Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Lynn Collins Agreed To Return To The Walking Dead Under One Condition

Contains spoilers for "The Walking Dead" season 11, episode 4

AMC's "The Walking Dead" likes to revisit some of the great characters from seasons past, even when the show is determinedly nearing its endgame like a walker that just spotted a live human. The fourth episode of the show's final season, "Rendition," delivers a massive surprise when Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) finds out that his former lover and original owner of Dog the dog, Leah Shaw (Lynn Collins), is now part of the nefarious Reapers — a cult of guerrilla-style survivors led by a fanatic mercenary known as Pope (Ritchie Coster).

Though Leah has only featured on the show in a flashback episode in Season 10, said episode made it clear that she's a big deal. In fact, before her disappearance, she and Daryl spent plenty of time together, moving from initial distrust to eventual companionship and outright romance. Their story was tragically cut short when Leah disappeared, and their reunion isn't much easier, thanks to the Reapers' cruel ways ... even if some fans think the show goes too far in trying to establish Pope's creepiness. Interestingly, there were also some surprising dealings going on behind the scenes, because Collins had one pretty particular vision about the role.

Lynn Collins wanted to keep her natural hair color

Upon her return, Leah rocks a significantly different hairdo than the younger version you met in the Season 10 episode "Find Me." In an interview with Insider (via Yahoo! News), Collins revealed that this was very much her idea, and that her gray "Rendition" hair is actually her natural hair color. 

"I started coloring my hair when I was like 25," Collins said. "I was prematurely gray. I don't really want to go into why I had all that stress. When COVID happened, I was so happy because I didn't have to dye my hair every two weeks."

Collins decided to extend this happiness, so she convinced showrunner Angela Kang that she'd wear a wig for Leah's flashback scenes in Season 10, and return with her natural grey hair in Season 11. "When Angela and I were talking about the arc of this character, I was like, 'I really don't want to go back to brunette if we can help it,'" the actress revealed, and noted that it wasn't exactly a hard sell, because Kang wholeheartedly agreed with her hair game plan. "She was like, 'Yes, I love this idea.' So we decided to go with it."

Incidentally, hair woes were only part of Collins' troubles regarding Leah's return. She's been aware of the character's arc for quite some time, which means she's had to really bite her tongue back when fans were seeing Leah as nothing but Daryl's love interest. "I knew where the character was going and I wanted to be commenting, 'Y'all have no idea. It's not what you think. This doesn't go where you think it goes,'" she told Insider. "So it's just been a game of 'How can I keep my mouth shut?'"