Sure, Daryl Dixon looks badass on his motorcycle as he’s kicking ass and taking names on The Walking Dead, but who knew that the character is actually a hog man because Norman Reedus, the actor who plays him, is afraid of horses?
That’s right, Reedus actually persuaded The Walking Dead writers to have Daryl ride a bike instead of a steed — even though the script originally called for him to be on the back of a horse.
“Well, I saw it written and… I’m kind of afraid of horses, with their big eyeballs and they can smell your fear and all that stuff,” Reedus said in a recent interview with Conan O’Brien.
But, though Reedus finds horses kinda creepy, his phobia of the animals goes deeper than just that. It seems he actually almost lost out on a role because of one.
“I did this movie with Robert Redford called The Conspirator and I was supposed to pull up on a horse, yell at a bunch of people, and be real tough,” Reedus explained to O’Brien. “And we came up in the camera and the horse sort of went like this, so it looked like I knew what I was doing. But then, about two seconds into it, the horse would just start to, like, trot backwards and get in a single-file line with the other horses, and I could hear Redford screaming, ‘Someone handle Norman’s horse!’ and I was like, ‘Man, I’m going to get fired off this job.'”
So, afraid that history would repeat itself and threaten his job with TWD, Reedus fast-talked his way onto the back of a bike.
“If Merle [Dixon] could ride a motorcycle, Daryl probably knows how to ride a motorcycle,” he said. “So I sort of spun it into that.”
As O’Brien mentions in the interview with Reedus, Daryl’s bow and motorcycle are now ingrained as iconic parts of the character — and perhaps that’s because Reedus’ love of motorcycles runs deep in real life.
Reedus’ new show, Ride with Norman Reedus, is a docu-series that basically chronicles Reedus as he road-trips around on motorcycles with his buddies.
What do you think, TWD fans? Can you even imagine Daryl riding a horse now?
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