Norman Reedus Speaks Of His Affection For The Walking Dead In Japan

Norman Reedus
In January 2013, TVGroove had a nice chat with the one and only Norman Reedus from the megahit series "The Walking Dead." Truth be told, the ladies were a bit disappointed by the shades he had on which hid his gorgeous eyes. He said his eyes were fatigued by the tight schedule, but they probably got tired from all the love beams shooting out of gawking Japanese girls as they made heart shapes with their hands at him (read below).

However, throughout the interview, Norman was friendly and cheerful, nothing like the Daryl Dixon he plays on the show. His unpretentious disposition, by the way, only made us want to gaze into his eyes even more...

TVGroove: What do you think of your Japanese fans?

Norman Reedus:
They’re fun. I mean, all the fans everywhere have been very supportive of the show and we work really hard on the show so it’s nice to get that feedback. They’re cute, Japanese fans, mostly girls, I have to say. They go like this. (makes a heart with his hands; a gesture a lot of girls do in Japan when posing for a photograph or for a good-looking guy like Norman)

TVG: Where have you been in Japan so far? What have you done?

Just bouncing around, saw a few friends yesterday. I want to go to Kiddyland (a toy store) tomorrow. I heard in Harajuku you don’t have the bands anymore. Years ago, I saw the [many many bands lining the streets of Harajuku], and the guys with the Elvis hair doing this (rock’n’roll dance moves) and stuff, it was awesome. Maybe I’ll go back to Harajuku and reminisce.

TVG: Why do you think the show "The Walking Dead" is so popular?

Because of this handsome devil right here (points at picture of Andrew Lincoln next to him). You know, it’s not really a monster show or a zombie show, it’s more about people that would never [normally] hang out together having to rely on each other for survival.

Everyone’s infected so time is precious and the clock is ticking and everything you say is important and everything you do is important. These are your feet on the ground and what are you going to do with your life, how are you going to spend your time on this planet? I think there’s a lot of things about this show that resonate with people. There’s also the element that we all have an expiration date. It basically comes down to time and sincerity with people.

TVG: How did you feel at first being on a show about zombies?

There’s something called pilot season in Los Angeles so I flew from New York to LA and that’s where all the new television shows are presented. There was a buddy-buddy cop show, lawyer shows, doctor shows, roommate shows, and then there was "The Walking Dead" and this amazing script.

I fought to get in on it but it had Gale Anne Hurd -- amazing producer -- Gregory Nicotero, Robert Kirkman -- who’s a whole world -- and Frank Darabont. It was sort of a no-brainer.

TVG: How long does it take to shoot one episode? What are some of the hardships in shooting the show, if any?


It takes about a week and a half to shoot one episode unless it’s a mid-season finale or a finale which takes a little bit longer. Some of the hardships to shoot... I mean, we shoot in Georgia where it’s 120 degrees outside and we’re actually in the woods running and getting scraped -- I had stitches across my forehead.

All of us get pretty banged up on the show but it’s a part of the show, the woods of Georgia are a character of the show. I don’t think we can make the same show if we shot it like at Burbank or something.

TVG: Which episodes are really memorable for you?

Well, "Chupacabra (Season 2, Episode 5)" was a big Daryl - Merle episode so it was nice to work with Merle again after not seeing him for so long. The one where Sophia comes out of the barn; that was a big one. Putting down Dale was a big one. Oh my god, there’s just so many.

TVG: How’s the morale of the remaining cast when someone is "killed off" from the show?

I mean it’s a real drag when someone dies on the show because we’re such a tight-knit family. We all really like each other, the crew’s really tight, the writers, producers, everybody’s really tight. It’s a nice family we have and when somebody dies we have a death dinner with lots of tears and lots of hugs, it’s awful. But we try to go out in a blaze of glory.

If someone’s gonna go out, we sort of rally around that person and that episode to make it as good as possible. We do that for all of the episodes but it’s sort of a special moment when someone goes and we hate that.

TVG: What are some of the things you try to keep in mind when playing Daryl?

I try to play him with as much of a damaged interior as possible. There’s reasons why people fight; some people fight to protect something, some people fight to act tough, and some people fight because they have to. They grew up having to fight. I’m trying to play him as much like that as possible.

You have to imagine what it’s like for Daryl to have a brother like Merle and grow up [always being told to] shut up and just be the younger brother. So once Merle’s out of the picture, he sort of becomes this man that he was never going to become unless this all happened.

I always want to play him like he’s not a racist, he doesn’t say racist things, he doesn’t take drugs. The way he grew up, he was embarrassed that he was a Dixon, in some ways. There were earlier drafts that had me taking drugs and saying things I didn’t want to say and I spoke with the writers and they’re very generous and we worked something out and I didn’t have to do that.

I’ve put a lot into him. Like if you do a movie, you go from here to here (gestures connecting two points in one swerve) but if you do a television show, you do this character and you drop these little seeds into the ground and sometimes they turn into trees and flowers and then comes storylines.

For example, when Carol leans over and kisses Darly on the forehead, he goes like this (flinches away). That wasn’t in the script but now there’s a storyline that he was an abused child. I put a lot into him, the writers put a lot into him. We make a plan but we can always change things and manipulate things with television. It’s a really cool medium.

TVG: What should the viewers look forward to in the coming episodes?

I can’t tell you what happens, obviously. But, there’s a lot of turmoil within the group, a lot of people second guess or distrust other people that they trusted before, and pretty much a full-blown war kicks off.

TVG: Can you say hi to all your fans watching TVGroove?

Hi, I’m Norman, I play Daryl Dixon on "The Walking Dead." Thank you to the people over at TVGroove, the people that are watching the show, we really appreciate it, we work really hard, so thank you for watching the show.


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