"Sometimes it's good to throw all your cards on the table, to know what you both want" … Norman Reedus.
Norman Reedus Actor, single, 44
I don't think I ever thought at a young age that the whole world revolved around me because of the way my mom brought me up: I don't feel that my younger sister and I ever threw tantrums. My mom is a free-thinking woman and pushed us to be free thinking, too, and not to be limited in our ideas of other people in the world. She still made us feel special, but she also showed us the value of giving your time to other people.
Mom has been a positive role model my whole life. She did a lot of charity work when I was younger, working with the Special Olympics and different organisations. She's always been very giving and spent a lot of her time helping people. She's been a teacher in the Bronx, in Harlem, and now she runs an orphanage in Kurdistan. My father travelled a lot when I was young, but he passed away a long time ago. So we spent most of our time with Mom. She travelled a lot, too, and we went with her – Japan, Bali, Thailand, Spain. The first trip, when I was 10, we went to Bonaire, off the coast of Venezuela. We spent a lot of time there with the local people, never staying in hotels and vacationing as such. It was always about getting out and meeting people and hearing their stories. I had a full passport when I was a child.
I was pretty good at dealing with change. When I moved to new schools I became friends with the biggest guy, then slowly I'd find the ones I really wanted to hang out with. So I never got too close with other kids right off the bat. I picked people carefully. I do the same thing as an adult. Travelling a lot as a kid also meant I'd spend a lot of time alone. So I'd think a lot. I'm a quiet person – I spend time observing, not speaking.
We wouldn't hide things from each other in my household growing up – we were probably too open, to be honest. I also grew up with a lot of women around me and I learnt to respect them from an early age and not to take them for granted. There were never any chauvinist ideas or thoughts in my house. That may be why I am attracted to very strong women with strong personalities and strong ideas of who they are, who they want to be, and who they hang out with.
I believe men and woman are different, to a certain extent. Men think with their heads and women think with their hearts a little more. But there are more similarities than differences, more than we pay attention to.
It was definitely in my favour to be emotionally articulate when I started dating girls. It can be a shock to some people when you start a relationship if you're super open about things, but sometimes it's good to throw all your cards on the table. It's good to know what the other person wants and what you want. In a partner I look for honesty, a sense of humour, and a desire to have fun and explore and see new things. I'm not a jealous guy, so I don't like jealousy in a partner.
I was never married to Helena [Christensen, his former partner, with whom he has a son, Mingus, 13]. She's an amazing woman, incredibly intelligent and fun. She knows what she wants and she goes after it. It's a myth that the life of a supermodel is one of unadulterated luxury. She works harder than most people I know and is an amazing photographer. She's a successful, powerful, intelligent woman, and a really great mom and role model for Mingus, who adores her. We're really good friends.
Mingus is musically inclined, a good student and very interested in learning things. He's played chess all his life, too. I take him to Washington Square Park in New York, and he plays chess with all the hustlers and tourists, and he's been able to make them sweat from a really young age. But he's kind, too, and he'll explain when he beats someone what mistake they made 12 moves back. He's an awesome kid. And, like me growing up, he doesn't throw tantrums, either. I think my mom may have started something there.
Norman Reedus stars in FX channel's The Walking Dead. Source: smh.com.au