What fan of The Walking Dead doesn’t love Norman Reedus? His ever-brilliant performance has ensured that Daryl Dixon, a character who could have fallen flat due to not having any comic book history beforehand, is widely regarded as one of the best parts of the hit AMC show. It’s weird to think, then, that Reedus was originally encouraged to avoid the part.
While chatting on Jimmy Kimmel Live to celebrate The Walking Dead‘s return to TV with its 100th episode, the actor dropped the news that “everybody” he knew told him to turn down the role of Daryl initially. “It was like one of those scripts you get and everybody’s like ‘don’t do it,'” he explained. When asked by Kimmel if “everybody” included his agents, Reedus let out a guilty laugh and said: “They’re backstage so I’m not going to say that much.”
On why he eventually decided to ignore the advice of everyone around him and take the part, Reedus revealed that he was drawn to the very human story underneath all the genre elements.
“Yeah, it was a stretch, I mean it was out there ya know, but I saw a guy looking for his family, that was the real story, and it paid off.”
Though everyone who told Norman Reedus not to take part in The Walking Dead seems stupid in hindsight, it would have been sound advice at the time. After all, back in 2010, the comic book TV boom had yet to really take off, so a show based on the Image Comics series was definitely a real gamble.
Likewise, few would have thought that a property such as this could achieve as much widespread popularity and acclaim as TWD‘s accrued over the years. For anyone unfamiliar with the source material, they probably would have initially imagined The Walking Dead being something a lot less character driven and mature. Oh how wrong they were.
Source: The Jimmy Kimmel Show