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[TV INTERVIEW] The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus (Daryl) & Steven Yuen (Glen) Part 1

If you’re an Aussie fan of The Walking Dead, then you will be on the verge of nirvana because two big things are about to happen in your world.

Not only are we only a few weeks away from Season 7 hitting the TV screens, answering the big question who exactly did Negan kill in that finale, but you have also Season Six becoming available on DVD/Blu-Ray/On-Demand on 21st September through eOne Entertainment.

We at HEAVY have some very special things planned for you in the lead up to the Season 6 home entertainment release, starting with this interview with Norman Reedus (the rough and tough Daryl Dixon) and Steven Yeun (Glenn Rhee).

With a hectic schedule away from the set of The Walking Dead, it seems only fitting that the best place to grab an interview with two of the show’s biggest stars is at a convention. Luckily that also meant Reedus and Yeun were in great moods after being presented to their fans and only too happy to talk.

So first of all, what are convention fans like when they run into stars from their favourite show? “They just freak out,” laughs Yuen. “They ask what’s going to happen next. I mean, they’re just [really] into the show. Like, I’m into the show. Sometimes I’ll go to the set, and I’ll watch things that I’m not in being filmed, ’cause I’m just so excited to watch them do it.”

Both men are also in unison when asked what makes the show so damn popular. “It comes down to the writing. It starts with what’s on the page, I think.” says Yuen. “Yeah I think it’s the writing,” nods Reedus. “I think it’s the writing and commitment to the stories that we’re telling. Nobody on the show gives less than 110 percent, ever. Ever.” Yeun adds, “And that goes to crew. That goes to cast. That goes to post.”

Staying on the top of the writing of the show, Reedus admits he doesn’t know how the creative team behind The Walking Dead do it so well. “You know, I’ve directed music videos, short films, I’ve edited them… it’s nothing like this show, though. This is such a juggernaut of — there are so many people that I can’t figure out how they do the dialogue so well, you know what I mean? But as far as my character and storyline, Scott’s always been collaborative. It’s always been a team.”

“There’s some times when I’m like, ‘No, I don’t get that. What does that mean?’, and he’s like, ‘No, no, this doesn’t mean anything, it’s just –‘ And I go, ‘Oh, oh, that’s so good!’ The talks we have at the beginning of the year especially, sort of the midpoint, really do help shape what we’re doing. I mean, Daryl, especially, is not a character in the books. And he was this little bit of this enigma. Jumping into it, I think he’s always been one of the most challenging characters because he’s such a guarded character. So how much do we show of him, and show off who he really is? And who he really is has been changing the whole time, too. It’s been exciting that as he’s been showing more of himself, that we’ve been able to show those changes involved.”

Touching on how deep Daryl is as a character brings the topic around to the fact that while the writers of the show have introduced a number of love interests for him along the way, he has never seemed to act on it. Does Reedus feel that fans or the show’s writers put pressure on for something to happen?

“The writers wouldn’t be pressuring.  They would just pull the trigger,” laughs Yuen. “Fan-wise you watch these two groups battle each other, like the Bethels and the Carols,” explains Reedus. “But the amount of fan art that I get off me and Rick making out is… it’s like, ‘what is this?’, you know? Like, we should do a show, a proper art show of the two of us in the bathtub together – I mean, it’s insane. But, the thing is, are they looking for me to have a committed relationship with these people, just to bone them? Like, what am I doing? And the truth is, I don’t know that Daryl is ready to do any of that.”

“And, you know, it’s almost the same as, ‘Are you ever gonna cut your hair on the show?’  Why the hell would I cut my hair? ‘Are you ever gonna take a bath?’ Well, I’m just gonna get dirty again. You know what I’m saying? They go to war, and sometimes I feel bad for whoever. Because what’ll happen is those girls that – that other __ in the Daryl whatever’s – will get, sometimes, bashed.  And I’m like, “That’s bullshit.  She doesn’t deserve that. I remember when Carol got real badass – I saw this one, and it was like, ‘She doesn’t even need Daryl anymore.  She can take care of herself.  Daryl’s just a big man-child.’ These people go nuts. It could go on and on and on. But do I feel pressured? Nope.”

Yuen laughs and adds, “And I’d say, the characters on all — I mean, this is a guy who’s pretty damn guarded, and the fact that he now has family – he really does have a family with these people. He’s on a journey.”

Reedus nods and says, “It might not be the most obvious timeline to other people in their life, but Daryl has had a pretty wild life, pretty weird life.”

READ Part Two of our interview with Norman and Steven.

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Dave Griffiths

Dave has worked as a music & film journalist for over 20 years now. Aside from Heavy he does radio and various podcasts as well. He is the proud owner of Metal Cat.
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