Thoughts on AMC’s Interview with Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon)

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

This is the first season I’ve started receiving AMC’s weekly newsletter, so I have no idea if they’ve done one before, but I’m surprised they took this long to do an interview with Norman Reedus, who plays my favorite character, Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead.

Because I heard tons of hilarious stories about Reedus clowning around on set with his co-stars, I was expecting an epic interview. Although I was disappointed that this one turned out to be a bit anticlimactic, given my anxious anticipation to hear from Reedus about his experiences working on the show.

I was definitely fascinated to learn that Reedus actually rides a motorcycle and likes cruising around down south while working on the show. I also liked finding out about the ways he has influenced who his character is on the show, since Daryl is so layered and complex. I would have asked more questions about his character’s back story and influences.

I can definitely see what Reedus means about how his fight scene with Michael Rooker (Merle) went down. It would have been cool to see them really go at it like “wild animals” as he puts it, but I think they did things just right. It had an authentic sibling vibe to it.

He does show his fun side too, talking about how he re-gifts some of his fan mail to Chandler Riggs (Carl) and how they hang out. Some of his fans who send him those things are probably disappointed to read that however. I got a laugh when he said that he accidentally called the baby on the show “Lil-Ass-kisser” instead of “Lil-Ass-kicker.” Whoops.

Like Reedus says at the end, there’s always the concern that your character could get killed off at any moment on a show like this. Although I think we’re all hoping that Daryl will stick around for a good long while. He continues to make The Walking Dead worth watching, even when the writers do annoying things with other characters.

Do you have a favorite Daryl line or moment from the show so far? What is it?

Thoughts on AMC’s interview with Steve Yeun (Glenn)

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further.

Just checked out AMC’s interview with Steve Yeun who plays Glenn on The Walking Dead. In it he discusses being taken hostage, acting opposite Michael Rooker (Merle Dixon), and taking on more of a leadership role this season.

Yeun reminded me that Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 (Hounded) wasn’t his character’s first time being held hostage. I forgot that he was taken way back in Season 1, by the guys who turned out to be decent people protecting the elderly. I was glad to hear that escaping from the chair and killing the zombie in the room was a fun experience for him to perform, though he’s right: he’s lucky that his legs weren’t tied down. A smarter captor probably would have done that. Still it was a badass kill and seemed like it would have been a blast to shoot.

It was very cool to read that the actors are given creative freedom to improvise and choreograph new ways to kill walkers. I would probably love that part of the job. Although he makes a decent, somewhat depressing observation about love in the zombie apocalypse. The attachment could be your downfall if you put others ahead of yourself, yet how could you not do that if you love someone?

Based on what Yeun has to say about Michael Rooker, it seems like the actor completely throws himself into the role of Merle. He may be going method with the character, or he’s just insanely well cast, because he is very convincing as a psychopath like Merle.

Lastly, in the interview with Steve Yeun, I thought his final comments about taking on more of a leadership role both on and off the set to be fascinating. With all of the dead bodies this season, Glenn must step up and take charge just like he learns to do in the comics. And with other core actors gone, Yeun is also given more room to experiment and to do work with his character. He’s also in charge of death dinners now if you recall the interview with Sarah Wayne Callies from earlier in the season. A lot of responsibility is on his shoulders right now. However I’m sure Yeun/Glenn will soldier on like he always does.

Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3 (Walk with Me) Recap

Andrea and Michonne in Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3

The Walking Dead Copyright 2012 AMC TV

Warning: This Walking Dead Season 3 post contains spoilers. Please wait until after watching, before reading further. Similarities and differences between the show and the comic are also discussed, but whenever possible, details of the comic are left ambiguous in case you decide to start it later on.

Summary: Andrea and Michonne search for survivors to a mysterious helicopter crash, but in the process, they’re apprehended by Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) and a band of strangers. The pair is taken to a heavily guarded settlement ruled by a seemingly benevolent leader called The Governor (David Morrissey). Can he be trusted though?

If you’re like me, and you’ve been anxious for more focus on Andrea and Michonne, The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3 (Walk with Me) doesn’t disappoint. In fact, Walk with Me is all about Michonne and Andrea.

For a scene that should be full of intrigue, the helicopter crash during the opening, surprisingly lacks punch. That’s mostly because you don’t find out much about the military men in the chopper or where they’re coming from. However, there’s plenty of gripping tension in the moments when Andrea and Michonne are hiding outside the crash site, looking for survivors. Director Guy Ferland uses some wicked cool camera angles to build suspense, like an over the shoulder shot from behind Michonne where the samurai sword on her back diagonally crosses the frame.

Ferland also expertly emphasizes their fear when Michonne’s walkers start growing loud and ornery, nearly giving away their position. The finest part of that whole sequence though, is the reveal where we find out that Merle Dixon is not only alive, but he’s in league with the men searching the crash site. Best of all, he and Andrea instantly recognize one another when Merle delivers the famous line you’ve seen to death in Season 3 trailers.

I like that this Merle is very different from the one we encountered in the early episodes of Season 1. It’s obvious that he’s a changed man, less gruff and offensive, with enough humility to make him a more sympathetic character. There’s still something not quite on the level about him though, and Rooker does a fantastic job of disguising that fact to the other characters.

The Governor is an even greater master of deception, a real wolf in sheep’s clothing. He oozes charisma, Southern charm, and conviction. He acts benevolent, but he’s definitely got darker motives as witnessed by his massacre of the military men and his weird zombie-head fish tanks. I appreciate that the TV show doesn’t set him up as a cartoony villain. He’s a layered character who’s not purely evil and nihilistic like he is in the comics. I’m looking forward to learning more about him.

As a huge fan of Michonne from the Walking Dead comics, I’m thrilled to see her getting more attention in this episode. Just like in the comics, she is a woman of few words, although in the show her character gains much more depth because Dana Guirira, the actor portraying her, uses her face to say all kinds of things her mouth doesn’t. Michonne’s expressions at Andrea, reveal just how much she likes being cooped in Woodbury and how little she trusts The Governor. If she’s even a quarter as deadly as she is in the comics, I can’t wait to see her unleash rage on anyone/anything who crosses her.

And now, on to discussion questions:

Did you trust The Governor when he said that he wants to rebuild society? Did you believe him when he said Andrea and Michonne could come and go as they please?  Merle is clearly not the same, but do you think he’s as bad as he used to be? Do you think the next episode will just be about Michonne and Andrea again? Or will the show return to the prison?