Norman Reedus is one of the most popular stars from AMC’s hit series “The Walking Dead.”
He plays the scrappy and resilient crossbow-wielding Daryl Dixon, a character created specifically for the series, that many fans have fallen in love with. (Fans are big on the mantra “If Daryl dies [gets killed off on the show] we riot.“
In a new GQ cover story, the actor shared he wasn’t happy as an actor early on in his career before finding a rewarding role on “The Walking Dead” series detailing the many issues that may deter an up-and-coming actor from carrying on in Hollywood.
“I was definitely becoming a little down on it, but I don’t know if I was going to give it up. But I wasn’t enjoying it as much, to be honest,” Reedus told GQ.
“I had been in a few films where I thought we were going in this direction and then, after the editing and the music and it’s put together, it was sort of going in a different direction I didn’t feel so connected to,” Reedus said.
The actor pointed out a few of the issues which deterred him from acting were based around a film’s advertising and criticism.
He said advertising on films may revolve around a big star at the moment even if they had one line in the movie.
There were a few films I had done that the advertising for the film or the promotions for the film ended up being a different animal than the film itself. So you have one character in the film that has one line, but he happens to be in a hit something somewhere, and the posters and the advertising and the publicity become about that. And I was kinda like: This isn’t really what I signed up for. Or actors I was working with, we weren’t on the same page. I wasn’t really in it for the fame or the money or anything like that.
Reedus also noted how the focus on films seemed to be less on the art of acting and more on the look itself.
“When you’re acting, you get criticised over your face and your body language and your voice and your haircut — all this weird s—,” he added. “And that got larger and larger and larger while the art itself sort of got smaller and smaller and smaller. And I wasn’t really satisfied, to be honest.”
It wasn’t until his role on “The Walking Dead” he felt like he was doing something really rewarding that touched a lot of fans.
Now in season 5, the actor says fans send him so much fan mail that production asked him to stop having it sent to the studio. In New York, he has a room full of items people have made or built for him.
“You know, sometimes you’ll get gifts that aren’t like crazy fan gifts, but they will say, ‘You know, your character on the show is a fighter, and I related to him in a time in my life when I needed to fight something and be strong.’ Sometimes gifts like that make me feel really good about what I’m doing,” says Reedus.
The actor often shares photos of fan tattoos, gifts, and behind-the-scenes set images from the AMC series on social media.
“It has nothing to do with interviews or the popularity of the show or anything like that; it has to do with there’s a certain part of me that I put into this character, and somehow they tune into whatever I’m feeling that the character’s feeling and relate it with their own lives,” he adds. That’s really a good feeling.”
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