That Time Norman Reedus Thought He Was Getting The Walking Dead Death Call
It has to be nerve-racking to be an actor/actress on The Walking Dead and get a phone call from one of The Powers That Be. What if it’s the death call? That’s what Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) worried toward the end of last year, when Season 4 was wrapping up, and TWD comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman gave him a ring.
“And he said, ‘Hey, I really want to talk to you. Can you call me back?’” Norman recalled to Entertainment Weekly. “I was like, ‘Okay, I’m getting the call. I’m gonna die on the show.'"
Rioters, start your outrage engines!
Obviously that did no turn out to be the case. Daryl survived the Season 4 finale and is still stuck in that Terminus train car, along with 11 other people. Instead, Robert called to ask Norman to be part of a movie RK was producing with fellow TWD producer David Alpert. That movie turned out to be AIR, co-starring Djimon Hounsou, which was filmed during TWD’s off season, before Season 5 started shooting in May. EW recently shared a first look shot from the movie, which is coming out next year, and Norman talked about his character’s dark past.
It had to be a relief to realize Robert wasn’t calling to tick off fans with the death of Daryl Dixon, but Norman said it was also nice to already know RK ahead of time, and work with him on a second project. “He only deals with quality material and he and Dave Alpert are real sticklers for good stories and so forth, so I assumed it would be good. He sent me the script and I really liked it. It’s nice to know the people in your family before you get there so it definitely made it a more comfortable transition. It does give you a level of comfort knowing the producers before you start.”
It has to give the producers the same level of comfort to know the actors ahead of time. Maybe RK and Dave Alpert should call the rest of the TWD stars, one at a time, for each future movie. Andrew Lincoln, wait by the phone!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.