As Maggie Greene, Lauren Cohan got an undead lifetime’s worth of up-close and personal encounters with all things disgusting and creepy during her eight-year stint on The Walking Dead. And while it’s easy for an actor to grow a tolerance to all the blood, guts, and brains, there’s one especially gag-worthy moment from early in her TWD career that stands head and shoulders above the rest.
Speaking recently with The Off Camera Show, Cohan said one of her scenes from Season 3 was so visceral, and carried so much emotional weight, that the sensory overload of it all actually made her lose her lunch.
When Maggie had to give Lori Grimes a C-Section in order to welcome newborn Judith to a motherless existence (Grimes died in the childbirth scene), Cohan admitted she was so overwhelmed that she almost quit the show. But, she added, it’s a moment that challenged her comfort zone as an actor, and ultimately helped her stay put through five and-a-half more seasons.
“I just had an epiphany about that moment recently,” she said. “…I think when something has the potential to ‘unrest’ you so much, it’s the discomfort of change and something that’s quite monumental. And that show is such a success because that’s what it does.
“I remember after we shot that scene, I threw up; I was so uncomfortable. Because it was so — within the story, so necessary. And it was so…impactful on the characters and on the viewer. And just the rawness of it, and the real of it. But I look back on the moment, and I was like, ‘What does that tell you about yourself? That there was a moment like that that was so pivotal in the show, and so exemplary of The Walking Dead, that was terrifying and made you want to run away — and ended up being one of the most important things?”
Helping bring Judith into a cruel world may have been harrowing, but it cemented Cohan’s commitment to The Walking Dead so much that she’s never completely left the franchise behind — even though she walked away from the series midway through Season 9. As recently as last week, Cohan teased to talk show host Busy Phillips that she’s “not done” playing Maggie, adding fuel to long-brewing speculation over where her next appearance — whether in the main TV series, or in one of AMC’s planned spinoff projects — might be.
In the meantime, take some Dramamine and go back to revisit Maggie’s spew-inducing Season 3 moment. You can catch back episodes of The Walking Dead on Netflix, or as an AMC Premiere member.