|Courtesy of AMC
I polled women who watch the show and asked whom they prefer—Daryl or Rick? There was only one who said Rick. I’m sorry about that, Andrew.
Reedus: [Laughs] She was probably the only one that was of age.
How do you feel about that, Andrew?
Reedus: [Looks at Lincoln] You know I’m charging all this to your room?
Lincoln: [Shakes his head] You know what he does every fucking year? We get per diems here.
And he uses yours?
Lincoln: Every single time! Then he takes a photograph of this huge check, and does this [flashes a middle finger] and it’s $500! And he’s been here just a day? What, has he wrecked the bar? [Reaches for a nut.] So what do I think about that [that women prefer Reedus]? I wholeheartedly agree.
Norman, you tweet a lot, but Andrew, you don’t tweet at all, right?
Lincoln: I don't know what that means.
Reedus: I’m a tweet-a-holic.
There are websites devoted to pictures that you’ve tweeted of yourself with your cat.
Reedus: My best friend. My fat cat. The bastard.
There’s one photo of Norman’s character holding a baby, which is Rick’s daughter. He’s feeding the baby from a bottle. Someone wrote a caption that says, “Did you hear that? That’s the sounds of thousands of vaginas simultaneously exploding.”
Reedus: I love that sound.
Lincoln: What’s that sound like?
Reedus: It’s horrifying.
Lincoln: That’s amazing. [To Reedus] How do you feel about that?
Reedus: It’s fun! The problem is, most of those [fans] are underage. Or overage. Look, we’ve had four years to develop these characters. People know them. They just get invested in all of it. All of my son’s friends like him best [motions to Lincoln]. They hate some characters.
Lincoln: But there is something neat you do with him. You could have played him as a redneck. You’ve done something completely different and detailed and beautiful and broken. [Appears to realize something] You really are alone, aren’t you? You’re a confessed loner.
Reedus: That’s why there’s all those pictures of my fucking cat.
Lincoln: Him alone. That’s his life.
Reedus: That’s exactly right. Now I’m going to go kill myself.
Lincoln: One of the many things I dig about the show is that it reminds me of, say, The Magnificent Seven. You’ve got all these disparate people who should not fit together. They’re misfits, they’re loners, they’re broken, they’re fucked up, they’re tortured. And they band together. And then there’s a core—five or six of them—that you just root for. Some of the finest moments are not the killing or the slaying, it’s the tiny bits of generosity that you help someone through the day with. I had a line where I said to Daryl, “Thank you very much; I know what you did for me,” and he said, “You would have done the same.” Those are the bits you mine for.
Reedus: When Lori [Rick’s wife] dies, and Maggie comes out with your baby, and you break down? Hands down, that’s one of the best acting moments on our show. Ever. I was in the background, and it was hard to determine if Daryl felt bad for Rick or if Norman felt bad for Andy. I was choking up, going, “Man, not my boy Andy.” We’re so close.
Lincoln: That’s the truth. I didn’t want [Sarah Wayne Callies, who played Lori] anywhere near that set. Because I was going to go, “She’s gone.” You forge these incredible friendships, and also these incredible friendships between characters that you lose. You honor the dead when they go. And you’ve got to give it everything you’ve got in your engine, because they’ve done such a marvelous job.
I was at Miller Union a few weeks ago and they said they’d hosted a dinner for the cast because that’s what you do every time a character is killed off. That must be tough. And it all started in the writers’ room.
Reedus: It sucks. And not only that, the writers of that episode will be on set. And if they’re responsible for killing off one of your friends, you’re not like, “Hey great to see you”; it’s just: “Dick.” When certain characters die, their storyline could have gone on. You think, God, if they’d kept that character alive a little bit longer, you could have got so much rich story out of that person. But like life, if everyone is at the end of their story when they die, it’s not as interesting.
Lincoln: That’s a really good point. I’ve seen a lot of big movies recently and there’s no jeopardy. You know they’re going to make it. There’s an elaborate chase sequence or battle sequence—and no one dies. So I agree. There’s something incredibly interesting about when someone in your life, for real, gets taken away from you. It changes you, irrevocably. In those scenes, when you talk about the dead, it’s the easiest thing in the world to act that, because you have history with these people, and so does the audience.
Reedus: It helps that we shoot where we shoot. Out in the woods in our own little bubble, it’s just us. We’re so tight down there. I don’t think you could ever do the show again like this. It’s lightning in a bottle for all of the right reasons.
It kind of broke my heart to see Merle [Daryl’s brother, played by Michael Rooker] die.
Reedus: Me too. Rooker is a tornado of a man. He’s somebody who brought a lot to the show. There was an unpredictability about him that kept all of us on our toes all the time. You’d put a wall around him and he’d just bounce off of them. It was a drag saying goodbye to him. Rooker is different. He’s the Tasmanian Devil.
We can see and hear on TV, but we can’t smell. In the depths of a Georgia summer, what are we not smelling? Especially in that prison?
Lincoln: Prison’s not so bad, because we have air conditioning.
Reedus: The smell is part of us. It’s on us. It’s in us. It’s rot.
Do you finally get to smile this season?
Lincoln: [Grins] Yes, I do. This season starts in a different place. The writers have been really smart. They’re dialing it back in and beginning again. It’s almost like you’ve got this new civilization. Rick has renounced leadership and has taken up pig farming.