Steven Yeun almost missed his opportunity to star in The Walking Dead

Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) - Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Steven Yeun has done amazing projects since his time on The Walking Dead. The roles he has been cast in have propelled him into a history-making career. But months before he got the call about being cast for The Walking Dead, he was in the running for another role that, had he gotten, would have ruined the opportunity to become Glenn Rhee on the series.

In an old interview on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, Yeun shared about a role that could have cost him TWD gig. He shared that he was out for pilot season, and the other role was down to him and another guy, and he was decimated when he didn’t receive the role.

He would go on to say he was so affected by the loss of the role that he found himself eating alone at an IHOP. To which O’Brien joked that is a sign of trouble equivalent to drinking alone.

The Walking Dead – Steven Yeun

As sad as Yeun was to be passed by for the other role, two months later, he received the call that he got the role of Glenn on The Walking Dead. So what he initially thought to be a massive blow to his career actually was a blessing in disguise for him and fans of the series. It is hard to imagine someone else playing Glenn Rhee.

Glenn was a much-loved character, and fans remember all too well his death at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). This was a significant loss for his wife, Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who was pregnant with this child at the time of his death.

In the last episode of The Walking Dead, “Rest in Peace,” Maggie mentions Glenn in an emotional conversation with Negan. She tells Negan that while she is appreciative of his saving her son, she will never be able to forgive him for Glenn. She tells him that Glenn was a beautiful person, and when she remembers him, it is always memories of his bashed head with Negan looking down and smiling at the aftermath.

This scene was directly from the comic story and was something fans needed to see and hear during the final episode.

Yeun has had magnificent success since leaving the series. He recently starred in Jordan Peele’s Nope and became the first-ever Asian-American nominated for an Oscar in the Lead Actor Category for his role in Minari. 

Next, Yeun will star in the second season of Amazon’s animated series Invincible. He will also star in Mickey7, Beef, and Love Me. 

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