At this point in The Walking Dead's run, Norman Reedus doesn't really have to do anything at all to get cheers, as the actor's years of wielding crossbows and riding motorcycles have earned him a spot in the upper echelon of characters too cool for TV. And you know what? Cool guys have it rough sometimes, too, and Reedus recently opened up about one of the hardest scenes he's had to film so far on The Walking Dead: the immediate aftermath of Beth's death. In the actor's words:
I've filmed so many hard ones - hard in different ways. Carrying Beth out [of the hospital] in Season 5 was hard. I just looked at her and went away and cried for a long time and then came out and did it. But that was different because I didn't want to break down on camera, I wanted it to look like I had already been crying for half an hour. They're all different, and you approach them in different ways.
So often in the world of acting, the ability to cry has always been lauded as proof of skill, but almost every time crying gets used in visual media, a character is just going into the process. Bad news has been revealed, and the recipient is shocked into a sobbing fit, or lovers declare their love for one another and each begins to tear up in an embrace. It's less often a moment opens on a character just after his or her emotional jag, but that's precisely how Norman Reedus chose to play the scene, which makes all the sense in the world, since Daryl probably wouldn't have waited precisely until seeing everyone else outside the hospital to let his eyes rain.
In the annals of really fun activities, making oneself sad enough to cry isn't a big highlight, so it's obvious why this moment was rough enough to immediately came to mind for Reedus in an interview for EW's The Ultimate Guide to the Walking Dead, even though the interview was about the tragic scene between Daryl and Walker Merle. The actor did obviously speak at length about how affected he was by that brotherly disconnect, made all the more bothersome given his growing friendship with actor Michael Rooker; this was the infamous ugly-cry scene that was in every corner of the Internet during that point in Season 3.
But that same loss-filled element was at play for the Season 5 midseason finale, given how close Norman Reedus and Beth actress Emily Kinney had grown as their characters were paired up more often. He has said goodbye to plenty of actors over the past six years of The Walking Dead, and he's dealt with some extreme hardships even when no deaths were involved, but I can't see anything in this show putting Daryl in a darker place than he was during Beth or Merle's deaths. I mean, something could happen to Carol, but nothing will happen to Carol.
The Walking Dead will likely put Daryl through several more awful situations involving dead people and crying before it's all said and done, and we'll get to see how some of that plays out when Season 7 debut on Sunday, October 23, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is coming to the small screen, check out our fall TV schedule.