The latest episode of The Walking Dead sparked controversy after killing off a recurring character who has become a cult favourite since first appearing in 2016.
Many fans felt that the episode was lacking in acknowledgement of the death of Laura (Lindsley Register) – it was only on aftershow The Talking Dead that the reformed Saviour was confirmed to have departed the AMC series.
Following the episode’s broadcast, The Independent spoke to Register about her feelings on the handling of Laura’s death, as well as the reason the scene became even bigger than planned.
“Obviously I wanted more for Laura – I would have loved to see more – but I know that when she moved to Alexandria, she did become more of a secondary character,” Register said.
“I’m a big believer in not lingering on what I can’t control, so I just showed up and gave it my all.”
The actor tells us she filmed additional friendship scenes with Christian Serratos (Rosita) and a sex scene with Josh McDermitt (Eugene) that were deleted from the final cut of episodes – read more about them here.
Register first joined the show in the AMC series’ seventh season as one of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) loyal lieutenants, and was originally set to appear for two episodes.
However, after Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) overcame the villain and the show jumped forward five years, Laura was shown to have become a loyal member of Alexandria.
Her total episode count would end up being 20.
Register did reveal she was “disappointed” about one thing, though – not having a final encounter with Negan.
“I did expect at some point for us to make contact, because what a charged moment that could have been – seeing Negan face to face with one of his former lieutenants,” she said, adding: “I am disappointed we won’t get to see that.”
Register says she was told by showrunner Angela Kang that Laura would be killed by Beta (Ryan Hurst) about a week before she filmed the episode in September 2019. Intriguingly, the scene became a bigger part of the episode at the insistence of Hurst.
“I was thrilled to die fighting one of the scariest villains we’ve had on the show so far and I will say this: it wasn’t scripted for us to have such a tussle when we showed up on the day. Ryan really insisted. He was like, ‘Laura needs to fight back – he needs to jump on my back.’ So we added more to it.”
The death read just as violently in the script. “It said that Beta reaches and and picks Laura up like a hacksaw and swings her around so her head bounces off each cell bar.”
The outpouring of love from viewers has overwhelmed Register. "It's a wild, emotional time but I'm feeling the love. I'm really touched by the response – I did not expect it at all."
Register will next be seen in a film called Scorn, which will be released on VOD on 30 March. “Otherwise,” she says, “I’m back to being an actor who goes to a bunch of auditions – that’s the game.”
The Walking Dead continues in the US every Sunday on AMC and the following evening in the UK on FOX and NOW TV
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies