FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

“Daryl Dixon’s arm was supposed to be cut off!”

By: Jun. 02, 2024
FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage
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Norman Reedus : Internationally renowned for his role as Daryl, a key character in the series "The Walking Dead" (hereafter TWD). His other notable works include the movie "The Boondock Saints", among others. He visited Japan for the Osaka Comic Con 2024 held from May 3rd for three days. "Osaka Comic Con" is a pop culture festival that provides opportunities for communication with celebrities and exhibits props used in movies. Here, we bring you the highlights of the talk show that he participated in during the event


[Osaka Comic Con Features]

01 Feature: 9 Celebrities Gathered at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Opening Ceremony

02 Interview : [Osaka Comic Con 2024 Ambassador] Takumi Saitoh

03 Feature: Back to the Future 4!? [Doc. vs. Biff] Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

04 Feature: Marvel’s Loki and Sylvie in Japan! [Tom H. vs. Sophia M.] Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

05 Feature: The Walking Dead, Norman R. Appears Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

06 Feature: 11 Celebrities Gathered at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Grand Finale


FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage
Norman Reedus

Must-read for fans! [Scroll down for an uncut more detailed report]

“Konnichiwa (Hello) !’ Thanks for having me. Ohayo gozaimasu (Good morning) !" Norman Reedus greeted the audience with his own camera, snapping pictures of the crowd. Amid the enthusiastic cries of "Norman!" he responded playfully with several "Hello!" and warmed the audience with his "I love you!" to which he replied, "I love you too!"

He then said, "I just learned this," making a finger heart. "Is that right? I’m not sure if it really looks like a heart, but there you go!” he smiled.

Taking a seat and the Q&A session began.

Q. What do you think is the biggest reason behind the popularity of TWD?

Norman : "I think the show became really popular because those individual type people would have never been together if there weren’t apocalypses. And you have to learn to get along, put the differences aside and fight together in order to survive.

My character always tells the truth. He wasn’t about him. He was about what needed to be done and you could rely on him. He didn't seem like somebody you could rely on right after that. He’s like somebody that might beat you up.

FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

Daryl was originally written as a character that was a racist, and supposed to be the same as Merle (Daryl’s brother). I asked the writers not to have him like that because I grew up in a household like that, and I was ashamed of it. 

And I knew Michael Rooker (aka Merle) was leaving the show so once he left, it sort of gave Daryl an opportunity to stand in his own shoes and become the person that he really wanted to be," he said, smiling as the applause erupted.

Q. What is the most important thing for you when portraying Daryl Dixon?

Norman : “I think it's a continual thing and it grows. When I first started the show, I wasn't sure how I was going to play that character.

I think it was episode three, I hadn't met the cast yet. Sarah (aka Lori), Andy (aka Rick) and some of the cast had been working for a year doing promotion. So there’s already a tight group of people 

In the first scene, I was super nervous. I'm kind of facing away from the cast, and I turned around and all the actors are looking at me. And I sort of took it like ‘You don't like me? I don't like you!’ There’s a chip on my shoulder and I spent the first two or three seasons kind of talking out of the side of my face. 

As the seasons progressed, I slowly turned and faced you. Before if I was going to look at you, I was gonna fight you. But as the group started to trust him, he sort of found a sense of family there. He slowly looked you in the eyes.

I'm playing the character now in Paris on the spin off, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and the second season with Carol. What I’m doing now is trying to take the actors that I worked with, like Hershel, Glenn or Rick. When I come across a problem, I think as Daryl ‘What would Hershel or Rick have done here?’ So I'm trying to take their characters how they’ve influenced Daryl, and get smart about my decisions.

FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

What’s having me do is go from an insecure boy to a man, and I'm growing as I'm doing it. And there're decisions now happening on the show where Daryl season 1 would have messed it up. But now I'm smarter and more mature.” He explained with gestures and enthusiasm.

Q. Steven said that since Glenn was a character from the original comic, he wasn't too shocked about his death scene. But since Daryl is an original character, do you ever worry about when he might die?

Norman : “Yeah! But in the very beginning, they were killing off characters every weekend so I think all of us would get a script and run through to see if we lived.

