IGN: Do you ever find yourself, during your hiatus from the show, wanting to do, like, a Christmas movie on Lifetime? Something in a colder climate with a happier message?
Steven Yeun: I want to do the next Snow Dogs. [laughs] Really bad. But, yeah, you know I seek a little bit of comedy in the off season, but there is something to be said, when you consider the s*** that our show deals out to its characters – it’s nice to play in that dark space and then continue to be there in between. It’s probably not good for my mental health though.
IGN: This year’s limited edition Walking Dead Blu-ray set features the wall of zombie head jars. When you got to that point in the story last season, was any part of you hoping “Oh, man. I hope I don’t wind up as a head?”
Yeun: Luckily I head read some of the comics so I knew that I was safe…well, you never know with this show actually. But, for me, I was hoping that they’d just stay true to that much when it came to Glenn. Overall though, it was just cool to see something in real life that was once only on the page. I never got to be in that room other than as a spectator, but to be in that room and to see what they created, right out of the pages of the comic, I was like “Damn. We are doing some crazy stuff.” So it was really cool. And that Season 3 limited set is pretty gnarly.
IGN: So you’re not one of those actors who stays away from the source material?
Yeun: I actually read the comic before I had actually booked the show. Which was awesome for me because when I went into the audition I realized “Oh crap, this is The Walking Dead!” And then when I booked it, I was like “Oh crap, I’m on The Walking Dead!” So it was a trip. But I definitely love the comic. How can you not? And how’re you gonna pass that up?
IGN: There are a lot of extras on the Season 3 Blu-ray. Did you participate in any of the audio commentaries?
Yeun: No, actually I didn’t. But with regards to the deleted scenes, I remember shooting a lot of them and the discussions we had when they couldn’t get in. There was this one scene between Carol and Merle and it’s so great. Melissa [McBride] and Michael [Rooker] were so perfect. And to have these moments that unfortunately due to time restraints couldn’t make it into an episode, be on the Blu-ray now makes them like hidden gems. It just demonstrates how making a show comes down to last minute decisions. Right to the very end. Down to the edits, down to the foley, down to the ADR. It’s cool to know that if something doesn’t work that they’re not just going to jam it in there. They’re going to do the right thing.
IGN: Your character on the show has something that the others don’t. A love life. Do you feel lucky in that regard or are you afraid for Glenn and Maggie because things can turn dark very quickly?
Yeun: I feel very lucky actually. I feel lucky to play a character who kind of is a wild card. In the sense that he can do anything. There’s no limit as to what he can be put through. I think if you really go back in time through the series and check off the list of what Glenn has been through, it’s astounding. He’s been beat up. He’s gotten crazy angry. He gotten to have sex. He’s bawled his eyes out. He’s done crazy stunts. He’s been lowered down a well. For me as an actor, to play this character and to have this character also subsequently have a love interest is a dream come true. I get to do everything.
IGN: Last season, Glenn had a taste of leadership, but it didn’t turn out all that well for him? Is that something you’d like to see return?
Yeun: I think the through line with Glenn, going through the first couple seasons, is this understanding of a boy turning into a man. And understanding what being a leader meant. And I think, back in Season 3, it didn’t work out because he didn’t know what to do fully. I think it’s in him. I think he has all the necessary qualities to be a good leader. But he definitely wasn’t in the right state of mind to deal with it at the time. And I think in this next season you’re going to see the continuing evolution of the character. When it comes to understanding himself and understanding the people who he’s with. And realizing what this new world means and what these people all mean to him. I’m excited for you guys to watch.
Yeun, as Glenn, from The Walking Dead Season 3.
IGN: Does part of this maturation involve leaving the baseball cap behind for good? Is that ever coming back?
Yeun: You know, you never know if it’ll come back. I think the baseball cap was, in a way, representative of his youth. He hasn’t shed it completely, but I think Glenn, at this point, is a man. And that hat makes him look like such a kid when he wears it. At least for me.
IGN: What can fans expect to see from Glenn and Maggie in Season 4? What’s in store for the couple?
Yeun: I think you’re just going to see a continued growth between them. They’re still both young and they’re still figuring out life and what it means to be together in this type of world. Because that comes with a whole other set of worries and struggles. And also, strangely, with such great joy and hope. But it’s also a double-edged sword. Because what’s the point of living if you don’t have someone to live for, or live with. But if you do have that person, they can become a liability to you. Because they can be used against you in this particular world.
IGN: We know that when Season 4 premiers some time has passed. You’re passing over another winter, sort of like last year. Where do find Glenn at the outset? What’s his role like in the prison now that all those people are living there?
Yeun: Hmmmm. That’s something that I probably can not say. But it will be cool to see what you guys think when you revisit these characters in the premiere. And see what they’ve set up and how they’re living right now.
IGN: I know you probably have to be secretive about this too, but the big news about Season 4 is that there’s a new threat that’s supposedly more dangerous than humans and zombies combined. What can you say about that?
Yeun: I can give you nothing. [laughs] That was a nice try though. It was polite, well thought out, but I can’t talk about it.