Still sighing with relief that Norman Reedus’s Daryl survived The Walking Dead Season 5 finale, and thus you can abandon your rioting plans? So is the actor, who tells Yahoo TV he not only doesn’t want to see Daryl die, ever, but he’s already got an alternative idea, should Daryl ever need to splinter off from Rick’s group.
The actor, who has three big-screen releases ( Sky, Triple 9, and Air, a sci-fi thriller produced by Robert Kirkman) on the horizon this year, also talks about how he thinks we’re making too much fuss about Daryl’s new friendship with Aaron, how we should be afraid (very afraid) of the Wolves, the status of Andy Lincoln’s beard (which would be a great band name), and what’s on his Daryl wish list for Season 6 (hint: anger).
It was huge for Daryl this season that he forged this friendship with Aaron, someone he didn’t know very long, very well, but who he trusted. Why do you think the two of them bonded so quickly?
You know, how good of friends are they? You know what I mean? I mean, what makes people say they’re such buddy-buddies? They really haven’t done any buddy-buddy stuff. It’s just going on a run. I think Daryl’s open to the possibility of friendship. I don’t know if he’s full-blown friendly yet. I think he trusts Aaron. I think he believes that Aaron’s a good guy, he means well, and he could be trusted. People asked me, “Why would Daryl sacrifice his life for Aaron?” [when they were surrounded by walkers in the car], and I’m like, “What makes you think Daryl’s going to die?” Daryl just thought… he was going to take the heavy load and go first. He thought both of their chances would be better if he was fighting and Aaron running for the fence. I don’t necessarily think he was laying down his life for this dude, and I don’t necessarily think that they’re best friends yet.
I think you just hit on it… Daryl trusts Aaron much more easily than he usually trusts people, and that’s a big thing for him.
Yeah. We’re walking through the woods and he’s telling me, “You’re such an outsider. We’re so similar, we’re both outsiders, for different reasons.” I never really looked at him in the face when he’s saying all that stuff. He’s just starts saying it to the back of my head. I’m still tracking, and I’m just kind of hearing him out. Everyone’s past is individual, and everytime someone says, “Oh my God, my story’s the worst story ever,” you finally go, “Yeah, well, you don’t know… you don’t know my story.” Everyone’s story is most important to themselves. When he’s saying all that, I don’t know that Daryl goes, “Oh, we’re definitely on an even playing field now because people are angry because you’re a gay man.” I don’t think that’s the same thing as stabbing your brother in the face, you know what I mean? But I do feel like Aaron’s actions speak louder than words, and everything he says has been honest and everything he’s said has come true, so I do trust him, and I do like him. I’ll trust him until I don’t trust him again. He definitely has the I-trust-you pass right now.
Daryl, Morgan, and Aaron are the only ones who encountered the Wolves and know some of, at least, what they’re capable of. Is Daryl thinking at this point that they might be coming at Alexandria? Does he have that vibe about them?
I said in another interview, it’s a bunch of Daryls gone south. That would be in context of the rest of the things that I was saying, that there’s a difference between the Wolves and the Terminus bad guys, because the Terminus bad guys kind of hid behind false promises and had a cowardly way of being bad guys. They carry you to salvation and then they trick you. The Wolves, I don’t think they’re tricking anyone. I think they’re straight up coming at you, “We are bad guys, let everyone know we are bad guys.” Also, they’re on the move like Daryl. They’re not hiding behind the structure, they’re out in the woods tracking people to kill them and take them over. They’re hunters, which is what I meant by a bunch of Daryls.
Related: ‘The Walking Dead’ Finale: Andrew Lincoln Talks Morgan, Rick’s Chance for Romance, and Season 6
It makes them even scarier than say Gareth, because you’re thinking, “If this is what they’re telling you they’ll do and showing you they’ll do, what are they actually going to do?”
I think they’re way scarier than Gareth! I think that somebody who hides and just stabs you in the back, there’s a weakness to them. You can probably crack those people much earlier. I can see Gareth crying at the end of a gun, “Please don’t kill me. I didn’t mean to eat all your friends.” The Wolves, they kind of have another feeling… they’re just going to go shoot me… and they’re not going to cry if using a pistol.
Speaking of deaths, your chain of death in the finale was just awesome.
Thank you. I was very excited to see that chain whipping thingy, because you kind of do it, and then you leave it up to Victor [Scalise] of the special effects team. They tell you how cool it’s going to look and you’re like, mmmm… the chain doesn’t really go to the actors’ faces, it’s about a foot short just in case I accidentally whip them in the face. You just kind of picture a certain Indiana Jones thing going on. I was very excited. I should send him a bottle of champagne or something.
I have to ask for an update on Andy Lincoln’s beard: Is it still in your fridge?
It’s still in the fridge in a Ziploc bag. It’s still there, and it’s not going anywhere.
Has Andy asked for it back?
I’m not giving him his beard back. He knows better than that.
Some fans tweeted us questions they wanted us to ask you. Melissa at MeTV says we know Daryl can’t die (because… rioting), but if there were circumstances in this world that could bring Daryl down, what would they be?
You know, I don’t want to see him die. If Daryl would ever leave the show, I would want him to just walk off into the distance and have like a little dog or a little wolf puppy who just starts following him up over a hill. Some people would be like, “Whatever happened to that guy?” It would be like The Legend of Billy Jack or something. Like, whatever happened to that guy? But I don’t even want that to happen. I really like Daryl.
That sounds like a good spinoff though.
Yeah. Whatever Happened to That Dude?
@DamonCarter10 wants to know what you think Daryl’s relationship with Morgan will be.
I imagine Rick told Daryl about Morgan. That was such a thing early on in the show, with the walkie-talkies back and forth. I’m sure he described Morgan, explained who this guy was. Thinking about the show, you see things happening, but there’d be a lot of downtime. If you think about it, there’s a lot of things you don’t see us do. Rick and Daryl are really close, so I imagine he would have told him about Morgan. I think as soon as Morgan shows him that map, and there was that sort of quizzical look on his face like, “I’m lost”… it’s obvious he’s not lost. He’s looking for this dude. Then you see that Daryl looks back at Morgan, I think that he knows exactly who he is.
Oh, you think Daryl knew who Morgan was as soon as he saw the map?
That map, and how it circled back from the first half of the season was clever.
Yeah. That’s Scott Gimple. He’s a genius, and he’s so good at tying things together. It was like Lennie [James] said on Talking Dead: “There’s a whole bunch of stuff he’s doing and he doesn’t know what they mean, but he knows they mean something.”
Which we should always assume, that everything on the show means something, or will at some point.
Everything. Absolutely everything.
@facingbackwards tweeted, “Saw a good deal of speculation that @wwwbigbaldhead was at risk bc his ‘character arc was complete.’ Disagree?”
[That’s] way wrong. How do you say his character arc is complete? What is that? Where would that end? If you’re going to take that stance, you can say that about everyone on the show… I’m not in the comic books, so it’s not like there’s a beginning, middle, and an end.
What do you want to see happen for Daryl? What is something that you’re dying for them to do with him?
I want him to get mean again. I want him to get super angry at something, which I’m pretty sure, it will happen eventually.
You guys head back to Georgia soon for Season 6. Are there big vacation plans in your future before you start next season?
I’m just going to throw my cat in the car and drive back to Georgia. That’s my vacation, to drive back to Georgia. It’s pretty fun. He sits on my lap, and we just hit the highway.
The Walking Dead returns this fall on AMC.