Norman Reedus: “It feels very bittersweet to leave this show”

Eli Ade / AMC

By María Estévez, MWN 

‘The Walking Dead,’ an American post-apocalyptic horror television series, will conclude next year with the 11th season. However, it will not end for Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon. The 52-years-old is planning to do a spin-off with his character that has been well received by fans and critics.

Metro chatted with Reedus to learn more.

This is the last season of ‘The Walking Dead.’ But you will star in a new spin-off of the franchise. How do you feel about saying goodbye to the show, while knowing you will keep the character alive?

It feels very bittersweet to leave this show. I’ve been on it for more than 10 years. I made really good friends, as a lot of the crew members have been here since day one. I made a life here in Georgia, and I don’t know where the other spin-off is going to be. I live in New York but I only go there when I’m on vacation. All I know about the spin-off is that it will not look like this show and it won’t just be like an episode of The Walking Dead characters. It will be different. Different look, different settings… Our show is about a lot of good guys versus bad guys who fight for territory. That is not the case in the spin-off.

I know that starting a new show is a lot of work, new writers and new everything, it is not that this one ends and the other starts, it would be a different vibe, a different team. With TWD, for example, when we get new characters they have to respect the people who created the show and adapt to the originals. And we would not be here without them. So, it feels weird to start a new show. I try not to think about it while I’m shooting the last season as I know that I will cry like a baby. 

Your character has been in the show from the beginning. Are you the flame keeper of the team?

Yes of course. I feel the obligation to be the keeper of the flame. It is not me alone, a lot of the crew members have been here from day one. I think 80 percent of the people working here have been here from the very beginning. We treat this show as an Indie film and if we didn’t do it like that it would have become very corny.

I feel the responsibility to remember those people and I give advice only if they are so full of themselves that I need to knock them down. I can’t stand it when people don’t show up with the right attitude. That drives me insane. But it doesn’t happen very often. When you are in the show for a couple of years you get it. The characters who want a lot of attention don’t last very long.

Do you remember any crazy moments that you have lived while promoting the show?

I remember being in Spain and we walked on stage. I felt like being on Woodstock. There were people on trees swinging from side to side. And in Japan, the police pushed a young woman to the floor and I asked them what they were doing. It’s been a crazy ride.

Considering that you are an expert on zombies, what would you say to people who are scared of them?

I remember when I did the pilot in California. I didn’t like zombies then, but I started reading about them. I don’t know if I’m an expert but it is a little part of the show. In the beginning, it was a big deal but I’m glad we morphed away from it.

 Is ‘The Walking Dead’ the last big show from TV now that streaming companies are taking over?

If you watch this show from the beginning, you’ll see that it was one thing and it turned out to be another. For a certain time, you waited to see who was going to die this week and it was a game. But then you realized it was about these characters and you follow people who have to work together, although they don’t like each other, to get through this. And they develop real relationships. When you have a show on the air for so long you get to see in small ways the essence of the characters and that is what the real world is about. I think this season is like the first one, because you have to reinvent the show to keep it fresh. Now I feel the series is like a western.

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