Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon

Daryl Dixon doesn't look all that sensitive here, but star Norman Reedus gives him heart in "The Walking Dead." (AMC)

It gets pretty crazy. And I think a new character is introduced.  

A new character?
Yeah, which I can't tell you who, but it's definitely a comic book favorite.  

Oh, is it The Governor?  
Hmm.  

Oh, OK don't tell me.
[Laughs.]

All right. We talked about at the beginning of the season how Daryl is sort of becoming closer to his group, and maybe curbing that anti-social behavior he's used in the past.  
Yeah, you know, he's definitely like; he's an abused person. Abused people kind of stick together. … He's got a really big bark, but he's got a soft side too because he grew up abused. So it's sort of his defense mechanism he's had his whole life. So, I think once you peel away some of the exterior sort of influences I think his softer interior side starts to come out every once in a while. But he'd never want to tell you that. And if you call him on it he'd probably, you know, stick you with a knife. [Laughs.] I'm trying to make him as complicated as possible.  

Right, will he intergrate even more with the group?  
Yeah, and you see him sort of take some more leadership roles and branch out on his own, not take a lot of flak from anyone. Yeah, he's not really part of the group in a way that he's looking for guidance so much or like looking for orders. He's not really one of those guys who takes orders, but he knows that there is safety in numbers, so, he's doing that. But as far as, like, [asking] "What should we do now?" he's not really that guy. Hopefully he can find himself in the group as part of a new family and sort of discover things for himself too, like just as a man.  

It's funny when you do television because like, in movies, you're going from here to here, and you have this sort of information to play with to get to this point.

With television if you can sort of skirt around and drop little seeds here and there and those little trees start to grow it's kind of a bonus for your storyline in the future. So if when you see those things sort of take fruition, it's kind of like, "Ah, I have a good idea." It's kind of a little Christmas present every time those seeds get watered.  

I love how you show his pain from his past experiences, keep him sort of a bit gruff and also show how he really does want to be included in the group.
Yeah. Thanks. When Melissa's character bends over and kisses him and tells him he's just as good as everybody else, like, she came in for the kiss and I was kind of like, [makes scare sound], "Hey are you gonna slap me?" "And please don't kiss me. I'd rather you slap me." You know what I mean? It's nice having all these different layers.  

All right, well I'm going to let you go. Thanks for calling. Happy New Year.
Thanks. I'm going to Mexico tomorrow.

Have a vacation?  
Yeah, I'm going to take my son and go catch some turtles or something. [Laughs.]

Have a good time.
All right, cool. Happy holidays. Yeah, happy holidays man.