Norman Reedus has revealed he “didn’t want” to say a particular line in The Walking Dead finale.
The actor played Daryl Dixon in the zombie apocalypse series, which aired its final episode on Sunday (November 20).
In one of the closing scenes, the characters come together for a final showdown with a horde of walkers, which prompts Daryl to deliver a dramatic speech. In it, he rather knowingly name-checks the show’s title.
With Governor Pamela Milton (Laila Robins) set on sacrificing her community to save herself, Daryl soon interjects: “Stop! What the hell are you doing? We all deserve better than this. You built this place to be like the old world – that was the fucking problem.”
Pamela replies: “If I open the gates, the dead will get in, not just the living,” to which Daryl says: “If you don’t, you’re going to lose everything anyway. We got one enemy. We ain’t the walking dead.”
While viewers have praised the self-aware moment on social media, Reedus himself has admitted he wasn’t too keen on it.
“I didn’t want to say it, I’ll be honest with you. I didn’t want to say it, and they kind of talked me into saying it,” he told Vanity Fair.
Reedus went on to explain that his hesitation came from the fact that Andrew Lincoln’s character, Rick Grimes, first name-checked the show in season five.
“If you remember way back when Rick says it, he was like, ‘We are not the walking dead,’ and he made such a big thing of it that I was like, ‘Well, I can’t make a big thing of it now because that’s what Andy did way back then,” he said.
“So I kind of just incorporated it into the dialogue, and I didn’t want to shout it from the rooftops, because that’s what he did. So I had to figure out a way to just make it part of the sentence without making it a poster.”
Although the main series has come to an end, the franchise is still introducing new spin-off shows, including one for Daryl, titled Daryl Dixon, and another focusing on Maggie and Negan’s adventures in New York, titled Dead City.