AMC's wildly popular "The Walking Dead" series has kicked off its third season with a violent bang, wowing audiences and critics alike. IGN had a chance to speak with Norman Reedus, who plays fan-favorite good ol' boy Daryl Dixon, about the show's current season as well as his starring role in an upcoming "Walking Dead" video game.
While other characters on the show have been showing signs of hardening up in light of their living conditions, Reedus sees Daryl as moving in the opposite direction as the group leans on him more in Shane's absence. "These people relying on him for their safety and trusting him is a big deal to Daryl. For the first time in his life he feels like he’s a member of something, that he’s important to other people. It’s interesting, because a lot of people are getting harder -- and Daryl’s still hard, but he’s sort of opening up as a person, which is interesting. And he’s the only character really doing that."
Arguably one of the biggest stories leading up to the third season has been the return of Daryl's big brother Merle (Michael Rooker). Expect anything but a tearful reunion between the two, as their sibling bond is tested with Merle's reintroduction to Daryl's new 'family.' Reedus balks at revealing details, however. "The way that [reunion between Merle and Daryl] initially happens in Season 3 is -- it’s huge, I can’t even really hint at what that is. But it’s not what you expect."
"Yeah, my backstory with Merle is a huge part of Season 3. You find out reasons why there is even more conflict than you assumed between them," the actor continues. "But there’s also the heartache and the situations you’ve gone through, and they bond you as a duo. So there’s a bond there that’s thicker than glue, and it’s hard to break. But there’s also a mold that goes with that that’s being broken, if that makes sense. You’re under the thumb of your big brother who’s a racist and takes drugs -- he’s just an all-around a**hole -- and as a kid you grow up being embarrassed by that."
While Telltale Games is nearing release of the final chapter of its acclaimed "Walking Dead" game, Activision is developing a first person shooter with Reedus' Daryl Dixon poised to star. "I’m not fully versed in [games], but I have a 12-year-old who is, so this video game better be f**king awesome, or I’m not the cool dad anymore," Reedus said. "But yeah, it’s cool. I’ve seen some of the artwork for it. They’re letting me be involved in some of the storylines as well, which is awesome."
Not that you need a reminder, but be sure to check out AMC's "The Walking Dead" on Sunday -- and be sure to join the discussion with the episode review on TV Rage shortly after!