‘The Walking Dead’s’ Norman Reedus on Andrew Lincoln, Daryl Dixon and Boondock Saints
“I’d never want Daryl to go out on the show…I think we all want to be the last man standing.”
Reedus spoke incredibly highly of Lincoln and how he’s the closest person to him within The Walking Dead camp.
Reedus said, ”He’s such a good guy, he’s got a great sense of humour, super smart and he’s like the quarterback of our team. There’s lots of ways he could be and he’s chosen to be a friend to everybody and really gets into character development so he can tell the most truthful story he can. He’s in a lot of conversations when we’re talking about storylines and talking about different characters in certain situations. He’s really a hands on quarterback, and an inspirational person to us all. Like a motivational speaker!”
But what about the rest of the cast? We’d heard Chandler Riggs say that both Reedus and Steven Yeun were “childlike” on set to work with, and were his closest friends, making him laugh at any opportunity. Reedus said that although they hang out on set, he sees Lincoln, Yeun and the departed John Bernthal in New York from time to time to hang out. “Steven’s come here a couple of times, watching the sport and also John Bernthal too.”
“Andy and I go to dinner, see movies and stuff. Steven and I go to restaurants out here and he’s got some family members in New York City. And then straight to Hooters!” Sadly, they don’t actually go to Hooters, what a shame.
But, moving on to fan favourite Daryl Dixon, what did Reedus have to say in light of last week’s The Walking Dead 3×13 “Arrow on the Doorpost”? We saw Daryl square up and flex his muscles against his opposite from the Woodbury Camp in the form of Caesar Martinez. Reedus was quickly on hand to discuss and explain the ideas behind that scene.
Reedus commented, “I just hate that fucker [Caesar Martinez]. I mean Jose [Pablo Cantillo] is such a cool guy, and he and I get on really well. The whole point of that was to show that we’re just normal people and we wouldn’t just kill each other in the morning, and that it adds more weight to Rick’s decision about Michonne. It’s not that I was pissed, Daryl’s a hot head it’s just sometimes you gotta tell him to shut up.
Reedus continued, “There’s so much death on this show, everyone’s fighting for their lives every second. Martinez isn’t the enemy, The Governor is, and we’re following Rick. Whatever those guys say is going to go down. The whole point was to show that these two guys probably wouldn’t have hated each other.”
The Walking Dead‘s 3×13 “Arrow on the Doorpost” was fantastically mirrored throughout showing the dilemma between the people of Woodbury and the Prison, and that Martinez would surely have been a friend of Daryl’s had it been under different circumstances. But with Daryl’s aggression slightly increasing as the season draws ever nearer to The Walking Dead season 3 finale, we can assume that Daryl will be getting his hands dirty. Reedus commented on how he’s tried to portray the reasons behind Daryl’s aggression and how he’s changed since his inception in the first season.
Reedus commented, “I’m trying to play a guy that not just fights but to show a reason why he fights and why he’s always had to fight. I’ve always said he fights because he’s always had to, and he’s always has his back up against the wall his whole life. He’s that type of fighter. He’s a defensive guy. He doesn’t plot out his actions or doesn’t think them through so much, he’s more of a “What did you say?” kind of guy. I just get in that mode, I listen to a lot of Motorhead and get irritable.”
Has any of Norman Reedus filtered into his portrayal of Daryl? We’ve seen so many antics from Reedus outside of work when publicising The Walking Dead, from photobombs to actual stink-bombs at conventions. What did Reedus have to say regarding bringing his own personality to the role of Daryl?
Reedus joked, “I’m just a dork.” before elaborating, “I just don’t tell you everything unless I meet you and I keep my secrets for as long as possible. I’m not overly trusting like everybody, and to a certain extent there’s a lot of me in Daryl and a lot of Daryl in me, but I’m not as hot headed as that, like how he freaks out. I laugh stuff off more than “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you!”
“He’s been faced with a whole bunch of situations he wasn’t prepared to face…and it’s the emotional things that are weighing on him a little bit.”
And it’s interesting to note that this trait of Reedus makes him come across as an exceptionally humble actor as he came from a difficult upbringing, and landing his dream role in The Walking Dead came in light of the success of Boondock Saints.
Reedus humbly said, “I didn’t grow up with money or privileges and I’m really lucky for where I’m at right now. With Boondock Saints it was all word of mouth, and I always felt like that movie was the people’s movie, our movie, and I’ve rolled into this dream job on The Walking Dead like that. This is ours, and it isn’t mine, and the joy I get from doing this character is a lot of people come up to me and say, “Oh I really like that character!” and I’ve put a lot of work into this character and I still am. It’s our character and it’s our role and it’s not just mine. There’s no real walls up.”
How exactly though, has Daryl evolved since his introduction in The Walking Dead ‘s first season? This season we’ve seen him unite with his scumbag of a brother, Merle, but Daryl is not the brother Merle once knew as Reedus explains.
“I think Daryl went into that camp originally with his brother, kill them and take all their shit, and then the brother went away and Daryl survived by himself. He had to reevaluate, but different questions starting popping up and got different answers. I think he’s starting to care about people and people rely on him, which are two things he never had before. He started to become his own person and a lot of ways became this man and in a weird way this is all helping him grow. He’s been faced with a whole bunch of situations he wasn’t prepared to face. Hunting, tracking and killing stuff like that he’s actually pretty good at, and it’s the emotional things are weighing on him a little bit.”
Daryl has exerted his importance by becoming Rick’s right hand man in battle. It’s rare that Rick will venture off without Daryl, as Daryl is terrifying with his newly improved crossbow. Daryl has taken on responsibility and risen to the challenge, whilst also catching the attention of Carol. Daryl has cemented himself firmly in the group as one of the leading characters, but they could never kill Daryl off, right?
Reedus quickly jumped, “I’d never want Daryl to go out on the show, what are you talking about?! I think we all want to be the last man standing. If he goes at some point I’d like to see him walking down a road, like Mad Max with a dog next to him and never see him again.”
“I kept asking everybody for a dog, and I’m still going to keep asking until they give me a dog. Every single week I’ll just show up with a bunch of dogs until someone falls in love with one of them! A new dog every day.”
Surely Daryl isn’t going to go in the upcoming The Walking Dead season 3 finale? We can’t bare the thought of the series without him, but giving him a dog would be pretty cool, to keep morale up in the camp is a good enough reason!
Reedus finished the interview by commenting on fans queries as well as his own to be included in Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels. We’ve seen reports that he offered to sleep with Kirkman just to get in, but sadly Kirkman said no.
Reedus said, “I asked Robert Kirkman hundreds of times, “put me in the book, put me in the book,” but I feel as though if I keep bothering him he’s just going to beat me up. I would love to be in the graphic novel as it would be awesome. He’s such a genius and created this entire world and to be part of that would be so cool.”