To celebrate the Oct. 22 Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead — the series’ 100th episode — Yahoo Entertainment will be posting a new TWD-related story every day through the season opener.
Maggie Greene is known for her zombie slaying prowess, but the actress who plays this hardcore Walking Dead character has a very different set of talents. Lauren Cohan has lived a fascinating life on both sides of the pond. Walker Stalkers first met this British American beauty in 2011 and she was promptly promoted to a series regular. Now, here’s everything you need to know about Cohan’s life outside of the apocalypse.
1. She was born in the US but moved to the UK.
Cohan was born Jan. 7, 1982 and spent her younger childhood years in the Philly suburb of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but her family relocated to the UK when she was 13. According to her IMDB bio, Cohan graduated from the University of Winchester/King Alfred’s College with a degree in drama and English literature, then went on to tour with a theatre company she co-founded at the University.
2. She converted to Judaism at age 5.
When Cohan was a little girl her mother remarried and converted to Judaism. The future actress was raised in the Jewish faith, attending Hebrew school, and celebrating a traditional bat mitzvah. Cohan told AJL magazine that while she doesn’t consider herself religious, the “tradition, the culture, and the history” of the Jewish faith is still very important to her.
3. She appeared in several fantasy series including Supernatural and The Vampire Dairies.
Before she landed her career-defining role on The Walking Dead, Cohan appeared in six episodes of The CW’s Supernatural, playing magical object thief Bela Talbot. She also had a recurring role as Rose, a 560-year-old vampire in The Vampire Diaries. But lest you think all of her roles have been dark, you should know her resume also includes guest roles on Modern Family and The Mindy Project.
4. She’s been known to bring her dog to TWD set.
Cohan is an animal lover, so perhaps it’s no surprise that she’s brought her dog to work with her. The actress told AMC her 35-pound pup doesn’t even mind the sight of walkers! “It’s funny, if you have any alcohol or spray on your clothes, it’s kind of salty and he likes to lick it,” she said. “So he actually likes the walkers because they are covered in a bunch of different stuff.”
5. She had never watched The Walking Dead, so she binged-watched the first season when she landed the role of Maggie.
Cohan told Rolling Stone the first thing she did when she found out she got the role was to catch herself up on the show on her plane ride into Atlanta. “I watched the first season on the flight over,” she said. “Getting off the plane, I realized completely what I was walking into. I was nervously excited.”
6. She loves Halloween and has been known to dress up as an Addams Family character.
Cohan is used to seeing fans dressed up as TWD characters at Comic-Con, but back in the day, she did her own cosplay. “When I was a kid, I was so obsessed with The Addams Family that I went [to Comic-Con] for several years as characters from The Addams Family,” she told Parade. “I didn’t say I’m dressing as Christina Ricci, I just said that I’m dressing as Wednesday. I love, love, love Halloween. I love dressing up — I think it’s rad! So I love the idea that you can extend that dress up into cosplay.”
7. She is terrified of horror movies and won’t watch them.
Surprise! While she stars on one of the scariest shows on TV and played rule-breaking nanny Greta in the terrifying 2016 horror thriller, The Boy, Cohan says she doesn’t watch scary movies at all. “I don’t watch anything scary! I literally cannot watch scary movies,” she told Cosmopolitan. “I’m better at not taking my work home and not having nightmares about it, but if I watch a scary film, I’m so dangerous. My arms will fly out and I’ll accidentally break people’s noses.”
8. She used to be a competitive swimmer.
Cohan’s physical talents aren’t limited to zombie slaying. The actress told Maxim she was a competitive swimmer from age six to 17. “Swimming and singing, I guess,” she said of her secret talents. “They’re not really apocalypse skills, but that’s OK.”
9. Her celebrity crush is …
Cohan is 35, but her celebrity crush is more than 30 years her senior. When asked by Maxim if she has a celebrity crush, the actress said she has her eye on Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges. “It’s not a romantic crush; it’s just kind of an everything crush,” she said of the 67-year-old Crazy Heart star. “I love him as an actor, I love his voice, I love his smile. OK, now it sounds romantic — but it’s not!”
10. Her favorite comic book villain isn’t from The Walking Dead.
Cohan has ties to the comic book industry thanks to The Walking Dead, but her favorite character isn’t from Robert Kirkman’s comic books. Instead, Cohan told Spanish GQ her favorite comic book character is from the Batman series. “It’s a villain…. the Joker,” Cohan said, according to Comicbook.com. The actress added that she would love to play a comic book villain someday.
The Walking Dead Season 8 premieres Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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