I talk to Steven all a lot. Actually he's one of my best friends from the show. There're certain characters knew they were gonna go, like Shane and Glenn. Even Rick, they were gonna cut his hand off. 

They also asked to cut my hand off and I was like “cool!” And they made an arm which they originally gave to the character of Aaron because AMC wouldn't let them.

The show now, the spinoff is called “Daryl Dixon” so I don't think they're gonna kill me up. But who knows.” He then crossed his fingers.

Q. Is it true that "The Boondock Saints " will come out?

Norman : "Yeah, it’s true. We’re making a part 3!"

The audience erupted in applause and cheers.

Norman : “That movie was interesting because it made so much money but it was all through word of mouth.

FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

There was nobody would distribute this movie but now finally we're doing a part 3 but in a large scale. We have the same producers do John Wick.

I’ve read the early version of a version of the script and it's crazy! I like the first movie better than the second one. It has the same sort of heart as the first one.” He expressed high expectations.

Q. Are there any openings for extras to play walkers (zombies) in TWD? We'd love to be killed by Norman.

Norman : “Yeah, there's sort of a ‘Zombie School’ but I don't know if you want to be a walker though. You're in makeup for three hours, wear these contact lenses and you can't see. It's a lot of work. I give a lot of respect to the people that play the walkers.

On the spin off, all the walkers are dancers so they bend in these weird crazy ways which is brand new to the show. You don't want to do it, trust me,” he emphasizing it.

Q. Is a Motorcycle Tour with Norman and Fans Possible?

Norman : “Yeah, I kinda have a TV show like that called ‘Ride with Norman Reedus.’ We’ve done 6 seasons and had Keanu Reeves and whole bunch of actors. Actually we did an episode where we went from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji. Let’s do one in Japan!”

Q. “What's the difference between what you can do in a TV series and what you can do in a movie?” asked by Takumi.

Norman : “It's very unique to be on a television show for this long. The television audiences are sort of different than movie audiences.

FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

They watch you from their own living room every week and become a part of your life. They talk about what's going to happen next week. It’s a continual thing and there's a tighter bond with television.

In a movie, watching a story unfold and then it's over. I'd only done really movies up until I got TWD. But while I was filming the TV show in France, I did a couple of movies;

I did ‘Ballerina’, the John Wick’s spin off. 'The Bikeriders' with Tom Hardy. It was nice to be on a movie set but it’s different.

In the television as an actor, you think of the long game. You think of planting these little seeds and they turn into a forest behind you. 

In a movie, you have to make a decision right now based on the character of the backstory that you come up with. There are similarities but with TV, I try to think of the long game.”

To everyone here, Norman is a part of their lives. Please come back to Japan again!

FEATURE: THE WALKING DEAD's Norman Reedus Appears at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

Norman : “I’ve always loved Japan. So thank you very much. Arigato gozaimashita (Thank you very much). He greeted, mixing in some Japanese.

Continuing, he said, "I gotta take your picture.” He snapped photos in every direction of the audience.“Super cool,” he said, clearly pleased.

“I was just getting started. I wish I could stay longer.” He then left the stage reluctantly.

One of the charms of Comic-Con is hearing the latest announcements directly from the actors themselves. With “The Boondock Saints Ⅲ,” “Ballerina,” “The Bikeriders,” and “Daryl Dixon,” there's so much to look forward to from Norman.

GREAT NEWS! 

Tokyo Comic Con 2024’s schedule is now announced for December 6th to December 8th. For those who missed this event, keep an eye out.

[Osaka Comic Con Features]

01 Feature: 9 Celebrities Gathered at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Opening Ceremony

02 Interview : [Osaka Comic Con 2024 Ambassador] Takumi Saitoh

03 Feature: Back to the Future 4!? [Doc. vs. Biff] Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

04 Feature: Marvel’s Loki and Sylvie in Japan! [Tom H. vs. Sophia M.] Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

05 Feature: The Walking Dead, Norman R. Appears Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

06 Feature: 11 Celebrities Gathered at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Grand Finale


[Uncut more detailed report]

“Konnichiwa (Hello) !’ Thanks for having me. Ohayo gozaimasu (Good morning) !" Norman Reedus greeted the audience with his own camera, snapping pictures of the crowd. Amid the enthusiastic cries of "Norman!" he responded playfully with several "Hello!" and warmed the audience with his "I love you!" to which he replied, "I love you too!"

