Norman Reedus was not originally cast in a major role on the first season of The Walking Dead. Andrew Lincoln is the star of the zombie apocalypse series. The main characters were always supposed to be Rick, Carl, Glenn, and Maggie. Most other important characters were in the comic book series as well.
Norman Reedus played a supporting role at best, as Daryl Dixon the biker survivalist, in the beginning. Daryl Dixon was not in The Walking Dead comics at all. Strangely that has proven to be an advantage for writers at times. He is a kind of wild card for plot deviations because his future has not been foretold in Robert Kirkman’s books.
The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus worked his way into the hearts of fans who demanded to see more Daryl Dixon. Reedus won his spot as perhaps the most beloved character on The Walking Dead. CBR refers to Dixon as the “fan-favorite character.”
Norman Reedus is very much the fan-favorite. Wet Paint explains the Daryl Dixon phenomenon further.
“Most Walking Dead fans have a favorite actor from the show, and that person is definitely Norman Reedus. There’s just something so loveable about Daryl Dixon and we can’t help but swoon when that wispy hair shows up on screen.”
So, what is so great about Norman Reedus? Well for starters he is just hot, both as himself and in character as The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon.
Norman Reedus is ruggedly handsome in a way that is just totally rare in 21st century Hollywood. If this was a numbered list of why Daryl Dixon is a fan-favorite, hot would be one through three at least.
Daryl Dixon as portrayed by Norman Reedus isn’t just decorative, though. On The Walking Dead, Daryl is one of the biggest reasons the group is still alive. Daryl Dixon is a powerful protector with ample wilderness survival skills, and he’s fantastic as a tracker, bowman, hunter, survivalist, and strategist.
Norman Reedus’ character Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead keeps his mind on the business at hand. While Rick, Glenn, and even young Carl have had love interests, with all the drama, distraction and overall risk that brings, Daryl is not inclined to risk romantic entanglements. Even when life got kind of comfortable in Alexandria, Dixon stayed vigilant.
Norman Reedus portrays Daryl Dixon as humble, kind, fair and also as a strong silent type. Daryl doesn’t talk about his feelings much on The Walking Dead or go on self-pity binges. Dixon doesn’t really talk very much at all, but what he says is clear and meaningful.
Daryl Dixon cares deeply about others. Norman Reedus portrays Daryl in such a way that it is obvious Dixon would do anything for Carol, Rick, or Maggie. He’s not self-centered or out for himself. He’s always thinking about what is best for the group.
Norman Reedus started with his own fan base, though it was small, compared to Daryl Dixon’s fan base now. Reedus had a career before The Walking Dead and co-starred in the popular movie Boondock Saints.
Norman Reedus portrays Daryl Dixon in a way most people can relate to. Dixon is an outsider, who never quite fit into society. The socially awkward Daryl grew up hard. The Irish Examiner quotes Norman Reedus about his character on The Walking Dead.
“[Daryl Dixon of The Walking Dead] was the type of kid who was always pushed up against the wall. People fight for different reasons. You fight for revenge, you fight to protect somebody. He was the guy who had his back against the wall. He was always fighting — he wanted to fight all the time. When push comes to shove he’s the guy who comes out swinging. He protects the people he loves — it’s what he needs to do. He doesn’t shy away from it.”
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead doesn’t shy away from much. Daryl does do whatever needs to be done without any hesitation. While most of the characters have gone through various moral dilemmas, Daryl keeps his ethical questions to himself and doesn’t let them interfere with his work to protect and provide for the group.
Norman Reedus as The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon is the one survivalist, including the zombie survivalists, who consistently watches for tips and ideas. He is a role model and also a symbol of rugged masculinity. He’s a strong guy who keeps himself together.
Daryl Dixon keeps his focus on necessities, provisions, and defense. Norman Reedus’ character on The Walking Dead doesn’t let himself get caught up in anyone’s drama, politics, or arguments about leadership any more than is absolutely necessary to protect the group.
Norman Reedus is a popular guy, but like Daryl Dixon, Norman doesn’t let his importance go to his head. Reedus told The Irish Examiner the secret to keeping The Walking Dead stars both humble and sane is a tent in the woods of Georgia.
“From the beginning, we were just working to keep it real. It could have gone south so easily — but we all believed in what we were doing. We shoot out deep in the woods [in Georgia], in our own little bubble. When we leave the tent [the success of the series] becomes real. But you can’t wait to go back into the tent. Nobody has a big head.”
Norman Reedus and the other The Walking Dead stars have a pleasant life in Georgia. Norman Reedus lives next door to Jeffery Dean Morgan, who portrays the villainous Negan. Jeffrey and Norman go motorcycle riding together nearly every day and they even drive bikes to work. It is a rural sort of area with dirt roads, plenty of wooded lands, and mom and pop style country stores.
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Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead comes across as likable and down to earth in interviews. He has another show called Ride With Norman Reedus in which he shares his motorcycle adventures. Fans feel they get to know Norman when they watch Ride With Norman Reedus. He seems very personable, both as himself and as Daryl Dixon.
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead is the fan-favorite on what is said to be the most-watched show on television, but he doesn’t let that go to his head.
[Featured Image by Mike Windle/Getty Images]