Credit: AMC

The Walking Dead’s tough-as-nails Maggie Greene doesn’t flinch in the face of walker danger, and her touching relationship with Glenn (Steven Yeun) lends the blood-drenched show a unique mix of lightness and emotional heft.

So, who plays the feisty, gorgeous gal? That honor goes to 29-year-old actress Lauren Cohan, who was born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey before spending her teen years in Britain, where she studied drama and English literature at the University of Winchester/King Alfred’s College.

Lauren got her big break in the 2005 Heath Ledger movie Casanova, and her boobs made a cameo the following year in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj. Her acting resume also includes Death Race 2 (2011), six episodes of Supernatural Season 3, five episodes of Chuck, and six of The Vampire Diaries.

We’d never have guessed it without knowing her background, but Lauren’s southern drawl on The Walking Dead is all for show.

I spent one week just thinking about the difference between the British ‘O’ and the Southern ‘O,’” she tells AMC of struggling to mask her natural British accent. “You can get the vibe of it pretty easily, but then you have to really start thinking about the idiosyncrasies. Those scenes of high drama can become bigger than your accent sometimes, and there are moments when I find myself speaking in fear, talking more like I'm in London.”

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