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New York Comic Con: ‘The Walking Dead’ cast didn’t know Lauren Cohan was in disguise

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  • Lauren Cohan confirmed that she’s coming back to “The Walking Dead” as a series regular on season 11 at New York Comic Con Saturday morning.
  • Insider went straight from New York Comic Con’s “TWD” panel at Madison Square Garden to PaleyFest to speak with the stars of the show and showrunner Angela Kang to ask them about Cohan’s return.
  • Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron, said he learned today along with everyone else. Josh McDermitt was told by Cohan ahead of time. 
  • Neither of them had any idea Cohan was wearing a disguise in the crowd. Both said they spotted her staring at them during the panel and it left them unsettled.
  • Kang told Insider she’s known for a little bit about Cohan’s upcoming return and teased we may see Maggie before season 10 is over.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

“The Walking Dead” actress Lauren Cohan surprised fans Saturday morning at New York Comic Con to announce that she’s returning to the show as a series regular on season 11. The actress, who plays Maggie Rhee, left the show during season nine.

Cohan appeared at NYCC in disguise, wearing a Jason mask and dressed as former “Walking Dead” villain Negan. The news was such a secret that some of the cast didn’t even know Cohan was sitting among the crowd during the show’s panel.

“I had just learned that today,” Ross Marquand, who plays Aaron on the show told Insider at PaleyFest directly after New York Comic Con’s “Walking Dead” panel at Madison Square Garden.

“I had heard rumblings, but it wasn’t confirmed until today when she got up on stage with us,” Marquand said. “That was news to me too.”

The cast didn’t know Lauren Cohan was sitting in the crowd with a mask and it creeped some of them out.

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Lauren Cohan dressed as Negan, the character who violently killed her character’s husband on the show, while wearing a Jason mask to hide her identity at NYCC.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for AMC


Marquand said he noticed someone sitting in the front row in a “Jason” mask, but had no idea it was his castmate. He was actually left a bit unsettled by the person, who he thought was a fan.

“I thought she was staring at me and Seth [Gilliam] and I was getting kind of uncomfortable because I thought this was somebody who was going to jump up on stage and,” Marquand said, trailing off. “It was just a very unnerving look she was giving me, just sitting there totally still with a ‘Jason’ mask on.”

“I was very excited to see her when she pulled off the mask,” he added.

That’s understandable as there’s been extra security in New York City in and around Comic Con with the “Joker” in theaters this weekend. The Javits Center, which hosts NYCC, has had extra barriers around the front of the building since Thursday and noticeably upped security. 

Read more: Some people fled a crowded New York movie theater after a ‘belligerent’ man began cheering and applauding on-screen murders during ‘Joker’

NYPD security javits center nycc 2019

NYPD blockades surround the Javits Center for New York Comic Con.
Kirsten Acuna/Insider


Marquand wasn’t the only one left unsettled by Cohan’s cosplay. Josh McDermitt, who plays Eugene on AMC’s zombie drama was also a bit frightened by the “Jason” mask she was wearing.

“We’re engaged in the panel and I look out and I see this person in a ‘Jason’ mask. I felt like it was staring right at me and I got scared,” McDermitt told Insider. 

When Cohan was asked to come on stage by panel host Chris Hardick, he was a little concerned.

“I was like, ‘OK, great. Let’s bring the crazy person on stage.’ And then I was duped,” McDermitt said. “I didn’t know it was Lauren. I had forgotten that Lauren was there and was going to come in. It was a nice, pleasant surprise. I was just as surprised as everyone else.”

McDermitt knew Cohan was coming back to the show in advance.

walking dead maggie enid twd 713

Maggie previously led the Hilltop community.
Gene Page/AMC


Unlike Marquand, McDermitt had a heads up something was happening during the panel.

“I knew Lauren was going to surprise everyone because she told me,” said McDermitt of Cohan’s return to the show. “I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. I don’t think she was supposed to tell anyone. I knew it was happening.”

He just wasn’t aware she’d be cosplaying. McDermitt said he was wondering where she was when everyone else was backstage.

Cohan’s reaction to coming back to the show 

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Lauren Cohan was all smiles as the crowd cheered for her return to “TWD” universe.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for AMC


When Cohan took off the mask at NYCC, she told the crowd she was afraid someone was going to recognize her. 

“I was more nervous in the last 15 minutes than I’d ever been in my entire life,” Cohan told the Comic Con crowd after the big reveal. “I was crying under the mask. I was like everybody’s going to see me shaking and they’re going to go she’s shaking the way Lauren shakes when she cries.”

During the panel, Cohan said it was “surreal” to be back at Comic Con while getting a bit emotional.

