The identity of Negan’s victim on “The Walking Dead” is one of the most closely guarded secrets in television, and after seven years on the show, Steven Yeun — aka Glenn — has trained himself to not spill the beans.
Variety caught up with the Korean-American actor at the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) 25th Anniversary Gala on Saturday in Los Angeles, the night before the Season 7 “Walking Dead” premiere.
And while he didn’t disclose which of the core characters dies at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Yeun got emotional talking about the episode.
“It’s always tough to see people exit the show. As an actor you come to terms that things might be ending for somebody. You go over all the things you experienced together and what a great time it was for everyone,” he explained, carefully speaking in second person. “So that way, it’s beautifully terrible. It’s bittersweet.”
Because CAPE’s mission is to promote visibility, some fear that if Yeun’s character is killed by Negan (which happens in the comics), it will be a major loss to the Asian Hollywood community. However, Yeun remains optimistic.
“I think we should be very excited about what’s to come, the future of Asian-Americans in this industry,” he explained. “As the next generation grows, the skill, talent, passion gets larger and better. You look at some of these kids on these shows and they’re incredible. I wouldn’t worry. I think whatever happens [to my character], there’s a lot of life out there for a lot of Asian-Americans.”
When pressured one more time about who dies, Yeun joked, “I’m going to plead the fifth.”
He’s looking forward to reuniting with his castmates Sunday for the special “Talking Dead” aftershow. “It’s going to be a lot of things: joy, sadness, remembering great things,” Yeun said reflectively. “It’s going to be a wonderful time.”
“The Walking Dead” premieres Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.