The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan is Women’s Health’s December cover girl and she took a break from slaying zombies to talk to the mag about what it’s like filming in Georgia and the immense success of the show among other things.
Lauren joined the show during season two and when asked about whether or not she anticipated the overwhelming success it’s become told the mag, “I didn’t really have time to think about whether I thought it was going to be big, I was just so happy with the show and being on the show and the people that I work with. It’s funny you sort of come out of our little vacuum of filming and you realize how popular it is. It’s popularity makes since to be because it’s such a loving environment and I would hope that would perpetuate in the world, in life. But no, I never anticipated it being that big.”
As many of the fans of the show know, The Walking Dead is filmed in Georgia. When Women’s Health asked the Philly-born,UK-raised actress how she’s enjoying her time in the southern state she replied, “I love Georgia. It’s funny because I’m here more than I am anywhere else, so I don’t have a house anywhere else. It’s difficult being away from my friends and family, but Georgia has definitely become another home because I know have so many people that I know here. I like it. Everything that I like doing, which is antiquing, hiking and exercising and relaxing you can do that in Atlanta too. I am definitely a creature of change. I love new experiences. I love adapting to a new environment. It’s great for me to be in California for a big and when I tire of all the things that L.A. can be, which everybody does, then I can go to London and just see theatre and enjoy the rain and the fog. But that’s actually what I really like about Atlanta; it’s got something very English about it. It’s got such old architecture and there’s trees and the weather – especially today the weather just started getting foggy. You get to wake up in the morning and sit on the balcony, have a cup of coffee, and just feel. It’s got a richness to it. There’s nowhere else like England though.”
Lauren isn’t new to the supernatural genre having completed a stint on the long-running The CW series Supernatural as Bela Talbot. Although she’s a fan of the weird and unexplainable, she apparently never pegged herself as one to take on supernatural roles in the beginning saying, “I never really thought that I’d end up doing supernatural genres. I’ve always gravitated to supernatural things and I enjoy it, but when I started acting I enjoyed comedy and that’s what I thought I’d end up doing – just action, screwball comedy is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s fun to do something like Walking Dead and now I have all the time in the world to do all of the other things. This has been such a rare experiences and such a special experience. I mean I want to do everything. Literally I want to do musicals, play a jazz singer, I want to somehow emulate Kevin Kline and Tilda Swinton.”
So who does the rising star look up to? “Tilda Swinton,” she said, “I’ve always just thought is so brave and so inspiring – trailblazing. She doesn’t follow any rules and it doesn’t seem that she adheres to anything in life but what her heart and soul tell her to do. I think that’s just always what I’d like to check in with every day — that that’s how I’m conducting myself and conducting my life.”
When it comes to things people may not know about her that would surprise them Lauren revealed, “People are generally not surprised by reading and walking and I really like reading and walking! Outside of music and singing…can you be a Renaissance woman? You can be a Renaissance woman, can’t you? The things that make me the happiest are just standing around a piano. That’s one thing I like about Georgia, I feel like I’ve met a lot of people with really old-fashioned hobbies. I go to a gospel church here – I actually go to a lot of different churches here just to sin. It’s been such a great experience in the south. Basically anything that involves piano, singing, jazz, reading. I could be in 1800 and be really happy.
“I feel like the show has given me fear! We have dealt with things every single day on this show that make the rest of life seem really, really calm and I think going through a processing that gives me a real appreciation for when things are normal. I’ve always been a fan of old fashioned things and something about the Walking Dead, even as we progress further and further into the show, it becomes a period drama because where it comes to clothes fashion and even weaponry, we have to have a cut off of 3 years ago. We’re shooting a period drama that’s locked in a very recent but specific time.”
In order to be able to run from all those zombies, Lauren has to stay fit. “I try to follow the 10,000 steps which is not difficult if I’m busy working, and Pilates, and ballet, and dancing. Anything that I have fun doing. For me staying healthy is so often just about me being happy and a workout that makes me happy. Staying invigorated trying new things. If it’s outdoors or it’s dancing, I’m set.” the actress revealed.
The holidays are right around the corner, so Lauren reflected on her family’s Christmas traditions. “I have a really colorful family, and I don’t go back to England every year but I’m going back this Christmas and my grandfather is coming from Spain. Christmas for us has always been very musical…and like everybody very food orientated. Christmas for us has always been a glass of champagne with our stocking and that’s the only drinking that I do on Christmas Day because I’m such a lightweight. My youngest brother since he was 14 has been an amazing chef so he always cooks us pig-in-a-blanket from scratch. My grandfather plays the piano so we just kind of spend Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day playing music, playing board games. Heads Up is our new obsession. It actually used to be the parlor game where everybody puts their names and put them in a hat. My granddad never gets these games, so if we play something like charades, he will say, ‘Rhymes with Ichael Ackson,’ and you’re like, ‘Michael Jackson?” that’s not how you play that. Half my family lives in America and half my family lives in Europe so each alternating year is nice to get that sacred time where you know you won’t get any work pressure. Just like everybody.”
Finally, one thing many fans may wonder is the gorgeous star manages to keep herself grounded? “Georgia heat and zombies help that.” Just that simple.
You can read the rest of Lauren’s interview in the December issue of Women’s Health, but you don’t have to wait that long to check out her hot photo shoot!
Lauren Cohan ‘Women’s Health’ Photo Gallery
Photo Credit: Tom Schirmacher/Women’s Health