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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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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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