It goes without saying that when THE WALKING DEAD‘s Norman Reedus, a.k.a. Daryl Dixon, speaks…we all listen.

Last Sunday on AMC‘s THE WALKING DEAD, we watched as several of our key characters went through significant struggles.  Rick conquered a gladiator walker (Nicknamed “Spike” by actress Pollyanna McIntosh, who plays Jadis) in the trashdome, which resulted in a new alliance with a newly introduced community. But one character seemed to, literally, all over the place. Resident biker badass, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus.) Reedus spoke with EW recently and candidly addressed Daryls choice to lie to Carol (Melissa McBride.) As well as his need to connect with the tiger!

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Morgan Jones (Lennie James), Paul “Jesus” Monroe (Tom Payne), Tara Chambler (Alanna Masterson), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos) in Episode 9
Photo by Gene Page/AMC

EW: We talked a while back about how great it was for you to get to work with Andrew Lincoln again after some time apart. What was it like getting to work with Melissa McBride again for the big Daryl and Carol reunion here?

NORMAN REEDUS: It was great. We missed each other this whole time. Me and Andy missed each other, but me and Melissa missed each other too. It’s weird. She and I talk when we’re not filming and we’re like “How are you?” It’s f—ing bizarre! So it’s hard and it’s a bittersweet reunion. We enjoy it, but we don’t enjoy being apart. And that goes for a lot of us. There are certain characters where as soon as they start going, we start bawling. It’s kind of silly. But she’s definitely one of those for me.

EW: And the big question out of that scene that people are going to have is: Why does Daryl lie to her when she asks if Negan hurt anybody?

REEDUS: Because she needs to hear that. She’s going through her own thing and there’s a reason why she separated herself and doesn’t want to be a killer anymore. And she’s losing herself, and I think Daryl realizes that. It’s a very selfless act. He tells her what she needs to hear to keep going. He does it for her.

Melissa McBride as Carol in The Walking Dead, season 7, episode 10 Photo by Gene Page/AMC

EW: Yeah, you see those wheels turning in Daryl’s head a bit where he’s figured out how to respond and I guess he figures she can’t handle that information now?

REEDUS: I think she can totally handle it. It’s just not what she needs. Everyone’s path is their individual path, and she needs to be away from it because she’s losing herself and that world, when your whole life is changed and your whole world is changed and the dynamics have changed, and you start to lose yourself — then what’s the point, you know? So I think that he realizes that she needs to hold on to something. She’s been working towards it and it’s been hard for her, and he sees how hard it is for her to even make the choice to do what she’s doing now. And selflessly, he tells her what she needs to hear because he cares about her and doesn’t want to drag her into something that she doesn’t want to be a part of.

Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in Episode 10
Photo by Gene Page/AMC

The interview went on to cover Daryls current frustrations with Morgan but in a stroke of interview genius, EW’s Dalton Ross asked about the tiger and Reedus response is gold!

EW: I know you’ve wanted Daryl to have a dog on the show for a while. Let me ask you something: What about a tiger?

REEDUS: [Laughs.] You don’t understand, as soon as we heard there was going to be a tiger coming, that’s all I campaigned for! Can I have a moment with the tiger? Can the tiger like me? Can I be friends with the tiger? It was ridiculous. They were like, “Stop, already!”

EW: So they basically wrote that scene because you kept badgering them?

REEDUS: Probably! Pretty soon that tiger is going to be my love interest if I have my way. Me and the tiger will walk off into the sunset and come back with kittens!

Well, they say it can all start with just one glance! Thanks to EW for an amazing interview with Norman Reedus


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