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Norman Reedus chats about the upcoming season of “The Walking Dead,” apologizing to Naomi Watts, and his upcoming film slate

Norman Reedus in The Walking Dead

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Norman Reedus may have broken onto the scene with roles in films like “Mimic” and “8MM,” but it’s his role as Murphy MacManus in Troy Duffy’s 1999 cult classic “The Boondock Saints” that really made the actor a star. Fast forward a decade to 2010 and Reedus would soon become a household name by playing a foul-mouthed (but often lovable) redneck that kills zombies with pinpoint accuracy with the help of his trusty crossbow. Reedus’ star power exploded with his role in AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and it’s about to get even brighter with the premiere of the show’s third season on October 14th.

Reedus sat down with IFC.COM recently to chat about his upcoming film slate, how he found himself apologizing to Naomi Watts on a daily basis, and just how “crazy” the upcoming season of “The Walking Dead” is going to be.

IFC: Do you feel like Daryl’s more of a likeable guy now than he was when “The Walking Dead” first started?

Norman Reedus: It’s funny because we’re almost wrapped up with season three – we’ve got maybe four or five more episodes – and I’ve had to go back and forth between this ferocious guy and the “please help me, I’m a wounded animal” guy that I don’t know what to ask for. They ask me what kind of things I want to do as the character, and I can’t decide if I want to poke a bunch of people’s eyes out and cut their throats or just curl up in a ball and cry because they’re both kind of fun.

IFC: I think Daryl and Carol became closer to each other this past season than almost anyone else on the show. Tell me a little bit about your relationship with Melissa McBride.

REEDUS: I adore Melissa. She’s one of my favorite actors on the show. She’s such a good actress and she has so much inside that she can just open her eyes and stare at you and listen and so much stuff comes out of her. I’ve been very fortunate in the fact that I’ve had a lot of scenes with Melissa – private scenes. It’s just the luck of the draw, I think. Both of our characters are very similar – they’re damaged people gravitating towards damaged people – but I love Melissa. She’s one of my dearest friends and she’s just awesome to watch. She’s really magnificent.

IFC: Any hints you can give us about what we can expect for Daryl in season three?

REEDUS: Rick has sort of become the brother than Merle wasn’t. So now that Merle’s back, there’s a lot of confrontation. There’s a lot of bullets. There’s a lot of kills. There’s a ferociousness to this season that wasn’t in seasons one and two. The first season was kind of an introduction. The second season we sort of treated the zombies like we were terrified of them. The third season it’s like a plague. It’s like an infestation of giant man-eating rats. Everyone’s just pissed off. So everyone’s demeanor is different in the third season, and everyone’s just fed up. It’s a new animal this year.

IFC: This little movie you made with Sean Patrick Flanery and Troy Duffy has become a huge cult classic. Do you still get people coming up to you and telling you that “The Boondock Saints” is their favorite movie? Do they want to see your hands to see if the tattoos are there?

REEDUS: Every day. Every day, all day long. (Laughs) I did the USO tour with Sean. We got to meet the troops in Dubai and Bahrain and Djibouti and Ethiopia and to have that many people who are just complete badasses and love that film and know every single quote in that film, it was pretty humbling. I have firemen and policemen, all the time, tell me that’s their favorite movie.

I remember talking to Willem Dafoe a long time ago and he’s like “All I ever wanted to be was a really good cult actor,” and I was like “What the hell’s he talking about? What’s that mean?” And then I discovered the legions of fans that come with cult films. It’s pretty awesome. I thank my stars every day that Troy gave me that shot.

IFC: Obviously you still love the movie at this point. You’re not tired of talking about that one yet?

REEDUS: Nah, man. I love that film. It’s one thing to do a big film and have every billboard on the planet to promote it, and every commercial. But we did this little film and had none of that. No had no P&A [publicity and advertising] at all. It was just passed around through word of mouth and it became this big deal. And, you know, that never happens. That’s cooler than being the big film that’s overly promoted and doesn’t do anything. It’s a much bigger prestige for me. It’s sort of like the people’s movie and I’m super proud of it.

IFC: You have a few movies coming up that people are excited about. In “Sunlight Jr.” you get to work with Naomi Watts and Laurie Collyer. How has that experience been for you?

REEDUS: Yeah, and Matt Dillon too. You know, Laurie’s great. I met Laurie in Little Italy back in New York, right around the corner from my apartment and I just fell in love with her. I was like “I’ll do anything you want to do.” She’s such a strong woman with a vision. So I sat down with her and she had this punk rock t-shirt on and I was like “Who is this chick?” I totally fell in love with her.

This film? I’m all sorts of fucked up in this film. I think my first line ever on “Sunlight Jr.” was to Naomi and it was “I can smell your pussy through the glass.” (Laughs) Every day I was like “I apologize. I’m sorry. I’m sorry about tomorrow.” (Laughs) It’s gonna be interesting.

IFC: That’s your Hannibal Lecter line.

REEDUS: I know, right? (Laughs) I’m all sorts of white trash in that flick. Not like Daryl, though. I’m like “city white trash.” I’m more meth-head white trash. I’ve got the tank top and the big gold chain. I’ve got flip-flops with the white socks on. The whole thing.

IFC: So you move from “Sunlight Jr.” over to “Pawn Shop Chronicles,” which is more of an action-comedy. Does that mean we get to see you do a little bit of comedy too?

REEDUS: Well, it’s interesting in that movie because you gotta look for me. I decided that I wanted people to see me in that film and be like “Was that so-and-so?” They kept asking me “Can we see your face a little bit more?” and I’m just like “No. Not at all.” It’s one of those cameos that will be super fun to watch.

Even on that film with all these big stars in it, though… I sat around in Florida doing that film and all I wanted to do was go back to Georgia and be Daryl Dixon again. So, my heart’s really in Daryl Dixon.

You can see Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in “The Walking Dead” when Season 3 premieres on AMC on October 14.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.