'The Walking Dead' Original Producer Always Wanted Daryl to Get Dirty

Star Norman Reedus revealed that original The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont was determined to keep Daryl as filthy as possible all the time.

The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus revealed that season one showrunner Frank Darabont always wanted Daryl to be as filthy and filthy as possible. The Walking Dead is based on Robert Kirkman's hit comic book series, which first aired on AMC in 2010. The pilot episode introduced viewers to former sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, as he leads a group of survivors, including Reedus' Darryl Dixon, through a zombie apocalypse . While many characters have come and gone over the show's 11 seasons, including Rick himself, Daryl remains one of the few constants. The Walking Dead is now over, and Daryl will next appear in his own spinoff.

On a recent episode of the Jon Bernthal podcast, Reedus reflected on Season 1 of The Walking Dead in a conversation with his former co-star (who plays antagonist Sean). Reedus recalls how Darabont, who was replaced after season 1, was always focused on making sure Daryl looked as dirty as possible, with the showrunners even doing it themselves when the makeup artist didn't know enough about the character's look. Check out Reedus' full review below:

"I remember working with [Frank Darabont] and he was so in it. I remember, at one point, I'm crawling under a car and I jump up on T-Dog and all of this stuff happens, and [Frank] was like, 'Norman needs more dirt,' and [the makeup artist] was like, 'No, no, that matches.' And he goes, 'Ugh,' picks up grease off the ground and just wipes it across my face. I was like, 'Oh, my God, I love you so much.' "You remember, back then, all I wanted to be was filthy, I was so dirty. I would steal the dirt, get back to my room, and apply more to it when they weren't looking. They'd be like, 'You're so filthy,' and I was like, 'I want them to smell me.' I loved it, I'm a dude, I thought, ‘Yes!' But Frank, to work with, he was so inspirational."

​​​​​​How Daryl Evolves In The Walking Dead

Although Daryl Always maintaining his dirty and unkempt appearance, which obviously pleased Reedus, the character has indeed changed a lot over the 11 seasons of The Walking Dead. When audiences first meet Daryl, the rough-and-tumble biker is caught up in his allegiance to his arrogant and racist brother Mel (Michael Rooker), and his role as part of a group of Rick survivors . After Merle's death in The Walking Dead season 3, Daryl remained an outcast by choice, always camping and living alone compared to the other survivors in the core group, which Things started to slowly change in the later seasons.

As the season progresses and the zombie apocalypse becomes more grim, Daryl becomes close to another member of the group, Melissa McBride's Carol. Through his bromance with Rick and close relationship with Carol, Daryl took on more of a leadership role on the team, which became especially evident after Rick's exit in season 9. With Rick gone, Daryl essentially becomes the star of the show, retaining his wild sensibility to care for others like never before. The Walking Dead's Daryl and Carol were supposed to appear together in the upcoming spinoff, This could have furthered their relationship, but McBride ended up exiting the series, meaning it will only focus on Reedus' character.

Darryl's next role in the world of The Walking Dead remains to be seen, but the character remains a fan-favorite part of the show more than 10 years after his first screen appearance. While it's very different now than when he was first introduced to audiences, the spin-off series could see Darryl revert to his former, more lone wolf self, which could be an interesting return to explore. Regardless of what's next for Daryl after The Walking Dead, it's clear Reedus thoroughly enjoyed his time playing the character, especially when it comes to getting covered in dirt and grime.

More: 'The Walking Dead' spinoff may have secretly set up Daryl Dixon in France

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