Set­tling In The Walk­ing Dead’s

Lau­ren Co­han on find­ing a place to call her own.

ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

the morn­ing that ELLE Canada chat­ted with Lau­ren Co­han, the ac­tress had a mi­nor epiphany. The Amer­i­can-born, English-bred star of The Walk­ing Dead had been read­ing a script and was strug­gling to con­nect with the ma­te­rial. “It felt a bit thin, like it wasn’t about a real prob­lem,” she re­counted over the phone. “And I sud­denly thought, ‘That’s why I like su­per­nat­u­ral projects!’ The con­flict is so tan­gi­ble; it’s so worth the fight. There’s no ar­gu­ing with life or death when it’s us ver­sus vam­pires, were­wolves or zom­bies.”

And al­though she says she’s a “prag­matic woman,” Co­han went on to add: “There’s some­thing that’s more re­al­is­tic to me about the su­per­nat­u­ral than a lot of pre­ten­tious drivel where the stakes aren’t real. I ac­tu­ally can’t learn lines when I’m just talk­ing about some silly thing.”

Which is why she’s lucky that, thus far, the high­lights of her ca­reer have all in­cluded roles that have a touch of fan­tasy: a 560-year-old blood­sucker on The Vam­pire Diaries, a nanny to a liv­ing doll in 2016’s The Boy and, of course, Mag­gie Greene on the record-smash­ing zom­bie hit The Walk­ing Dead, now in its sixth sea­son. “I ac­tu­ally just watched an episode, and I felt so thrilled to be on a show that’s writ­ten so well for women,” said the 33-year-old Co­han, adding with a laugh, “Not to be weird or any­thing, but I felt like such a fan!”

Co­han de­scribes her­self as an “in­de­pen­dent-minded thrill-seeker.” (She’s the kind of per­son who de­cides, overnight, to move to Cal­i­for­nia against her par­ents’ wishes and gives all her stuff away the next day.) But work­ing on this show has had an un­ex­pected calm­ing ef­fect on the for­merly com­pul­sive no­mad. Not only does its grip­ping high-stakes drama sat­isfy her need for ac­tion in her life but hav­ing to set­tle in Ge­or­gia (where the show is filmed) has also grounded her in a very real way.

“I changed schools so many times when I was a kid,” ex­plains Co­han, whose par­ents di­vorced when she was young and moved her from the United States to Eng­land when she was a tween. “Be­ing on this show for six years is the long­est I’ve been with the same group of peo­ple. I re­al­ized that, wow, peo­ple are there for you. When you lean in, they stand up and let you lean on them. It has been a great life les­son.”

An­other thing that putting down roots has taught her? “I was al­ways look­ing for hap­pi­ness in a new stim­u­la­tion, but I’ve learned that sit­ting still is a really im­por­tant part of go­ing places,” said Co­han, who re­cently re­dis­cov­ered med­i­ta­tion. “I al­ready have ev­ery­thing I need. I’m at the age in my life where I’m look­ing at what I have to give, not achieve.” n

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