Daryl Dixon, as played by Norman Reedus, is the character that Walking Dead fans love so much that, even though he was never a character in the original comics, he's become the heart of the show.
Reedus himself is especially adored for being an all-round stand-up guy and incredibly nice to fans... but it could all have been so different. Ten years ago, Norman Reedus appeared in German thriller Antibodies, which a lot of fans have never heard of. It's a great, chilling horror watch, but here's Norman's scene in the film in case you don't fancy the whole movie:
In Berlin to promote Antibodies, Reedus's car was hit by a truck. He described the accident to EW:
"We drove a few feet and just -- BLOOSH! -- an 18-wheeler went right through us. My whole head was like hamburger. It was just gnarly. I thought, 'I'm never going to be an actor again. This is over.'"
Reedus needed four screws to reconstruct his nose and part of his left eye socket is now made from titanium! Interviewed a year later by Daniel R. Epstein, Reedus said that he was still experiencing side effects of his injuries:
I don’t know if it’s getting better. I’m still seeing all the speckles and I have headaches all the time... I see spots out of my left eye. They call them floaters and I see them all the time. The whole world’s in speckles all the time. Its real weird.
I have a metal plate at the bottom half of my eye socket on the left side. It’s pretty hardcore. You can’t tell anymore. I had 45 stitches across my left eyebrow so now I have a cool scar across my eyebrow.
If a world without the Daryl Dixon we know and love is too much for Walking Dead fans, there's one positive thing that came out of Reedus's devastating crash; he made a friend for life.
Antibodies director Christian Alvart stuck by the young star and helped him during his months of recovery in a hospital thousands of miles from home. Reedus told Shock 'Til You Drop:
"He was by my bedside the whole time translating for me what the German doctors were saying. We became good friends. I’d do anything for him.”