Norman Reedus Arrives As “The New Kid”
As Daryl Dixon, it’s hard to argue that Norman Reedus isn’t vital to the world of The Walking Dead. However, that wasn’t always the case. At first, Daryl was written as a racist redneck, like his brother Merle Dixon.
Despite his current status, the star of The Boondock Saints arrived on set and felt like an outsider in the first season. The first person he ever spoke to was Greg Nicotero, but the executive producer was actually wearing zombie make-up!
Norman Reedus didn’t even know who Greg was at the time.
“Cause He Was A Zombie…”
“The cast had already been doing press junkets together and I was super nervous and everybody was all buddy-buddy and stuff,” said Norman Reedus. “And Greg comes up and goes, ‘Hey, man. How’s it going? How’s your first day?’ I’m like, who the f—is that? ‘Cause he was a zombie…”
“And then he’s like, ‘Hey, it’s Greg!’ And I’m like ‘Oh!’ I didn’t recognize him at all. And then I had to come out and throw the squirrels the first day, so there’s this string of squirrels and I was like, ‘Do you guys want like an underhanded throw? Or should I kind of throw the squirrels like this?’”
Norman Reedus felt like the “new kid in school.”
The Evolution Of Daryl Dixon
Luckily, the actor just used this insecurity in his performance. At the time, he was also meeting the group on television. Rick Grimes had also just left his brother chained to a pole on top of a building.
This helped Norman Reedus discover who Daryl Dixon really was. He went on to say that the character has a chip on his shoulder, which has remained true for the majority of the eight seasons.
Now, however, he always means what he says and he doesn’t feel insecure around his family and his new brother, Rick Grimes. When the series returns, it’s likely we’ll see Daryl go rogue again, but only to protect his family.
Do you like Daryl Dixon more now or in the beginning?