Norman Reedus: Hero is torn between two homes in 'Daryl Dixon'

Season 1 wraps up on AMC Sunday.

Norman Reedus' "Daryl Dixon" wraps its first season on Sunday. Photo courtesy of AMC
1 of 4 | Norman Reedus' "Daryl Dixon" wraps its first season on Sunday. Photo courtesy of AMC

NEW YORK, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Norman Reedus says his titular hero in the zombie-apocalypse drama, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, is left with a major decision at the end of the first season -- return to his best friend and close-knit community in the United States or stay with the new people who need him in France.

Reedus played Daryl -- a soft-spoken, loyal, brave, expert hunter and tracker from Georgia -- for 11 seasons on the American show, The Walking Dead, which ended its run nearly a year ago on AMC.


In the spinoff, the world-weary character gets kidnapped and brought to Europe by boat, then spends six episodes trying to get back to Carol (Melissa McBride) and their band of fellow survivors on the U.S. East Coast.

Along the way, he ends up helping nuns Isabelle (Clemence Poesy) and Sylvie (Laika Blanc-Francard) transport Laurent (Louis Pech Scigliuzzi) -- a young boy who might be the key to saving humanity -- to a secret location while dodging both the undead and a well-armed group of paramilitary villains.


"Home is where the heart is, I guess. His heart is just being pulled in France. He's starting to care for these people," Reedus recently told UPI at a New York Comic Con press conference ahead of Sunday's Season 1 finale of Daryl Dixon.

"He's kind of one of those very Billy Jack, Kung Fu types of characters in movies and TV shows I loved as a kid -- one guy on a solo journey," the actor said. "Even on the flagship show [of The Walking Dead], Daryl would take off and do his own thing and rescue people, whatever. But I think he's torn. That's the story we're telling."

Although he is growing closer to Isabelle and Laurent in France, Daryl always misses Carol and wants to be able to check in with her.

"They have that kind of bond where there are a lot of unspoken things that they are saying," Reedus said of the character, who will appear regularly in Season 2 after a cameo in Season 1.

"She can take care of herself, of course, but doing a show that you do for this many years, the bonds just keep getting stronger and stronger and stronger. He wants to go home, but he can't leave yet because he's just not the guy to turn the other cheek."


Reedus, who is also a producer on the show, said it was important that Daryl Dixon authentically reflect the French language, culture and history and not "do an American bastardized tourist version of France" with everyone walking poodles and wearing berets.

"We wanted the French people to feel like it's their show, as well," the actor said.

"There were French writers. There are little French jokes in there that French people will know. We fought to have a lot of the dialogue still in French. We fought for subtitles."

The spinoff also sees Daryl defending himself and others with a mace, instead of his signature crossbow.

"I just like it," Reedus said of the medieval-style club Daryl now wields.

"That crossbow weighs like 45 pounds. I love the crossbow, but when you strap it to your back and run across a field, that thing just bangs into your spine and everyone's like, 'How does he find the bolts [to fire with it]?'"

The show has secured an interim agreement with the Screen Actors Guild to film its second season, despite the strike that has kept most Hollywood film and TV actors from working or promoting their projects for the past three months.


Latest Headlines