At the time, we thought maybe Norman was shooting a magazine cover with Vera Farmiga of Bates Motel, Lizzy Caplan of Masters of Sex, Liev Schreiber of Ray Donovan, Julianna Margulies of The Good Wife, and Jon Hamm of Mad Men. But it looks like the TV drama stars were gathered for one of the L.A. Times’s Emmy Round Table discussions.
If you head over here, you can watch the actors discuss various subjects, including any frustrations they’ve had about their characters and the decisions they’ve made. Have they ever wished they could change something their alter egos have done?
Jon said he doesn’t really agree with most of Don Draper’s decisions (thank heaven) and Vera also had little to relate to when it comes to Norma Bates (also thank heaven) but Lizzy said she didn’t really think it was their job to judge their characters’ actions.
Norman shared his story of helping to shape the character of Daryl Dixon from Season 1 into Season 5, which is now filming. He’s talked about this before, but he explained how Daryl — who is not in the TWD comics — was originally written to have a drug issue.
"One of the earlier scripts was he takes his brother's drugs, and he said a bunch of racist stuff,” Norman explained to the group. “I worked with them and changed it to, I said I'd rather be an Al-Anon member than an Alcoholics Anonymous member. I'd rather grow up in that world and hate it. They allowed me to change other things, where I found it more interesting. But I found that with television — I'd never really been on TV before — you get this opportunity to sort of drop these little seeds behind you as you do other things, and sometimes those seeds turn into trees and storylines and all these other things. So you kind of can indirectly can mold where you're headed."
You could see that change as leading Daryl into Season 4's big moonshine cabin scenes in "Still," when he confronts his past — wasting his life just following Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) and his "tweaker" friend. You can also see it in how Daryl stared down Bob when Bob selfishly chose to only take booze from the veterinary college instead of medicine.
Daryl did start Season 1 as an angry guy shooting off one-liners, but that was mostly in response to Merle being abandoned and presumed dead. Merle said his baby brother was the sweeter one, and Daryl was able to bring out his best side as a leader at the prison. There was a point in Season 4 where he could've gone in more of a Merle direction — with Joe's Marauders — but that's not Daryl, and that's not the person he wanted to be.
Are you glad that Norman pushed for the character of Daryl to go in a more positive direction?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.