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The Walking Dead, out of necessity, is a series about being tough and learning to live off the land with no homestead and little stability. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that some of the actors who play in the series now live similar lifestyles. Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl on AMC’s hit series, recently admitted that he lives in the woods, now. Because obviously.
Reedus recently talked The Walking Dead with GQ, noting that his living habits and general outlook have totally changed due to AMC’s zombie-based series. Once upon a time he was a city guy without any outdoorsy habits, but now his lifestyle has become a lot more like Daryl’s off-screen.
“I think I was very nervous when I started, and I'm more confident now. I think the character was more nervous than he is now. I mean, I have crossbows and compound bows and shoot them now. When I started, I was living in Chinatown, and I was terrified of bugs. Now I have tick bites all over me and I'll just, whatever. So, yeah, there's certain similarities.”
The Walking Dead has become a way of life for the actor, which is interesting because his gig playing Daryl was initially supposed to only be a short part. However, his popularity on the series has kept him around, allowing him to live in the woods with the bugs. He also says motorcycle journeys on backroads are a frequent occurrence.
"[Riding] through these little two-lane roads with cows going by and the sun coming up or going down. And it's really great, you know?"
Daryl’s always been kind of an enigma on The Walking Dead. He’s a tough guy that can win any fight, but he often buries his feelings and can also be extremely awkward in romantic terms. He’s a man who is not particularly afraid of anything or anyone, but he’s also guarded and keeps his feelings close to his chest.
Reedus obviously isn’t that guy. He’s not Daryl, exactly, and I don’t think his fans would want him to be. But it’s still kind of nice to think of the actor messing around in the woods with just himself and his crossbow, utterly unworried about ticks.
Norman Reedus will appear as Daryl in the fifth season of The Walking Dead, which kicks off on AMC on Sunday, October 12 at 9 p.m. EST. You can check out the rest of the fall premiere dates, here.