'The Walking Dead': Norman Reedus breaks down that last heartbreaking scene between Daryl and Merle Dixon

Last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead featured one of the show’s most heartbreaking scenes ever as Daryl Dixon found the brother he had finally been reunited with — Merle — hunched over and eating human flesh as a zombie. Not only did Daryl find his big brother dead (or undead, as it were) but he then had to rekill him to put him out of his zombie misery. Now, the man who plays Daryl, Norman Reedus, reveals how he used the loss of his father to prep for the scene, what it all means for the future of his character, and how the cast said goodbye to the man behind Merle, Michael Rooker. He also says to get ready for one insane season finale on Sunday night.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me your reaction when you first read the episode or heard what was going down?
NORMAN REEDUS: I was bummed to see Rooker go. He’s such a strong character and such a good actor. He brought so much to the show so I was bummed to see him leave. I would have liked to have explored that relationship a bit more. And he’s always fun to play scenes with so I was bummed about that. I’m bummed every time someone leaves the show, to be honest.
EW: Merle and Daryl are so linked on this show, but you guys didn’t really work a whole lot together. You had the big hallucination episode in season 2, that one episode after you left Woodbury, and then a few big scenes in the last one, but not nearly as much as one would think. What was it like working with Rooker? I’ve seen him on set and the dude is like a spark plug.
REEDUS: He’s a Tasmanian devil, that guy. That’s Rooker. We have such a good rapport as friends and I think that translates to the screen because we just know each other really well and we get along really well and we’re similar in a lot of ways. It just helps. There’s a lot of understood brother stuff that happens that’s not really explained but you can tell. I know what my brother is going to do. I know what my brother thinks and it translates to other scenes when we refer back to each other. He’s nice to bounce with because we have this camaraderie.
EW: How did you prep emotionally for that final scene when you discover Merle as a walker and know you have to put your brother down? What did you draw on or use to get you to that place of just absolute personal devastation?
REEDUS: I listened to some songs that remind me of my dad to start off. My dad passed away a long time ago and it was a big emotional scene when that happened. I listened to a song that reminded me of my dad and sort of thought of that.
Source: insidetv.ew.com

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