He then said, "I just learned this," making a finger heart. "Is that right? I’m not sure if it really looks like a heart, but there you go!” he smiled.

Taking a seat for the Q&A session, he resumed taking photos of the audience. As a question was being read aloud, he also captured the one of the hosts, Takumi Saitoh who is a famous Japanese actor with his camera. "It’s an honor," Takumi said, smiling shyly.

Q. What do you think is the biggest reason behind the popularity of TWD?

Norman : "I think the show became really popular because those cast and individual type people would have never been together if there weren’t apocalypses. And you have to learn to get along, put the differences aside and fight together in order to survive.

My character always tells the truth. He wasn't showy. He wasn’t about him. He was about what needed to be done and you could rely on him. He didn't seem like somebody you could rely on right after that. He’s like somebody that might steel your stuff or beat you up.

Daryl was originally written as a character that was a racist and a thief, and supposed to be the same as Merle (Daryl’s brother). I asked the writers not to have him like that because I grew up in a household like that, and I was ashamed of it. 

And I knew Michael Rooker (aka Merle) was leaving the show so once he left, as the season progressed, it sort of gave Daryl an opportunity to stand in his own shoes, fight for the things that he really wanted to fight for, and become the person that he really wanted to be," he said, smiling as the applause erupted.

Q. What is the most important thing for you when portraying Daryl Dixon?

Norman : “I think it's a continual thing and it grows. When I first started the show, I wasn't sure how I was going to play that character.

I think it was episode three when Rick tells me that they handcuffed my brother to the roof, I hadn't met the cast yet. Some of the cast had been working for a year doing promotion. There was Jon (aka Shane), Sarah (aka Lori), and Andy (aka Rick) had been traveling around. So there’s already a tight group of people 

In the first scene, I was super nervous to be honest. I'm kind of facing away from the cast, and I turned around and all the 15 actors are looking at me. And I sort of took it like ‘You don't like me? I don't like you!’ There’s a chip on my shoulder and I spent the first two or three seasons kind of talking out of the side of my face. 

As the seasons progressed, I slowly turned and faced you. But I had to earn that body language. Before if I was going to look at you, I was gonna fight you. But as the group started to trust him and include on him, he sort of found a sense of family there. He slowly squared up to you and looked you in the eyes. I feel like that was the first progression of things I have learned while playing the character.

I'm playing the character now in Paris on the spin off, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and the second season with Carol. What I’m doing now is trying to take the actors that I worked with that influence Daryl, like Hershel, Glenn or Rick. When I come across a problem, I think as Daryl ‘What would Hershel or Rick have done here?’ So I'm trying to take their characters how they’ve influenced Daryl, and get smart about my decisions.

What’s having me do is go from an insecure boy to a man, and I'm growing as I'm doing it. And there're decisions now happening on the show where Daryl season 1 would have messed it up. But now I'm smarter and more mature.” He explained with gestures and enthusiasm.

Q. Steven said that since Glenn was a character from the original comic, he wasn't too shocked about his death scene. But since Daryl is an original character, do you ever worry about when he might die?

Norman : “Yeah! But in the very beginning, they were killing off characters every weekend so I think all of us would get a script and run through to see if we lived.

I love Steven. I talk to Steven all a lot. Actually he's one of my best friends from the show. There're certain characters knew they were gonna go, like Shane and Glenn. Even Rick, they were gonna cut his hand off. 

They also asked to cut my hand off and I was like “cool!” And they made an arm which they originally gave to the character of Aaron because AMC wouldn't let them cut my hand off.

The show now, the spinoff is called “Daryl Dixon” so I don't think they're gonna kill me up. That would be weird but who knows.” He then crossed his fingers.

Q. Is it true that "The Boondock Saints " will come out?

Norman : "Yeah, it’s true. We’re making a part 3!"

The audience erupted in applause and cheers.

Norman : “That movie was interesting because we shot that for 7 million dollars and it made so much money but it was all through word of mouth.

