Would The Walking Dead's Sarah Wayne Callies Return As Lori? Here's What The Actress Says

walking dead lori

The Walking Dead will soon bludgeon fans with its Season 7 finale, which is destined to kill off at least one major character, if not more. With some obvious exceptions, this is a show that has never been afraid to end its most familiar characters, and someone who knows this oh so well is Sarah Wayne Callies, who played troubled matriarch Lori Grimes for the first three seasons. While speaking with Callies about the upcoming Prison Break revival, I asked if she'd be down with returning to Walking Dead as Lori in some way, and she surprised me with this:

Yeah, I'd be happy to. I mean, it's never been brought up. I don't think it's something that's really on the table. I think the story is moving forward in different directions and I don't really know what happens in the comic books. To my knowledge, Rick doesn't have any random Lori dreams. I think they're very present in each other's awareness, wherever Lori is now.

First, I like the ominousness of "wherever Lori is now," as it's mildly haunting. Second, she's probably right in that there aren't any clear ways for Lori to pop back into to the story any time soon, and it's not something that Robert Kirkman went heavy on in the comics. There was, of course, one particular dream sequence where he flashed back to before the walkers took over; there, he saved Carl from getting run over by a car, and was soon chomped up by Lori, who turns into a walker before him. It happened way earlier on the page, mind you, but it would be an interesting inclusion for an upcoming season, to show how Rick hasn't forgotten his roots.

As fans are well aware, Lori exited the post-apocalypse in one of the most gruesome and uncomfortable death scenes in The Walking Dead's run so far, as she died giving birth to Baby Judith and then had to be further put down by Carl to avoid having a disemboweled Walker Lori plaguing the prison interiors. Team Family is far beyond that horror-filled setting now, and though Rick was in a mental fugue state for a while immediately afterward, where he had audio hallucinations that Lori was still alive somewhere, he's since moved on in a romantic sense and an emotional sense. He even told Michonne about Judith's real parentage, something he'd previously been wary of admitting to himself. (Check out what Sarah Wayne Callies thinks about that.) So yeah, bringing Lori back in a larger capacity would be pretty impossible.

But again, setting up Lori's return in a smaller capacity would be simple enough. Sarah Wayne Callies reiterated her willingness to head back into this dark world for whatever the creative team could come up with, and though she might not have intentionally implied Lori's return would be limited to a handful of characters, it's obvious that should be the case anyway.

f Scott ever calls and said 'I need you to come back,' I'd be like 'Yeah, man.' I love that guy. It's a strange thing, because it's a totally different show. I was never on the show when Scott was showrunning, and I don't know most of the cast. If I went back, I know Andy, Melissa, Norman and Chandler. End of list. I mean, those are the people from Season 1. I guess Lauren is still on the show. But in terms of the people we started with...

How wasted would a Lori cameo be if she shared a scene with the still-living Dr. Carson? Anyway, considering how The Walking Dead has been very vocal about the deaths of Glenn and Abraham this season, as opposed to the silent treatment many other characters' deaths have gotten over the years, perhaps Scott Gimple has figured out a proper way to mourn its losses. And perhaps that proper way will one day include a left-field appearance from Lori, perhaps during a moment when Rick appears to be walking through death's door and he needs instinctive guidance. Or maybe he stumbles across another phone and mentally dupes himself into "answering" it again. That would only be a voiceover appearance I guess, but even that would be pretty wild. (Visuals could happen, even if there aren't smartphones.)

We know it probably won't happen, but the fact that Callies is down for it makes us hopeful it could happen one day; not that Scott Gimple will read this, but maybe he could hear about it second-hand. For everyone who wasn't ever a big fan of Lori to begin with --and the actress is well aware of such anti-love -- just remember that this would be someone else's interpretation of the character, and not the specific person who got all gross with Shane. That seems important to mention, right?

You can find Sarah Wayne Callies once again caught up in an increasingly complicated narrative when Prison Break returns to Fox for an action-packed new season on Fox starting Tuesday, April 4, at 9:00 p.m. ET. (Read our review.) Catch The Walking Dead's Season 7 finale in all its Eugene-ruining glory on Sunday, April 2, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see everything else that the small screen will have to offer in the coming months, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.