The Walking Dead: Norman Reedus explains Daryl's big choice

Norman Reedus,Daryl Dixon,Negan,Torture

Daryl.” If anyone ever doubted the strength of ’s Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), that doubt was erased with that very word. All Daryl had to do was pledge his loyalty by saying “I’m Negan” in exchange for avoiding further torture and instead becoming a top lieutenant in Negan’s army while getting all the perks and benefits that come with it. But when the time came to choose his fate, Daryl refused, citing his own name instead before being taken back to his cell. It was big statement in a big episode for Daryl. We spoke to Reedus to get his take on everything from that critical choice to that surprising nude scene. We also asked the actor about his character’s emotional breakdown after viewing that gruesome Polaroid and Daryl’s unique relationship with his tormentor, Dwight. (Also make sure to check out our interview with the man who plays Dwight, Austin Amelio.) ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The first time we see Daryl he’s naked in this cell. I gotta know: How cold were you in there, my man? NORMAN REEDUS: Yeah, it was cold. I won’t lie. But it was really dirty more than anything. It was weird to sit on that floor butt naked. I mean, I was totally naked, so it was rough. You mentioned it was dirty, and they love to make you guys dirty on this show, but I’m not sure we’ve ever seen you as dirty as we did here. Were they just adding filth and grime to you constantly? Addison, our makeup dude, he was just constantly pouring makeup on me. Yeah, that was I think one of the filthiest I’ve ever been on this show, if not the filthiest. I mean, I’m very happy to be out of those sweatpants and that sweatshirt — that jail suit that they gave me. It was just itchy and horrible. It was gross. We see Daryl being tortured via this terribly peppy music he has to listen to. Did they play that for you at all on set? Did you know what song would be playing? No, I haven’t seen the episode. I don’t know what song they used. I know it was originally written as a children’s song, a little children’s song, but they couldn’t get it. I think it’s very difficult to get music rights in a torture scene. This whole episode is a big battle of wills and really the juxtaposition between Daryl and Dwight. And there’s that exchange early on where Daryl says, “I ain’t never gonna kneel.” Dwight goes, “Yeah, I said that too.” And you reply, “Yeah, I know.” Dwight wants to break Daryl to justify his own decision to bow down, but does Daryl look at Dwight here as the exact example of what he never wants to become? I think you’re exactly right. There is sort of this Bizarro World thing going on between the two of us in this episode. Remember, he met him before, and

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