Yeun have a lot of screen time together.
A: We are actually really good buddies. We all are. You just bond out there in a way that you wouldn’t in a city. A bunch of us lived in the same building, this converted cotton mill — it’s cool, but also kind of creepy. A can of ravioli went missing from Steven’s place, actually…
Q: Maggie and Glenn are sort of the link between Rick’s people and Hershel’s. Is that something you relate to in your life?
A: Oh, yeah. When I was a kid, I was the one causing the problems, and my little sister was the intermediary. But I think in life, generally, I don’t want drama. I’d so much rather do something goofy. Maggie is like that: She has to act as the mediator. She really is trying to live her life out under a really strict father.
Q: Have you ever had to deal with strict parents like that?
A: Oh my god, exclusively! They were protective, but they’re good now. To be honest, I’m glad, because it made me ambitious. My parents have always had pretty high expectations, but they’re very supportive.
VIDEO: Scene From Episode 210, “18 Miles Out”
Q: Have you gotten inured to The Walking Dead‘s horror now that you’re around it all the time?
A: On set, it just makes you lose your appetite. When we have huge hordes of zombies on set, they’ll have another room for them to eat, to accommodate them. But when there are only a few zombies on set, then we’re all in the lunch room together. It’s a bit disgusting. You don’t believe they can make people look like that!
Q: Do you remember your first walker experience on set?
A: Yeah, my first day I dealt with a zombie. You look at these guys, in all that makeup, more than anything I feel bad for the zombies. We had one that was in a zombie fat suit in 100-degree humidity. That’s the thing with this whole show — you feel bad for them and you’re terrified of them at the same time.