Whiskey Cavalier: How Lauren Cohan used her bit parts as stepping stones to bigger things
From playing bit parts to becoming major protagonists in some of the most watched shows on television, Lauren Cohan has come a long way
Whenever we hear the name Lauren Cohan, the first image that comes to mind is the bright-eyed, southern belle by the name of Maggie Rhee, one of the main protagonists of AMC's hit series 'The Walking Dead'. So well etched is her role as the headstrong, fearless lead in TWD that is it hard shaking off her character from the real person. Cohan is all set to hit the big time with her role in upcoming ABC drama series 'Whiskey Cavalier', set to premiere on February 27.
Cohan's journey to the center of the entertainment industry was paved by smaller roles in TV series and movies, and it is a testament to her talents that she made it big more than a decade in the acting business.
Lauren began her career as Sister Beatrice in the controversial 2005 film,'Casanova', which gained notoriety because of a scene depicting oral sex, though today one wonders what the fuss was all about.
But as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day, and slowly getting recognized for bit parts on TV for her roles in 'The Bold and the Beautiful', and 'Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj', Cohan slowly began her march into the limelight.
Continuing her career on TV, Cohan went on to land a supporting role in WB's dark fantasy hit, 'Supernatural' as Bela Talbot, a thief who makes a living stealing occult and paranormal objects and selling them to unsuspecting, wealthy clients. To fit her role as an avid and skilled thief, Cohan underwent rigorous weapons training along with kickboxing (which came in handy when she joined the crew of TWD).
But Bela was never meant to be a full-time character in the series -- she was introduced to draw in more teen male viewers (a tried and tested trick) -- along with providing the plot with another antagonist to get in the way of our supernatural saviors, Sam and Dean.
After realizing that Bela was becoming "too good" for the show, the showrunners did away with her in stereotypical Hollywood fashion -- by killing her off.
Although all was not lost for this upcoming actress -- bit parts were her thing for a while, and she was again cast in the 2008 Comedy series, 'Valentine', as Joanna Clay.
It seemed to be her pattern until she was cast yet again for a supporting role in 'Float', a dramedy which revolves around a 55-year-old owner of an ice cream shop and his wife, and how they adjust to their uncomfortable new surroundings when they move in with their employees .
It seemed for a while that bit roles would be Cohan's forte even with her debut in 'Casanova', but 2010 onward saw an increase in Cohan's onscreen appearances, with her playing the protagonist in 'The Walking Dead'.
So successful was Cohan in her performance that she reprised the role for 115 episodes, spanning almost seven years.
But with most actors who tend to grow into their role, Cohan needed to be apart from it as well, and such was the case when Cohan's contract with AMC was up.
Being a veteran of the hit zombie series for its run on TV, Cohan stated that she would make a cameo for the upcoming season, but will not pursue it full time due to paycheck parity reasons.
For a show that's as famous as 'Game of Thrones' for killing off fan favorites, Cohan outlasted most of the original characters, and was thereby seeking remuneration along the same lines as that of her co-stars Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus.
AMC did offer her a long term contract and a slight pay-raise, but Lauren (who's still looking to explore her character), felt she was too "comfortable" in her role, and promptly signed on for 'Whiskey Cavalier'.
With Cohan's past acting experience, and also her knack to play extremes, it's no wonder that her career would culminate in the much-anticipated dramedy, 'Whiskey Cavalier', which centers around a heartbroken detective, Will Chase aka Whiskey Cavalier (Scott Fohley) , who, when not fighting crime, is battling his own demons.
Cohan takes up the role of Francesca "Frankie" Trowbridge aka Fiery Tribune, who plays protagonist alongside the sensitive Will Chase, and from the outrageous trailer, we can say that the good folks at ABC did not disappoint. Take look for yourself!
Now that Cohan's career is picking up speed, we can expect to see much more of her on the big screens.