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Norman Reedus Talks Cosplay, Fandom and THE WALKING DEAD at Comic-Con

UPDATE: A teaser for Reedus’ new film, Air, has been released:

Whether he’s sporting a silenced pistol in The Boondock Saints or a crossbow in The Walking Dead, if there’s one thing the Comic-Con crowd loves, it’s some Norman Reedus. What’s always been interesting is to watch from the actor are the ways in which he’s accepted his fandom status over the years, stating, “I’ve always sort of embraced it as we’re doing this together, and we’re part of this big thing,” going on to add, “it’s not me and you, it’s us, and those are my people, and I’ve had a great time at all those Cons, and seeing all the people, and seeing their enthusiasm for the work we do. I try to hug every single one of them.”

Reedus doesn’t just do it for the love of the fans though, he does it because, for him, it’s so enjoyable. “I’ve done a lot of those [conventions] where the event ends at 7 o’clock and I’ll stay until 1 o’clock in the morning, because the line is still around the block, and I’ll stay just so I can meet them and hug them and take pictures with them. It’s fun for me. I think it’s a blast.”

To show his love at this year’s convention, Reedus agreed to partake in a contest being held at the Super Hero HQ in the Courtyard Marriott that will see the crowning of the “king” and “queen” of cosplay. “The level of cosplay and the level of passion put into the outfits – it’s not just even the outfits, but it’s the mannerisms, and how people move,” said Reedus. “It’s super interesting to me. It reminds me of why I wanted to be an actor in the first place. You’re acting out these characters, and you’re sort of the embodiment of your version of this person. It’s super interesting to me to watch, and I’m blown away by the levels of commitments to the costumes, and I’m super excited to be doing this event, because I get to interact with them on a one-on-one basis, which is super fun.” Also, if you head over there throughout the weekend you can have your costume touched up by some of Hollywood’s top make-up artists. So, you know, you should go.

“[Fans] get the opportunity to work with [George R.R. Martin] and with [Greg Nicotero],” Reedus stated about the event, adding, “When you meet Greg too, he’s not the sort of person who’s just going to sit down and show you how to do something. He’ll, like, get to meet you face to face, and he’ll talk to you face to face, and he’ll tell you what’s good and what’s bad, and I think for a cosplay person who’s really into that, to get that sort of experience is great!”

Of course, you can’t spend some time with Daryl Dixon and not talk about AMC’s hit zombie drama at least a little bit. “So many people ask ‘What was Daryl before this?’ Or ‘What did Daryl do before this?’ He never really addressed it until that one episode of the show, and the answer was that he was just a nobody – he just followed his brother. It was such a beautiful way to sum up what he was before this, and what he thought of himself, and how and why other people viewed him the way that he did. He had such a chip on his shoulder of who he was, especially going into the first season.”

Reedus went on to add, “That sort of evolution in a character just comes from good writing, and the way you portray him is based on what you’re given to play with. That episode with Emily was such a good episode, and it meant so much to him. Especially after what happened in the prison, and they’re on the run and they’re back to square one. He sort of found his sense of self-worth through these other people. What he would have become if this all didn’t go down, he would have just become his brother, and he would have just become one of those guys who were with Joe’s group.”

Speaking to the relationship of Daryl and Beth, Reedus clarified. “People mention, ‘Is there romance?’ If there was any sort of romantic feeling, I don’t think Daryl registered it. I think it was true intimacy, and a true level of two people on the same page, connecting. It was beyond a love affair, you know what I mean?”

In regard to next season’s premiere, Reedus [unsurprisingly] didn’t go into much, but what he did have to say got us real excited. “That first episode is so large in scale, and it’s so epic, and it’s so emotional, and you’re really sitting on the edge of your seat and screaming at the TV the entire first episode. Greg Nicotero, who’s also doing the courtyard event with me, he’s doing a special live demo from 12 to 2, and you get to sort of see his artistry, he directed that episode, and he knows the characters so well, and he knows the story line so well. He really put everyone through the ringer in that one, and came up with one of the biggest, baddest, awesomest, most epic episodes you’ll ever see on our show. It’s insane.”

Before zombie hunter left to travel the wild blue yonder that is Comic-Con, we took a moment to ask him about one more thing, Air. “We’re underground, and it’s in a post-apocalyptic world, and there are – we’re sort of the maintenance people for a station that’s housing the brightest minds and the best of the best that are going to repopulate the earth and start again. Every six months, these two people wake up and sort of keep the place together. They’re maintenance men, and one of them, the Djimon character, sees himself as a scientist, and my character sees himself as a janitor, and they’re kind of a cross section of the two. But it becomes a very claustrophobic, tense thriller between these two characters and what the world means to them and what they’re going to do from here on in.”

Reedus went on to add, “It was a very interesting role to play. It was very well directed and very well written, and working with Djimon was great. He’s such a powerful, powerful actor. That whole story is – Djimon already has this kind of hope in him as a person. He’s a very positive, intelligent, uplifting spirit. Pretty much that whole movie, I just try to wipe that off his face… [chuckles] It’s an intense film.”

The Walking Dead returns this fall on AMC.

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