Norman Reedus breaks down that bloody Daryl and Alpha battle on The Walking Dead
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Sunday’s “Stalker” episode The Walking Dead.
Every time Daryl Dixon and Alpha cross paths, it is sure to be intense. But even by those already lofty standards, The Walking Dead battle the adversaries engaged in during Sunday’s installment (titled “Stalker”) was still pretty off the charts. After spying the Whisperers leader, Daryl attacked, jamming a stick into Alpha’s shoulder, but a retaliatory slash to the face blinded Daryl.
The two injured parties eventually stumbled into a gas station, where they were found by Lydia — who refused her mother’s order to kill her and take her place, and instead helped Daryl to safety. We spoke to Norman Reedus to get the inside scoop on the big fight, spouting blood like a geyser, and that timely reunion with Lydia.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Okay, so crazy fight scene between you and Samantha Morton here as you two finally get to scrap. What was filming that like?
NORMAN REEDUS: The fight itself was kind of rough because Samantha had some injuries and so she couldn’t do certain things. And so that was really difficult. I had an injury as well, so it was a rough episode physically for me, for her, for everybody. And then the emotional stuff, you know, there has to be an equal playing field. So we messed with that for a whole bunch and we changed it to I turn around and I fight. And then Samantha would come in and make it her own.
You know, she’s got a different fighting style than me, and hers is sneaky. She uses the walkers to her advantage, so if she can surround me with walkers where I’m fighting, then she gets these cuts in and basically just bleeds me out like an animal and then tracks me to the spot. I thought it was such an interesting way to have a fight scene, because I just had the Beta fight scene where I’m fighting with the Mountain, and then to have a different sort of fighting technique — it’s just so snake-like and sneaky and it’s like a cat playing with a mouse. I thought it was really interesting.
That bloody point of view approach from your perspective is something I’ve never seen on the show before, and as the viewer we’re put in your place where we can’t really see or understand what’s happening.
That was an idea that Angela and I worked with, and the more disadvantages and confused I am, it’s really that cat playing with a mouse sort of feel to it — like, I’m going to bleed you open. I wipe that blood away and I look up and she’s not anywhere around me and she’s watching me. And then she sort of relishes the fact that I’m moving onto the other side. It’s super creepy. I thought it was a very cool way for she and I to go to battle.
Tell me about pulling the knife out of your leg and then the blood just spouting out like a geyser.
Yeah, it was very slippery. You know, it’s one thing when you have like, a 180-pound zombie trying to fight with you. It’s another thing when you’re covered in blood and you’re trying to fight back and you are just slipping all over you like a slip and slide. It was a big red water slide. It was just insane. And then you have the whole sort of emotional and psychological sort of passing onto the other sides. Your breath goes and you’re trying to listen to the dialogue and talk back as you’re sort of fading into the darkness at the same time. It was an exhausting episode. What am I talking about? They’re all exhausting!
In your last scene, Daryl wakes up with Lydia there. What can you sort of say in terms of what that means with you two being reunited moving forward?
I think that’s a lot of Lydia’s story. I mean, what she’s been through and how I’ve put my neck out to protect her and bring her into the group, but also mostly just protect her and not judge her and keep her away from everybody that pretty much hated her. So when I wake up from that and I see her there, the first thing I think of is, did you kill her? Because Alpha was left there super wounded.
In this world it’s people have each other’s backs or they don’t. Sometimes you can trust people and sometimes you can’t. And I think Lydia’s one of those people who Daryl trusts and I think Daryl’s one of those people who Lydia needs. She doesn’t have anybody that cares about her like that. I think they have a bond there, so I think those two characters are pretty solid.
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AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.