There was nobody would distribute this movie because it was very similar to those two characters. But now finally we're doing a part 3 but in a large scale. We have really good producers on this, the same producers do John Wick.

I’ve read the early version of a version of the script and it's crazy! It feels like the first one. I like the first movie better than the second one. It has the same sort of heart as the first one.” He expressed high expectations.

Q. Are there any openings for extras to play walkers (zombies) in TWD? We'd love to be killed by Norman.

Norman : “Yeah, there's sort of a ‘Zombie School’ but I don't know if you want to be a walker though. You're in makeup for three hours, wear these contact lenses and you can't see. It's a lot of work. I give a lot of respect to the people that play the walkers on the show.

On the spin off in France, all the walkers are dancers so they bend in these weird crazy ways which is brand new to the show. First time I saw it, I was like, ‘Wow!’ It's a whole another ball game. You don't want to do it, trust me,” he emphasizing it.

Q. Is a Motorcycle Tour with Norman and Fans Possible?

Norman : “Yeah, I kinda have a TV show like that. It’s called ‘Ride with Norman Reedus.’ We’ve done 6 seasons and had Dave Chappelle, Keanu Reeves, Peter Fonda… whole bunch of actors. Actually we did an episode in Japan where we went from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji. Let’s do one in Japan! That would be great.”

Q. “What's the difference between what you can do in a TV series and what you can do in a movie?” asked by Takumi.

Norman : “It's very unique to be on a television show for this long. The television audiences are sort of different than movie audiences.

In the way that they watch you from their own sofa, and their own living room in their home every week, they become a part of your life. They talk about what's going to happen next week or what happened this week. It’s a continual thing and there's a tighter bond with television.

In a movie, watching a story unfold and then it's over. I'd only done really movies up until I got TWD. But while I was filming the TV show in France, I did a couple of movies;

I did ‘Ballerina’, the John Wick’s spin off with Ana de Armas. Jeff Nichols’ 'The Bikeriders,' a motorcycle movie with Tom Hardy, Austin Butler, Jodie Comer and all these people. So I'd fly back and forth from Paris 

It was nice to be on a movie set but it’s different because in the television as an actor, you think of the long game. You think of planting these little seeds and they turn into trees or  a forest behind you. In a movie, you have to make a decision right now based on the character of the backstory that you come up with. So it's a different animal. There are similarities, of course but with TV, I try to think of the long game.”

To everyone here, Norman is a part of their lives. Please come back to Japan again!

Norman : “I love Japan. I’ve always loved Japan. So thank you very much. It’s pleasure to be here. Arigato gozaimashita (Thank you very much). He greeted, mixing in some Japanese.

Continuing, he said, "I gotta take your picture. Hold on one second.” He snapped photos in every direction of the audience. When he heard a fan shout, "I love you!" he responded, "I love you too!" cheerfully. “Super cool, thank you,” he said, clearly pleased. Then, “Wow. There’s a lot of people here,” and took another photo.

“I was just getting started, are we done? Oh man, I wish I could stay much longer. Thank you so much. Bye bye!” He then left the stage reluctantly.

One of the charms of Comic-Con is hearing the latest announcements directly from the actors themselves. With “The Boondock Saints Ⅲ,” “Ballerina,” “The Bikeriders,” and “Daryl Dixon,” there's so much to look forward to from Norman.

GREAT NEWS! 

Tokyo Comic Con 2024’s schedule is now announced for December 6th to December 8th. For those who missed this event, keep an eye out.

★Other Related Features★

[Osaka Comic Con Features]

01 Feature: 9 Celebrities Gathered at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Opening Ceremony

02 Interview : [Osaka Comic Con 2024 Ambassador] Takumi Saitoh

03 Feature: Back to the Future 4!? [Doc. vs. Biff] Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

04 Feature: Marvel’s Loki and Sylvie in Japan! [Tom H. vs. Sophia M.] Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

05 Feature: The Walking Dead, Norman R. Appears Osaka Comic Con 2024 Celebrity Stage

06 Feature: 11 Celebrities Gathered at Osaka Comic Con 2024 Grand Finale

Photo Credit :[Ⓒ2024 Osaka comic con All rights reserved. /Ayaka Ozaki]



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