Steven Yeun portrays fan favorite Glenn on "The Walking Dead"
The hit AMC series just began its third season
Yeun promises even more gruesome scenes this season
No doubt about it, actor Steven Yeun is in a pretty great place in his career.
He’s on one of the most popular scripted series on cable, “The Walking Dead,” and he’s one of the most popular characters on that series.
On top of that, he is as close as one can get to being a romantic lead on a show about a zombie apocalypse. His character, Glenn, is involved with farmer’s daughter Maggie, and they have the most stable relationship of all of the survivors at this point.
Of course, stability – not to mention life itself – is a very fragile thing on “The Walking Dead.”
The third season, which began on Sunday to record ratings, sees the group settling in what at first appeared to be in an abandoned prison.
Yeun spoke with CNN about the new season, the fans and what scares him more than zombies.
CNN: Where is Glenn’s head at this season?
Yeun: He sees himself as, if not a leader, at least a provider and protector and someone to look to in times of trouble. You see Glenn in this moment ready to take up the charge. It’s not easy, but these are the moments he’s been preparing for. We’ll see how that plays out.
CNN: How devoted is he to Maggie now, as opposed to the rest of the group?
Yeun: I think Maggie is his strongest link. She’s the sole thing he identifies with. I think she’s the only thing that keeps him from going off on his own. I don’t think he completely trusts the group.
You saw in the last season, he questioned Rick, someone he’s always looked up to. Glenn saw that the only thing he can really trust is his own gut, and he needs to do that to protect the people he loves. Maggie is his sole connection to being in this world, even.
CNN: What new challenges come with the change of setting?
Yeun: It’s an adjustment to get used to being on stages, not outside all the time. Luckily, our writers and producers make sure we had plenty of time in the battering heat. It was a challenge at first, but it’s fun to play how the situation changes how the character behaves.
CNN: Is there anything for Glenn this season that tops that grotesque, harrowing scene in the well?
Yeun: This season is literally no holds barred; it’s gas pedal down. I’m excited for people to see what’s coming. It’s just crazy. The well was an amazing thing. It was terrifying and fun. There’s definitely stuff this season that tops that by far.
CNN: How does it feel to know about the season premiere’s record-breaking ratings?
Yeun: It’s pretty damn amazing. It’s nice to know that people are anticipating it and telling their friends. It’s all around great.
CNN: Are you into horror movies?
Yeun: I’m not much of a horror fan. When it comes to ghost stuff and demon stuff, I can’t watch that. I’ve heard too many crazy stories about that stuff, so I don’t mess around that. Especially when you’re staying in a haunted hotel.
CNN: So zombies are no problem, but ghosts on the other hand …
Yeun: Zombies – you can deal with that. You can punch or shoot them. With ghosts, you’re going to be possessed, or something’s going to be thrown at you. You can’t do anything about that. No, thank you!
CNN: Did you run into “Mythbusters’ ” Grant Imahara when he dressed up as Glenn at Dragon*Con this year?
Yeun: That’s pretty amazing that he did that. It’s amazing to see anyone do anything with that character. I’m just lucky enough to be able to play it in a public forum.
CNN: Have you had any unusual “zombie” interactions outside of the show?
Yeun: People are strange sometimes, which is completely hilarious to me. A really normal couple in Atlanta were walking down the street, and the girl recognized me and started walking towards me in a “walker” walk. And she was committed, like “Uuuuhh, I love your showwww …” That was unique.
CNN: Finally, I have to ask, do you ever try to get information out of “Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman about what’s going to happen on the show?
Yeun: They’re pretty protective (of that). They hold on to things sometimes. We just don’t ask, out of courtesy. And also, if you ask, you may put it on yourself.
CNN: Don’t mess with the guy who could kill you off, huh?