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The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan On How Mile 22 Fight Training Differs From Zombie Apocalypse Prep

"The zombies don't have weapons."

Fight scenes and gun training are no strangers to Lauren Cohan. After several years of surviving a zombie apocalypse on The Walking Dead, chances are she would be very effective, should the end of the world come to pass.

All of the zombie fighting in the world couldn't prepare Lauren Cohan for her new role in Mile 22, though. Starring alongside Mark Wahlberg and WWE superstar Ronda Rousey, the actress faced a very different kind of a challenge for the film.

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However, when it comes to her new movie, Mile 22, the training was very different. "It's funny because people have been asking a lot about the difference between zombies and people in this movie," she tells GameSpot while promoting the film. "The zombies don't have weapons."

That led to a very different regimen for Cohan, who not only studied gun use but also martial arts training as part of her preparation. Given that her character Alice is a member of a paramilitary team tasked with extracting a foreign intelligence asset from a hostile nation, it's easy to see why an intense stunt and fight training regimen was necessary.

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One scene, in particular, took a lot of work from Cohan and the rest of the cast and crew. As the team is under siege in a massive apartment complex, a mix of hand-to-hand combat and firefighting lights up the hallways and apartments, as Alice gets into a particularly brutal battle with a character played by Sala Baker (Deadpool 2).

"I learned how to do that whole thing," the actress says proudly. "I learned some good holds and Jiu-Jitsu moves to show how much those two really grapple, Alice and Sala's character."

As anyone who's seen The Walking Dead could assume, there's not a lot of Jiu-Jitsu sparring going on between zombies and the living. Thankfully, the movie's fight choreographer Ryan Watson prepared Cohan and her fellow cast members for the task. "[We] just drilled that so that it could look messy and haphazard on the day but so that safety wise, we really knew each point we were going to hit in the fight scene," she says.

Don't expect to see any of her new moves coming into play on The Walking Dead, though. As previously reported, Cohan is departing the show this season, as is star Andrew Lincoln. Of course, the major difference is Cohan is open to returning to the series in the future, meaning chances are her character Maggie will survive in the end.

Mile 22 is in theaters on August 17.

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Chris E. Hayner

Chris E. Hayner is an entertainment editor at GameSpot. Prior to his work at GameSpot, he contributed to a number of outlets including The Hollywood Report, IGN, Mashable, CBS Interactive, Tribune Media, and Nerdist. Beyond writing about TV, movies, and theme parks, Chris co-hosts and produces GameSpot's wrestling podcast Wrestle Buddies with Mat Elfring. Chris loves all movies, but especially Jaws and Paddington 2.

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