THE WALKING DEAD Actor Norman Reedus On How Daryl Dixon Started Out And Has Since Evolved

THE WALKING DEAD Actor Norman Reedus On How Daryl Dixon Started Out And Has Since Evolved

Daryl has long been a fan favorite character on The Walking Dead despite not having existed in the comics. Here, Norman Reedus talks about what informs his performance and how it's evolved over the years.

While the Grimes family has always been the main focus of The Walking Dead comics, there have been many characters in the show throughout its nine year run who have been original introductions by AMC. The most popular of these is by far is Daryl Dixon.

Brother to Merle Dixon, who was a prominent member of the group early on in the show and was played by Guardians of the Galaxy's Michael Rooker, Daryl changed a lot after he lost his only family member and was forced to accept the group of survivors as a new sort of family to survive the apocalypse.

When initially joining the crew, Reedus said he wasn't felt welcomed by the others and that he was the outcast, which came out in his performance.

I came on in the third episode and that cast really knew each other. They had been doing press and they were all stupid-tight…in the beginning I didn’t quite know what I was going to do yet, I kind of had an idea of the Southern thing and I did that a little bit. The first scene I did was, ‘Merle, come down here, I got squirrels let’s stew them up,’ which is a crazy line, first off…when I turn around there is all this cast. There’s like 13 people who were just staring at me. And I immediately got a chip on my shoulder. I was like, ‘They hate me.’ And I realized, that’s who this guy [Daryl] is. ‘You hate me? I hate you, too.’ And that’s just how I started. Everything kind of came out of the side of my face; if I’m going to look at you directly I’m probably going to stab you.

In the years since, many things have happened that have helped Daryl's character develop into a more well-rounded person, with the exit of main players Rick Grimes and Maggie Rhee leaving room for him to step into a leadership role. 

Daryl started talking straight on. Everything he says, he means. You can believe him. You can trust him. And he’s not going to lie to you. And he’s not trying to impress you. And he’ll see through your bullshit. And this show, as it kept going on, I’ve seen so many people come and go now and right now on the show those ghosts of all those guys are with me. Every fricking scene, it’s true.

What do you think about Reedus' comments? Do you still keep up with The Walking Dead? Let us know below!

The Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic survival series featuring a large ensemble cast of survivors of the zombie apocalypse, trying to stay alive from the near-constant threat of attacks from the mindless zombies, colloqially known as walkers. However, with the fall of humanity these survivors also face conflict from other living survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, often leading to hostile conflict between the human communities.

The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sunday nights at 9.
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