For those of you yet to discover the post-apocolyptic drama The Walking Dead, it’s a seat-squirming US horror series based on the comic books, first published in 2003, that revolve around the lives of a small group of survivors as they struggle to live in a zombie-dominated world. Luckily for UAE fans of the show, the second season airs every Wednesday on FX at 9.30pm – the same time as in the rest of the world. Here, Norman Reedus tells us about the show and his character, Atlanta survivor Daryl Dixon.
Do you have to get fit to run away from zombies at the beginning of each summer?
I did a film in between, but you lose weight and get fit just being in Atlanta because it’s 100 billion degrees here. Atlanta is definitely a character in the show. I think it helps constantly sweating, because you’re constantly uncomfortable.
Was Daryl always designed to be a regular on the show?
That’s the bad thing about being on a zombie show. You never know when you’re going to get bit, but I knew if I did a good job I’d be here for a while. It’s my favourite job I’ve ever been on. So I hope it lasts a long time.
What makes it your favourite?
I like the crew and the cast. I had fears going into television that it might become boring to me and I always like to be challenged and push myself. With this, I try to make the best of every single day and I try to find the nuances that make Daryl a unique guy and not just a hero or antihero.
Daryl has a particular way of offing zombies, is that something that carries on and does he branch out and try new ways?
I have a couple of cool kills. The double axe is one. He’s sort of like MacGyver when it comes to murder. He’ll kill you with whatever is around.
Are you going to keep killing zombies with the arrow?
Oh yeah. I’m not going to let that go. I’m going to try and hold on to that as much as possible. The thing with the crossbow is that it’s quiet so you don’t attract other zombies. The only bad part is that I’ve got to get my arrow back after they’ve been killed.
Were you a fan of comic books or horror movies growing up?
I love horror movies. My favourite movie growing up was The Omen. I actually wanted to be that little kid and in many ways I was. I used to have a school teacher that I used to stare at until she got nervous. I’m a big fan of horror films and have worked with some great directors. It’s nice to be horrible.
Why do you think people embrace the violence as opposed to turning away from it?
It’s violence against zombies and I don’t think anybody wants to cuddle a zombie. The show is not just about us versus zombies, it’s about how people interact with others in a crisis, who can you trust, who’s going to do you over, what similarities you find in other people as your characters work together. There are levels of trust that happens in this small circle of people that probably wouldn’t happen in the real world. Certain secrets are divulged, you’re in such a frantic state that things come out that you don’t mean to let come out.
What do you think about the success of the first season?
The show has universal topics in it. Maybe that’s it. It’s a different kind of show with monsters but none of our monsters have a six pack, eyeliner or are sexy. It’s more of a disaster show. Common elements in human interaction are there. This could happen anywhere.
The Walking Dead airs every Wednesday at 9.30pm on FX.