The Walking Dead will soon be going into its change-filled ninth year, having already delivered eight seasons worth of gore-filled and emotionally fraught episodes. With all the iconic moments that have gone down -- from that disgusting well-walker to the Govenor's last stand to Carl's big death -- it's understandable that putting the show together hasn't been the most easy-breezy experience for all involved, and the show's stars have faced quite a lot of challenges as the years have gone by, with many yet to come. (Not for everyone, obviously.)

Several of the show's biggest stars, such as Lauren Cohan and Norman Reedus, recently shared the biggest challenges that they've tackled within the Walking Dead universe, and there were definitely some intriguing answers in the bunch. Let's kick things off with the soon-to-be-departing Cohan herself.

Lauren Cohan

Joining the show in Season 2 as the matronly Maggie Greene, Lauren Cohan has experienced as much developmental growth as any other lead character, and has arguably faced the largest number of tragedies. All of the Greene family members that survived up until Team Family's arrival at the farm later perished, and even when Maggie managed to find new happiness elsewhere, it was ripped away from her just as quickly. When speaking to press during San Diego Comic-Con, the actress revealed that it was indeed Glenn's murder during Negan's two-part introduction that serves as her biggest challenge on the show so far.

I think for me, the most challenging was Glenn dying. Because it was so long. We had two whole episodes where we finished the season and came back in that same emotional state. So in a lot of ways, you couldn't really wind down between time, to kind of hold the space of that terror, and as actors and as people, to hold that secret. Which is simultaneously one of the greatest gifts of this show. Every secret in this show is so sacred, and the information is so desired, and people are so hungry for the story. But [Glenn's death] was definitely...Maggie was in such pain when that's happening, the shock and the physical, the emotional, the whole thing. I feel like those are also the best parts of the show is going to those places. It's very infrequently on television when you get to have these great, great theatrical tragedies. So I say challenge, but I also say gift.

Had The Walking Dead compacted Negan's first appearance into just a single episode, it would still have been a hell of an emotional jolt for Lauren Cohan, who had to say goodbye to her TV beau Steven Yeun after years as one of TV's most popular couples. But no, the chaotic scene was split across a finale AND a premiere, putting all the actors through months of mental turmoil as they maintained their fractured headspaces while waiting for Season 8 to start production. That, on top of having to keep the mystery murders a secret from an ever-inquiring fanbase, would have been a formidable challenge for any Walking Dead star. Will Cohan's final episode (for now) be as hard to put together?

Lennie James

As one of the only remaining Walking Dead stars who was part of the pilot episode, Lennie James has had a uniquely sporadic connection to this world, and he's also the only actor to have made a full crossover transition over to the follow-up Fear the Walking Dead. When speaking with CinemaBlend to promote The Walking Dead's Season 8 Blu-ray and DVD release, James talked about Morgan's various mental states across his span on the show, which had only amounted to a small handful of episodes before he became a series regular in Season 6. When asked about his biggest challenge in The Walking Dead-verse, the actor explained that it has been making sure Morgan has essentially remained Morgan all this time. Here's his answer:

That's a really good question, because anything that's being challenging is also being exciting and standout moments. I think one of the most challenging things on one level that I would say is, for me, coming back to the show in two-year intervals with a character who has gone through vast changes during that time off-screen, and connecting the dots between the different incarnations of Morgan, from an ordinary guy being caught in a situation and being Rick's first entry into the post-apocalyptic world, to cray-cray Morgan as I call him, to Morgan the way of the peaceful warrior in Season 5. Making all of those incarnations be the same guy was, I think, my biggest challenge. But it's one that I relished and one that I took hopefully great ownership of, and used it as a plus and not a negative. So I would imagine outside of just the logistics of Season 8, I would say that would have been my biggest challenge so far having been involved in the Walking Dead universe.

That's completely understandable, since Morgan's various moods could amount to completely different characters, so it's to the actor's credit that he remains so popular with fans. There are plenty of ways for his various arcs to have landed with a loud thud. Outside of character-based challenges, Lennie James did talk about how crazy and complicated the approach was when Season 8 was coming together, since the All Out War against big bad Negan required a lot of big stunt sequences and a lot of running around in different locations. In particular, the actor was extremely non-fond of the big hill where the big battle took place in the season finale.

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