“I am honestly just really interested in what we’re going to be able to say because we have such huge passages of time and so much life adventure that’s come to pass for Maggie.”

Read more: ‘The Walking Dead’ fan favorite Lauren Cohan jumped on stage at Comic Con in costume to announce she’s returning to the show

How long “The Walking Dead” showrunner has known about Cohan’s return to the show and whether or not we can expect to see her before season 11

“I’ve known for a little bit,” showrunner Angela Kang told Insider at Paleyfest Saturday afternoon, referring to how long she has been keeping Cohan’s return secret. “It took a while to get the deal all settled and done, but it’s been in the works for awhile.”

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Angela Kang speaks with Insider at PaleyFest on Saturday afternoon about holding onto the Cohan secret.
Brandon Davis


In February, Kang told Insider they were still having conversations about bringing Cohan back either on the show or somewhere in the larger “Walking Dead” universe.

“When she kind of left part way through the season last year, the intention was to always bring her back, one way or another,” Kang continued. “We’re really happy it finally got done because we’re so thrilled that she’s coming back. I love Lauren personally. I love her character. I know that the fans have really connected with Maggie over the years.”

While Cohan is set to reprise her role as a series regular on season 11, Kang hints fans could be seeing her character on screen before then.

“We very well may see a little bit of Maggie in season 10,” Kang said.

The cast’s reaction to having Cohan back on the show 

walking dead cast lauren cohan nycc 2019

The cast of “The Walking Dead” stand as Cohan speaks to the crowd at NYCC.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for AMC


“I’m excited. She’s a tremendous actress. She makes the show better,” McDermitt said. 

“I was sad to see her go, but I’m very excited to welcome her back,” he continued. “I think there’s a lot more story to tell with Maggie as it pertains to other people’s story lines as well.”

The last time we saw Maggie was on Andrew Lincoln’s final episode of “The Walking Dead” on season nine. Since then, there’s been more than a six-year time jump. We’ve only heard about Maggie in the form of vague letters delivered to the communities. We also know she’s off somewhere with Georgie’s mystery community, but have no idea how she’s grown in changed in that time with her son, Hershel.

“It’s going to expand the show in some amazing ways, especially the fact that she’s been gone,” said McDermitt. “It’s always cool to have a character leave and come back and they get to be a different version of who we’ve known in the past and we get to explore why.”

McDermitt pointed out that we saw that previously happen with Morgan (Lennie James) on the show. After his appearance on the show’s pilot episode, he eventually reunited with Rick’s group before heading over to spinoff “Fear the Walking Dead.”

“We saw that with Morgan,” said McDermitt. “You kind of run into him a couple times before he was on the show for a good time. I feel like we’re going to be able to do that again with Maggie.”

Read more: ‘Fear TWD’ showrunners break down the finale’s shocking ending, tell us how they’d grade the season, and more

McDermitt and Kang aren’t the only ones excited to have Cohan return to the show. There’s also Cailey Fleming, who plays the young Judith Grimes. She has yet to interact with Maggie since joining the show.

“I am very, very excited. She’s really sweet,” Fleming told Insider on Saturday. “She’s such an amazing actress. She’s an inspiration for me. Maybe I’ll get to work with her.”

Until Cohan’s return to the world of the undead, the season 10 premiere of “The Walking Dead” airs Sunday on AMC at 9 p.m. We’ll have more from our conversation with Angela Kang after the premiere. You can follow along with our show coverage here.



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10 things in tech you need to know today, May 26

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Bill Gates



AP/zz/PBG/AAD/STAR MAX/IPx


Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Tuesday.

