Commander Monday – Blue Brigade Commander Norman Reedus
Blue Brigade, meet your commander Norman Reedus. This multi-talented actor, filmmaker, photographer, writer and artist has played an Irish vigilante, a sociopathic murderer, street gang leader, a conspirator, the unfortunate snack of cannibalistic humanoids on a deep-space vessel, and – of course- fan favorite redneck zombie killer Daryl Dixon on AMC’s The Walking Dead.
“I had fears going into television that it might become boring to me and I always like to be challenged, push myself. You do a film and you know where you’re going, you have this material to stretch and play with as much as possible because you know how it ends. With this, every day I show and I try and make the best of every single day and I try and find the little nuances that make Daryl a unique guy and not just a hero or an anti-hero, whatever.” – NR October 16, 2011 interview with Digital Spy
Norman Reedus has described himself as “a total wimp,” a “dork,” and denies that he would do anything other than run when threatened by a shuffling zombie horde. He also recently revealed that he has stuffed animals on his bed and enjoys cuddling kitties in his spare time. Don’t be fooled! This is clearly a clever ruse of some sort, a diversion tactic to keep us all guessing… or perhaps he simply is too humble to willingly admit how completely badass he truly is. Whatever the case, Norman did not rise to the rank of Commander by being a total wimp. The motorcycle alone is all the evidence we need.
Norman started making ripples in the film industry in 1997, appearing very briefly in the film Mimic and then taking the starring role in the coming of age tale Floating. After delivering a solid performance alongside Deborah Harry in Six Ways to Sunday, there was literally no stopping him. Two years later, The Boondock Saints delivered a pair of Irish vigilante twin brothers for our consideration, and the general consensus was clear. He co-starred in Beat with Courtney Love and Kiefer Sutherland, hunted vampires with Wesley Snipes and Kris Kristofferson in Blade II, shared the screen with Harvey Keitel in A Crime, and played a deranged psychopath who induced a collective horrified shudder from all who saw Red Canyon. Short film Meet Me in Berlin , filmed immediately after a frightening car accident in Berlin, is most simply put, a true story. Not long ago he was Lewis Payne in Robert Redford’s Conspirator, and he has also handled many smaller roles in films both independent and large-budget, guest roles on TV’s Charmed and Law and Order: SVU and several music videos, most recently Lady Gaga’s Judas.
Norman’s work as an artist, photographer and filmmaker shows yet another branch of talent for a man who has been described as one of the hardest-working actors in the business. Much of his photographic works are available for purchase on his film production company’s website, and the short films collection 3 Films by Norman Reedus are available for download as well.
Norman has proven on many occasions just how compassionate a human heart can be, whether by participating in fundraising charity drives or supporting a sick little girl who asks for nothing more than a hello for herself. When devastating earthquakes struck Haiti and Japan, he took to the internet to rally friends and fans, donating all proceeds from sales of his 3 Films to fund relief efforts, and the same method has been used to raise funds for Oxfam on several occasions.
Yeah, we already know all that. So what’s he been up to recently?
Norman lives in New York City sharing space with a host of stuffed animals, action figures and toys… and the occasional snake. He recently hosted a photography exhibit in New York through Wired magazine, during which canvas prints of several stunning pieces collected during his travels by motorcycle on the back roads of Georgia were autographed and auctioned to the public with all proceeds going to Oxfam (there’s that big heart again). We also learned a little bit about photographic taxidermy during this exhibit.
We’re sure we don’t need to inform anyone that The Walking Dead resumed its second season last night after an anxious mid-season break, returning our favorite squirrel-tossing, zombie-killing redneck to our living rooms and DVRs. During the Walking Dead break, Norman filmed Sunlight Jr on location in Florida with Naomi Watts and Matt Dillon. Be sure to also keep an eye on the horizon for indie dramas Hello Herman and Night of the Templar.
In a recent interview with Metropolis, Norman spoke briefly of his ties to the artist community in New York and gave his mom full credit for his tough-guy exterior on screen. Last week, USA Today no doubt saw a spike in newsstand sales as fans bought up multiple copies of Thursday’s edition with Daryl Dixon standing strong on the front page.
When not filming The Walking Dead, Norman can often be found attending conventions and other public events with fellow Boondock alumni Sean Patrick Flanery and David Della Rocco, during which hilarity is always guaranteed to ensue even when faced with massive shambling horde of fans and admirers.
In conclusion, no matter how much Norman cries “wimp” and “dork,” we think the man doth protest too much. Norman is one of those rare breeds who leads with the heart and makes a difference simply because knows he should, and because he can. In short, when the chips are down and all hope seems lost, don’t give up. Reedus’ Blue Brigade will be there… as soon as they get that blasted GPS to work properly…