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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.