The Walking Dead: Steven Yeun on the specialness of the group

Steven Yeun talks about the baby, Jesus and the Hilltop, why Glenn Rhee hasn’t killed another human, and how the apocalypse is a group struggle on The Walking Dead.

Today’s scoop from Entertainment Weekly is from Steven Yeun. Steven had a ton of interesting things to say and I have some thoughts about those things.

I have to say, I’ve always liked Glenn, but I think his fake-out death created a huge spike in Glenn fans that was interesting to me. It seems like they came out of nowhere. I’m still not sure what to make of that phenomenon. People seemed irritated with Glenn that he wouldn’t kill Nicholas, and then fell in love with him again.

 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Glenn and Maggie have a baby on the way, which is no small development. So what does this mean for Glenn going forward?
STEVEN YEUN: It’s interesting because people assumed that Glenn didn’t know about the pregnancy, that Maggie would have not told him, and she told Aaron… If you go look back at that moment in the beginning of the season when Glenn says, “You know, you should be here, watch over this place, because we’re not,” I forget Maggie’s exact line, but it alludes to the fact that they’re living for somebody else as well.

Glenn Rhee and Maggie Greene, The Walking Dead - AMC

Glenn Rhee and Maggie Greene, The Walking Dead – AMC

If you watch the first eight episodes painting that picture over it, Glenn does everything because of that…But I think, ultimately, what he’s trying to get at is that he’s trying to build a world for his kid that can be as close to what he grew up in as possible, that can have hope to be some sort of secured, stable environment.”

I think hardcore The Walking Dead fans figured out that Maggie was pregnant when Glenn volunteered to help Rick with the herd. Maggie said something about helping the town not being the only reason, I think that’s the line Steven was trying to remember.

But he’s right, if you think about Glenn’s actions related to the pregnancy, now that we have time to reflect, he was trying to get that herd away from Alexandria to keep the town a safe place for his new family, even if it meant he didn’t return. The Wolves, the horn, Nicholas and half of the herd, those were wildcards he couldn’t have seen coming.

And part of that is echoing from the last season, the idea that sometimes we can be out there too long, and that we can completely lose ourselves. And to that extent as well, there’s the fact that Glenn has not killed another human being as of yet, and it’s not from a place of Glenn saying, “I can never do that,” but it’s more along the lines of Glenn has not faced a situation where he’s been forced to.

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

Photo by Gene Page/AMC

And if he isn’t forced to, he chooses not to, because I think for him, he’s trying to preserve a part of himself to say that anything that I do, I want to be able to look my kid in the eye and say, “Hey, I lived this way, and I’m still here. So you can live this way, and you can still be here as well.” I think everything’s kind of a prep for this kid, and so, yeah, I mean, that’s kind of where they’re at right now with the baby.”

I’m glad to hear Steven say that he hasn’t been forced to kill is the reason he hasn’t. I’m sure there is nobility in part of it, but he was ready to let Rick kill Randall. He told Hershel that part of him wished they would have killed all the prisoners on sight because of the consequences of Andrew escaping, leading to T-dog’s death.

But wishing you would have killed someone, allowing others to kill, watching people be killed, and knowing that killing is necessary, are completely different from actually killing someone. That is something Glenn may or may not have to deal with emotionally in the future the way that our other characters have done already. We’ve seen the consequences of killing. Depression, acting out, reckless behavior, crazy, isolation, hallucinations, numbness, and on the list could go.

We know Jesus is showing up soon and he comes from the Hilltop. So, the world is going to start to expand with different communities. What’s Glenn’s take on that, and some of these places in relation to Alexandria?
“To all of them right now, their scope of what the world is is kind of centralized and localized within that concept of Alexandria. I think for them, that’s their world right now, and that’s what they’re trying to fortify and make great. But if there are more civilizations out there, that’s a fact that probably for Glenn, based on what type of people they are, will be a positive experience because there are limitations that Alexandria has at this point.

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) - The Walking Dead_Season 3, Episode 15_"This Sorrowful Life" - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) – The Walking Dead_Season 3, Episode 15_”This Sorrowful Life” – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

They don’t have a real doctor to birth the child, and maybe another civilization might. They maybe don’t have food as readily available as they would like, because things are so turned upside down now — that all the progress that they thought they made and all the progress that they’re striving for kind of took a couple steps back. So, at this point, it’s rebuilding, and I think for anything new to come in that’s not a threat is probably a welcomed opportunity.”

We’ve seen that some of the themes of season 6 are that the world is not over and we have to keep moving forward. A theme ever since the beginning has been that we need people. Eastman reinforced this theme with Morgan when he encouraged him to go looking for people.

Adding new groups to the mix adds to the themes. The poster for 6B has a caption, “A larger world.” A larger world gives the possibility of help, but it also brings the possibility of bad people as most of us are aware. Big bad wolves were nothing compared to Mr, Negan.

After we get through this whole terrible situation the group is in right now with the zombie herd inside the walls, is this going to bring whoever survives together, or is it going to sort of continue to divide them?
“I think the group is resilient. The group absorbs people, loses people, but at its core, it’s what brought them together. The survival of all those individual members is pretty much from the fact that they found each other, that they have each other. Oftentimes I watch our show, and I’m like, “This is the most unlikely group of people that have ever existed, people that would never be probably friends in real life, but somehow they got brought together and they got to see that all of them are made of some similar strands.” And that’s a concept that’s always going to prevail in this group and in our show, which is that survival is not an individual struggle, but it’s a group struggle.

And you can be lucky and become part of a group such as this, or you might be unlucky and be part of a group that doesn’t care about you or isn’t as functional as this one. The audience is watching a show about the apocalypse, but it’s following a very blessed and successful group, as opposed to following every other group, which is probably decimated by now.”

This was my favorite part of the interview. We’ve seen groups that were bad or unsuccessful. It’s interesting to think about. Some people were unlucky to become part of Woodbury or Terminus. Daryl even almost became part of The Claimers.

Rick once told Daryl and Carol that the Alexandrians were some of the luckiest people ever and they were getting even luckier because Rick’s group had arrived. Before you say that they aren’t lucky because of what has happened to Alexandria now, they would have been decimated by the herd completely because the truck would have fallen and the herd would have escaped. Or perhaps the Wolves would have found them.

Our group is special. That’s why we watch The Walking Dead. Only one more week until we can watch again! The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 14, followed by Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick and guest Greg Nicotero.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)