This week’s episode of The Walking Dead featured the demise of Leah. The de-facto leader of The Reapers since Pope’s death tried to take down Maggie. But it all ended up not how she wanted it as Daryl was the one to end her life. Speaking with The Knockturnal this week, is Lynn Collins as we talk about her time on The Walking Dead and breaking down that extensive fight scene with Lauren Cohan.
The Knockturnal: Do you know the reason to why Leah stolen The Commonwealth’s Weapons?
LC: “The reason Leah did that is because she’s on a mission for revenge. It’s the eye for an eye situation. She is ready to take Daryl and Maggie’s group down. The guns are currency. When she got control of that, she had the power to get what she needs and what she wants and that was, to take them both down!”
The Knockturnal: Leah and Maggie had a huge fight scene in this episode. Would you like to break it down with me on the behind the scenes details between yourself and Lauren Cohan preparing for this scene?
LC: “Working with her is incredible because she’s incredibly dedicated and committed. But it was so rewarding to be like ‘okay, finally Leah is getting what she wants.’ And I think the truth is, if there wasn’t the intervention, Leah probably would have gotten her desire. Her desire was to ultimately kill the person who killed everyone she’s loved. And there’s also the element that in many ways, Daryl chose Maggie over Leah. Even though it was not necessarily a romantic relationship between them, she was not the choice. At first, we were going to let the stunt women do most of it. I was like, ‘you know what? Why don’t you guys teach me as much as you possibly can so that we use the Leah stunt double as little as possible and we use me as much as possible, and I will sustain the injuries if there is any.’ I think it’s worth it to do this so that you guys can really get some great shots and I rehearsed with the Maggie’s stunt double, and it got to be pretty easy. And so we shot some with Maggie’s stunt double. And then Lauren was like, ‘Wait, we can do this!’ And she learned her part of the fight. So basically, we ended up doing it together. Lauren is strong and fit and there was at one point where I’m slammed up against the wall. and Lauren knocked my breath out. But that’s what would happen. And by the end of doing the fight, I would just stay on the ground and I’d be like ‘just let me know when you guys want me to get up because I’m exhausted.’ I love fighting. I’m a black belt in Okinawan style karate. I also love boxing and swordplay.”
The Knockturnal: Do you know if Daryl was always the person to end up killing Leah?
LC: A few days before that script was released, they hadn’t really made up their mind. I think it was more of the lines of ‘who was it going to be?’ because they weren’t quite sure. I always wanted it to be Daryl that kills her. And I know that Norman wanted that as well. And I’m not sure how much our desire played into what they actually chose. But I think we were both pleased that’s how it ended up.”
The Knockturnal: When we were introduced to Leah, Daryl and her got into a relationship. Daryl told Carol about Leah while she found out more about her in the parts that Daryl left out. From that episode to your last episode, Leah and Carol never meet face to face. Do you know if there were any plans for the two characters to meet?
LC: “I honestly don’t know. I have very little disappointments having worked on the show. It’s been incredibly awesome. If there is one, it would be that she (Melissa McBride) and I didn’t get to work together. I think it would have been incredible for them (Carol and Leah) to meet. But when you have such an extensive cast with so many storylines going, I think ultimately, they had to prioritize on bigger stories so that wasn’t possible. Hopefully Melissa and I will get a chance to do something else at some point.”
The Knockturnal: Now that the show has wrapped up filming, what will you miss most about The Walking Dead?
LC: “The cast and the crew. I’m going to answer this in two ways. It’s what am I taking away? For each project I do as an actor, I always want to build on where I go next to bring what I learned and to bring the positive energy of it. And this project was just so positive for me and rewarding. I will say this. When I saw the episode that will be airing on Sunday, I did not expect the emotional reaction that I did. And when it was over, I had to excuse myself and I cried for like 45 minutes because this is the longest project i’ve done. In movies, I shot them and there was a break and we had to do reshoots. So technically, you know, I would work over a year in that way. But to consistently be playing a character for basically like a year and a half and then to see that character on how it all wraps up was so emotional. And also the working and friendly relationships. I moved to Georgia to do this show and created a community of friends and connections. And basically I’m going to end up staying in Georgia because my life expanded and was enriched by it.”