  1. The UK will review the role of China’s Huawei in its 5G networks. Huawei had been given a limited role in providing equipment for the superfast mobile network, but that could now change.
  2. Australia’s Covidsafe app has faded into insignificance just one month after launch. The contact tracing app reportedly only helped identify one person with Covid-19 and has diminished in importance as the country’s economy re-opens, according to The Guardian. 
  3. More than 40% of Republicans in a new poll say they think Bill Gates wants to use COVID-19 vaccines to implant location-tracking microchips in recipients. Gates, who has donated $300 million to coronavirus vaccine efforts, has become the target of online conspiracy theorists and conservative pundits over his coronavirus vaccination efforts.
  4. Elon Musk’s Boring Company has finished the tunneling for its Tesla-powered people mover in Las Vegas. The Boring Company completed the second of two tunnels underneath Las Vegas’ convention center. 
  5. Chinese tech company Qihoo 360 slammed the US government for ‘politicizing business’ after it imposed export sanctions on 33 more Chinese companies and government institutions. Anti-virus software company Qihoo 360 said it opposed the action.
  6. Doctors in UK hospitals are using headsets from Microsoft to reduce the amount of staff coming into contact with COVID-19 patients. The HoloLens headsets allow doctors to share their point of view with colleagues remotely, while also showing holographic projections to the doctor wearing the headset.
  7. A robot barista that takes orders, makes coffee, and delivers drinks to customers is being used in South Korea to help with social distancing. The new robot can take orders, make 60 different types of coffee, and serve drinks to customers at their seats.
  8. Drones will help to supply protective equipment to a hospital on a remote Scottish island. The 10-mile journey between mainland Oban and the Isle of Mull usually involves a road trip and a 45-minute ferry, should take only 15 minutes.
  9. A 5G mast in Derbyshire, England was set on fire just days after it was erected. Attacks on 5G masts have been fuelled by a conspiracy theory wrongly linking 5G and coronavirus.
  10. A Canadian e-commerce startup raised $2 million entirely over Zoom to offer try-before-you-buy fashion during coronavirus. The try-before-you-buy fashion startup has fast-tracked its launch process with Covid-19 closing physical clothes stores across North America.

Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for “Business Insider” in your Alexa’s flash briefing settings.

You can also subscribe to this newsletter here — just tick “10 Things in Tech You Need to Know.”



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Trump limits travel from Brazil to US for noncitizens due to COVID-19

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  • The White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said in a statement on Sunday that the US would temporarily restrict travel from Brazil, where COVID-19 cases are spiking.
  • The order applies to foreigners who were in the country within 14 days of trying to enter the US. It does not apply to US citizens, legal permanent residents, or their family members.
  • The order was set to go into effect on Thursday, May 28, but the White House revised that date to Tuesday, May 26.
  • The US has already restricted travel from China, Europe, and Iran, and it has extended the order to Brazil as the country now trails only the US in its number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump has ordered the US to temporarily restrict travel from Brazil, where COVID-19 cases are spiking, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said in a statement on Sunday.

The order suspends entry into the US for foreign nationals who “were physically present within the Federative Republic of Brazil during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.”

It does not apply to US citizens, legal permanent residents, or their family members. The order also excludes “the free flow of commerce” between the US and Brazil.

The order was set to go into effect on Thursday, May 28 at 11:59 p.m., but the White House revised that date to Tuesday, May 26, at 11:59 p.m. It was not immediately clear why the date has been changed.

In a Sunday statement, McEnany said the move by Trump would be enacted to “protect our country” as the number of coronavirus cases in Brazil continues to spike.

Brazil, which has more than 347,000 confirmed cases, surpassed Russia in recent days and now trails only the US in its total number of infections, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The Trump administration previously restricted travel from China in late January and Iran in February. In March, weeks after the virus had already taken hold in Europe, the restrictions were extended to the Schengen Area — which includes 26 European countries — as well as the UK and Ireland.

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Joe Biden makes first appearance outside in months for Memorial Day

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  • Former Vice President Joe Biden honored veterans on Memorial Day in an event which saw him appear outside his home for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the US in March. 
  • Biden and his wife, Jill, both wore black face masks as they laid down a white wreath on a memorial in a park near their home in Delaware. 
  • President Donald Trump has continued his refusal to wear a face mask during the virus outbreak, and has continued to sling insults at Biden, whose presidential campaign has been largely placed on pause due to COVID-19.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden made a public appearance outside of his home for the first time in over two months on Monday to observe Memorial Day at a veterans park in Delaware. 

Biden and his wife, Jill, both wore black face masks in their first outdoor appearances during the coronavirus pandemic. The former vice president has remained inside his Delaware home in the weeks since the virus forced his campaign to cancel a rally on March 10 in Cleveland, according to the Associated Press. 

Biden’s visit to the Delaware Memorial Bridge Veterans Memorial Park had been unannounced, according to The New York Times. He and his wife laid a white wreath at the memorial. 

Biden, 77, is part of the group of elderly people whom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say are at a higher risk for serious symptoms if COVID-19 is contracted. 

joe biden memorial day appearance

Joe Biden wears a face mask to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus as he and Jill Biden depart after placing a wreath at the Delaware Memorial Bridge Veterans Memorial Park on May 25, 2020, in New Castle, Del.

Patrick Semansky/AP


President Donald Trump, 73, has refused to wear a face mask during the virus outbreak, and has continued to sling insults at Biden, whose presidential campaign has been largely placed on pause due to COVID-19. On Monday, Trump gave a Memorial Day address without a mask at Fort McHenry in Baltimore. 

The death toll from the novel coronavirus in the US neared 100,000 on Monday, after Trump spent time golfing over the weekend. 

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