Since the AMC hit series The Walking Dead exploded on the scene in 2010, Norman Reedus has become a household name for his role as the rugged Daryl Dixon. Reedus was a cinematic badass even before the success of the TV series and has been melting hearts since his rise as a walker-killing machine. Here is a look at the many dimensions of the phenomenal Norman Reedus and why we love him.
Before he was killing walkers and taking down tanks, Reedus used his good looks as a model. He has been featured in campaigns for many highly reputable companies such as Prada, Gap, H&M, D'Urban and Morgenthal Frederics.
Reedus' first role came in the 1997 film Floating in which he played Van. Van is a young man that is coming of age during a really rough time filled with emotional and financial struggles; he is also forced to shoulder the responsibilities of his embittered father. His father is so preoccupied with his issues that he can't be bothered to be there for his son during his struggles. Long story short, Van and his friend embark on a crime spree and bad things happen.
Floating showcased just how dimensional Reedus is as an actor. He was able to go from angry and down right scary to sweet with tears rolling down his face without blinking an eye.
No matter how badass he is on screen, he can't hide his softer side when he is with his equally handsome son, Mingus. Mingus was born in October of 1999 to Reedus and (fellow model) the beautiful Helena Christensen.
The Saints Are Coming
Reedus gained notoriety when he played the part of Murphy MacManus in the 1999 cult classic The Boondock Saints. The film also starred Sean Patrick Flanery, Willem Dafoe, David Della Rocco and Billy Connolly.
The film did not fair well at first, as it did not get a massive release due to its violent content and the tragic events that happened at Columbine High School just months before its debut. The Saints were sent to Blockbuster instead of theaters, but it became the ultimate dude buddy movie. Through the word of mouth and friends passing it around, the film soon became a success and is now one of the most quoted cult classics.
Fans were hungry for a sequel, but due to legal issues it would be 10 years before they would get it. In December of 2009 The Boondock Saints: All Saints Day hit theaters and grossed over $10 million in just 2 months. There is a third installment currently in the works.
The Sun's Coming Up...Like A Big Bald Head
Anyone that has ever seen Norman on screen knows what an incredible, multi-dimensional actor he is, but not as many are privy to his other talents as an artist. He is also a painter, sculptor and photographer with work in galleries in New York, Berlin and Frankfurt.
He released a book in 2013 titled "The Sun's Coming Up...Like A Big Bald Head" which is a compilation of his photography.
Lady Gaga's Judas
Having a long list of friends in the music industry, Reedus has appeared in quite a few music videos. He can be spotted in "Flat Top" (Goo Goo Dolls), "Cats in the Cradle" (Ugly Kid Joe), "Mean to Me" (Tonic), "Strange Currencies" (R.E.M.), "Fake Plastic Trees" (Radiohead), "Violently Happy" (Björk), "Wicked As It Seems" (Keith Richards), "Sun Down" (Tricky) and "No Cities to Love" (Sleater-Kinney).
In 2011, Reedus starred in Lady Gaga's "Judas" video. He was of course Judas; in it he can be found riding a motorcycle, partying, getting painted up with a lipstick gun, pouring beer on Gaga's butt (which was her idea) and just being awesome.
Despite the grotesque things done to animals by his character Daryl Dixon, Norman is quite the animal lover. He owns a black cat named Eye In The Dark (who he found in New York City and brought home to his son) and has often times stated that EITD is his best friend.
He also posed for a Cruelty Free International ad to raise awareness and stop cosmetic testing on animals.
Daryl Dixon- Zombie Killing Badass
He may not have had much screen time in the beginning, but since the 2010 debut of The Walking Dead Daryl Dixon has been a fan favorite to say the least. He may look greasy and enjoy savagely eating wildlife, but Daryl is one of the most multi-dimensional characters that the show has to offer. Reedus' acting abilities really shine through the brightest with this role.
Critics also seem to agree because in 2012 he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. While he is still killing things, he has finally been awarded the opportunity to show just how deep he can go. He can face a horde of walkers, throw a grenade in a tank and ride a motorcycle but cry about the loss of a friend, rock a baby in his arms or give epic piggy back rides in the next scene without skipping a beat. Myself and many others have known for a while now that Norman Reedus is a phenomenal actor, but thanks to The Walking Dead, the world is now taking notice.
His Love For His Fans
Many celebrities say they love their fans but few really mean it. Norman Reedus is one of the few that truly does appreciate every person that comes out to see him at the dozens of conventions he does every year and his fans in general. When he takes a photo with a fan, he is smiling and looks just as excited to meet them as they are to meet him. He handles emotional meltdowns like a boss.
Reedus appreciates his fans and all they do for him so much that he has compiled the countless pieces of art, letters, pictures of tattoos and many other amazing things given to him by fans in a book titled "Thanks For All The Niceness".
Why We Love Him
Norman is more than just an actor and far from egotistical; he is one of Hollywood's biggest stars right now, but he still finds time to send love to his fans and be a pretty fantastic father. He is awkward in a totally awesome kind of way. He has a lot to be proud of and a lot that would give most actors a big head, but he is one of the coolest, most down to earth people.
He's not afraid to make himself or his character the butt of the joke. It is pretty much impossible to dislike the guy. Reedus is only going to continue to become more awesome as the years progress. Whether it be with The Walking Dead or any other outlet that he may choose, Reedus is here to stay.