Diehard fans of The Walking Dead already know what a total badass Daryl Dixon is. But to see Norman Reedus—Daryl's insanely popular portrayer—wield a crossbow on the set of his Men's Fitness cover shoot, it's hard to believe Reedus himself wouldn't dispatch of Walkers with ease in a real-life zombie apocalypse. In this exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Reedus shares what he loves most about his feral and fearless alter ego, self-deprecatingly describes his personal style ("God, do I have any personal style?" he asks), and gives some insight into his training and nutrition.
About his character, Daryl: "He's honest and he's awkward. He always fights because he's always had his back against the wall. There's a vulnerability and honesty that I like."
Personal style: "It's probably an old punk rock T-shirt, jeans, work boots, and Ray-Bans. That's pretty much what I've been wearing since high school."
Diet and training: "The one thing that I try to do is watch what I eat. No sugar, no breads, no pastas. I swim a lot. I run through the trails where I live in Georgia."
But his best weight-loss secret? "Running through the woods in 120-degrees and all that humidity in Georgia [shooting the show]," Reedus says, with a chuckle.
Writer Josh Dean, who had a chance to hang with Reedus on the set of The Walking Dead, had this to say about his profile subject:
"Norman was a genuinely nice, normal-seeming guy, which isn't all that typical of big stars. And I think based on The Walking Dead's massive following, it's fair to say that he is now a massive star. When I met him on set, he'd just arrived on his motorcycle and seemed thrilled to talk about the show and his life, to the extent that he ran way over time, and producers had to come looking for him to take him back to rehearsals. He's a pretty glib, funny guy who got super-famous late, so he's not spoiled and Hollywood-y. He also has some good and funny perspective about the fact that women kind of obsess over him. The dude is like the sex symbol of the south, I think."
Read Josh's profile of Norman Reedus in the December 2013 issue of Men's Fitness, on newsstands November 18.
Grooming by Kristan Serafino/serafinosays.com using Grooming Lounge