This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead season 7.
In a candid new interview with Vanity Fair, Steven Yeun has been talking about his time on AMC’s The Walking Dead, in which he played the fan favourite Glenn Rhee from season 1 episode 1 all the way through until season 7 episode 1.
“I’ll be honest with you and put a full disclaimer here: I might not be objective, but I truly feel like people didn’t know what to do with Glenn,” Yeun revealed.
“They liked him, they had no problems with him, and people enjoyed him. But they didn’t acknowledge the connection people had with the character until he was gone.”
“Internally, it was incredible,” said Yeun on his overall experience on the show. “Externally, it was tough sometimes because I never felt like he got his fair due. I never felt like he got it from an outward perception.”
“I don’t say this as a knock on anything”, Yeun then clarified. “He always had to be part of something else to legitimize himself. He was rarely alone.”
Yeun goes on to talk about how Glenn wasn’t exactly a magazine cover star or a merchandising favourite, despite his status as being beloved by many fans. Only in his death was Glenn’s popularity really felt…
“I’m not going to sit here and be like, ‘Why didn’t they make Glenn merchandise?’ But there was a disparity. They didn’t know what Glenn was, and only in his death did they realize, ‘Oh, that’s what he was. That’s the connection I had, and that’s why it hurts me so much to see him die.’ A lot of the other characters are awesome characters, but they’re exactly that—they’re awesome and they’re to be in awe of: I wish I was that guy or that girl. With Glenn it was, I think I’m like that guy. You take that guy out of the equation and you do it in such a brutal fashion, there’s got to be some gut reaction to that.”
The full Vanity Fair piece – which is well worth a read, for fans of the show – can be found at this link.
Yeun recently appeared in the creature feature Okja, which is on Netflix UK now.
More TWD news as it happens.