'Walking Dead' Asks, Who Is Worth Fighting For?
Darryl Dixon is a man of few words, but ask actor Norman Reedus to talk about his Walking Dead character, and the conversation becomes a verbose one of deep psychological introspection. So it's rather apt that season two of AMC's runaway smash hit is taking a cue from its star by digging into the characters and finding out what makes everyone tick.
And according to Norman, your favorites might not stay that way for long.
That was just one of the revelations I gleamed from my conversation with Norman, who laid out the themes of season two, explained why Darryl continues to work with the group and teased the danger of Merle's return!
Insider.com: First, I have to talk about last week's zombie autopsy. How disgusting was that in person?
Norman Reedus: [laughs] Oh, it was definitely gross – they had these tubes inside the body blowing hot air into our faces to replicate what would happen if we really cut a body open. It was exceptionally disgusting.
Insider: That said, the entire cast feels that season two is way more emotionally resonant than season one. Would you agree?
Norman: 100 percent. There are, of course, more disgusting moments in terms of what we do with the zombies, but we get really deep and dark. People start to freak out and alliances form, putting some of our characters at odds with one another in a new way. You see really good people do bad things and really bad people step up and be heroes. It becomes super intense and characters go to places you wouldn’t have expected.
Insider.com: It's interesting because Darryl really is the only one in the group who could probably survive on his own. Will we begin to understand why he stays with everyone – if he even does?
Norman: Darryl is with the group right now because he needs to stay alive, but you're right -- he's not emotionally attached. He's the kind of guy who needs a hug, but if you gave him one, he'd stab you [laughs]. The thing with Darryl is, he's not a city boy – he lived in the woods. This is kind of his element. But he's trying to figure out who he is and the group really helps figure out his worth in this world.
Insider: If Darryl is growing, what do you think would happen if he reunited with Merle?
Norman: I think that it'll be joyous, but there's so much conflict there. With a big brother like Merle, you can imagine that Darryl was slapped around a lot and really put down. This year we'll find out some backstory on his family and it's not good. So to see other characters try to explain that he doesn't have to be just this racist, red neck, psycho freak is really fascinating. They're helping him discover his worth, which only makes Darryl freak out even more [laughs]. If he returns, based on what happened in season one, Merle will want to get rid of some people in the group, but they're the ones that Darryl would fight for. There's a great story to tell there.
Insider: What season two story are you excited to tell?
Norman: There are certain episodes this season where every single character takes a big right or left turn. A lot of season two is about the alliances, which begs the question: Who is worth fighting for? You're going to see every character make personal choices and because the writing is so good, you’ll actually feel them go through those motions. Its not just one scene – every single choice is thought out and well-acted. The drama is really at the forefront this season, the zombies are just icing on the cake.
Walking Dead airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on AMC.