A Chat with Norman Reedus (“The Walking Dead”)

ALSO: Check out our Season Two preview, as well interviews with actor Jon Bernthal and executive producer Robert Kirkman.

Bullz-Eye: I know you won’t remember me, but we met fleetingly at the New York Comic Con, during the press roundtables.

Norman Reedus: Oh, right on. (Laughs) The craziness that is Comic-Con…

BE: Yeah, there’s no way you’d remember me in the middle of all that. But it was a good time nonetheless, so it’s good to talk to you again. And I’ve had a chance to check out the first episode of the new season…

NR: Oh, yeah? What’d you think?

BE: I think I should’ve gone straight on to the second episode.

NR: (Laughs) Awesome!

BE: So when you leapt into Season 2, how enthused were you to get back to work? It seems like it’d be a lot of fun to do.

NR: It’s a blast. I wanted to go a month early and just wait for everybody to show up. It’s such a fun job. It’s by far my favorite job I’ve ever done. The crew and the cast, everyone is so tight there. We’re all just one big family, for real. I just wanted to get back to it. I’ve never really had an acting experience that’s just so…fun. It’s so engaging. I’m really into it.

BE: Do you get used to the humidity down in Atlanta pretty quickly?

NR: You know, you kind of just suffer for the show. The heat and the surroundings are definitely a character on the show, so we’re out there surviving for our lives already. But, you know, I…I’m in Los Angeles right now, getting ready to go back to George to finish the season. But it started getting cold the last night we were there, and I shot ‘til about 4:30 in the morning and took an 8 AM flight to California, so I was exhausted. But it was freezing. It didn’t feel right. I prefer the heat.

BE: I think it was Steven (Yeun) who was telling the story about how he actually passed out his first day of filming.

NR: Yeah, he did. He had a long running scene, and he just sort of fainted. It was pretty crazy. Of course, we all teased him uncontrollably forever after that. (Laughs)

BE: So do you have to get into a Daryl mindset when you go back to work?

NR: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, ‘cause last season, it was all ‘fuck you, I hate you,’ and this season you sort of see Daryl form alliances with certain members you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Damaged people recognize other damaged people, so they have a kindred spirit going on. It’s not just so one-noted this season. He really kind of bounces all over the place, and it’s really interesting. It’s like he needs a hug, but if you tried to hug him, he’d stab you. He’s really fragile, like a little kid in a lot of ways. You see certain members of the group trying to tell him his worth, that he’s worth more than he thinks about himself, and you find a little bit about his back story, his family history, and you see how truly damaged this guy is. It’s interesting to play all those levels. It really makes for an interesting day of work.

BE: Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t call him a delicate flower or anything, but even in the first episode of Season 2, he feels like a slightly different Daryl than we saw last season.

NR: Yeah, but, you know, even last season, I tried to tear up between squirrel throws and whatnot, just to make him still be, like, he lost his big brother. Even assholes have big brothers. I tried to make him more than just an angry guy. It was, like, show some reasons why he’s so angry and damaged.

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