The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon Talks Zombies, Crossbows And South Park!
Is Daryl Dixon a dream casting?
It doesn’t get any better than this. I got to build this character from scratch. He’s not in the comic book, so he doesn’t really have any kind of complications.
And you get to shoot crossbows and shotguns…
I shot two thousand rounds out of an AK-47. It’s a dream job because shooting two thousand rounds out of an AK-47 is a blast! I’ve actually stolen the crossbow from last year too.
That sounds, erm, safe. What’s Daryl's necklace all about? You know, the one made of zombie bits...
That is one of his moments where he’s had to dig deep and fight to get out of there. He’s sort of putting on his game face. He doesn’t know if he’ll make it out and he’s wounded so he’s taking ears, he’s taking pride.
He doesn’t really smile a lot does he?
He’s definitely a man of few words. Little one-liners here and there that are sort of funny, even if he doesn’t know he’s being funny. You know he’s kind of scared and if you try and hug him he’ll stab you.
Have you got any advice for us if there was a real zombie apocalypse?
I think I would just download a whole bunch of South Park episodes and break into a Hilton and lock myself into the penthouse. Or maybe steal a Ferrari and go for a joyride.
How was it filming the bit where Daryl rummages through the zombie's stomach?
The way that Gregory Nicotero makes the zombies is like a dying person behind a monster - he makes them terrifying. That scene was so much fun, it actually squelched when you stuck your hands in it and there was a tube of hot air that would blow up in my face to make it seem like there was gas inside the bowls of this zombie. It was a f**kin’ blast and we did that all day.
Last time we saw you guys, times were pretty bad. Is there any hope?
There’s hope, then hope is snatched from us time and time again. That’s what I like about the show. Everyone is trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel. You find out at the end of season two that everyone is infected, which means your life just became even more precious. This is it. There’s no settling down and finding a nice lady, having kids and moving to the suburbs – that’s not going to happen. This is the end of the f**king world, we’re looking for hope.
What else does season three have in store for us?
We broke every record with season two and I have a feeling season three will break those records. I guarantee it. Season two was awesome, but season three is so much better! It feels like we are making a film every single day, it’s a large scale operation. I love this job and we’re all dedicated to making it as badass and as realistic as possible.
Will it be similar to the comics?
Well, it was great source material and it’s great to have a background to run with. Everything was in place to begin with, but we’ve deviated quite a bit. People that died early in the comic books have stayed around a long time, like Shane in season two, he was supposed to die early on.
Care to give us a clue as to who the hooded zombie slayer is?
I don’t even want to tell you who it is, I want you all to find out. But it’s definitely a big bad-ass character from the comic books that some people are really excited about.
Your brother Merle returns in season three, will there be a big family reunion? (Presumably there'll be no handshakes)
[Laughs] Merle will come back and he’ll be pissed. He wants revenge. There’re a lot of people that don’t want to hang around together that have to hang around together.
And who will be the big boss on campus if Merle does return?
That might be the big struggle, the big tension. I don’t know if Daryl will let him at this point because he’s grown so fond of all these people. If Merle wanted to take over Rick and be the hot shot, Daryl won’t let him. Daryl will fight him.
You are the voice of Daryl in The Walking Dead game coming out in 2013. Is it good to have your character's back-story padded out?
It’s a lot of Daryl, but I don’t know the storyline yet to be honest, that’s the next stage. I’ve seen some stuff and it’s going to be f**kin’ cool. I have an eleven-year-old who’s like a game crazy person, and he’ll think it’s so cool.
And you’ll let him play it?
Oh yeah man! One day when I picked him up from school there was this big smile on his face, because some of the bigger kids at school had asked him “is your dad Daryl Dixon?” and when he said yeah, they were like “we love Daryl!” The kids love it at school and so does he. He even has my crossbow on his wall!
Sounds… safe? Moving on, have you heard of The Walken Dead?
I f**kin’ love it! It’s awesome. I love Christopher Walken first off, so The Walken Dead is so cool. I think it’s f**kin’ awesome.
The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season is released on UK DVD and Blu-Ray August 27
Words: Joe Struggles