Daryl and his brother Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) had such a real dynamic we could absolutely believe they grew up together. Daryl and his other “brother,” Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), have come a long way since their tense first encounter in Season 1, and now they are best friends for life. Daryl and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) bonded during the Season 2 search for Sophia and their bond has only stretched and strengthened with time. Daryl and Michonne (Danai Gurira) connected through their mutual hatred for The Governor (David Morrissey), but also shared some light moments. And Daryl most recently formed a sweet, unexpected friendship with Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) in Season 4.
Which character is Norman’s favorite for Daryl to interact with?
Just before Season 5 started filming, Norman joined fellow TV drama stars as part of an L.A. Times discussion, and he was asked about on-screen partners. After asking the question, the L.A. Times teased, “Norman, I feel like if you don't say Carol people will stone you."
Norman answered, “I was going to say Carol, be cool, be cool. My character changed a lot when they put us together. And it’s because of her, [Melissa]’s such a good actress, and she gets me, you know, I feel free to be vulnerable in front of her because she gets me, like she’s my buddy, and you can read everything on her face, she’s just a window.”
Beautiful. He didn’t have to say Carol — it’s not like Norman would be afraid to say, “Actually I was going to say Rick/Beth/Etc.” He chose her because the Daryl/Carol connection comes across as authentic and has evolved naturally over several seasons. Maybe in the future he’ll say Beth, Rick, Michonne, or even Eugene (those two seem like they’d have classic convos), but at this point it’s Carol.
Are you surprised to hear Norman’s favorite screen partner is Melissa/Carol, or did you figure as much?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.