Norman Reedus is one of the shining stars on AMC’s The Walking Dead. The 48-year-old actor plays Daryl Dixon, the motorcycle-riding, crossbow-shooting survivor. He is one of the few remaining characters from season one, which also includes Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes, Chandler Riggs’ Carl Grimes, Melissa McBride’s Carol, and, technically, Lennie James’ Morgan. When Daryl was first introduced, he was a rugged loner with a dark past. Throughout his time on the show, though, Daryl has opened up and showed off the many facets of his personality. Norman Reedus, too, has many facets and some of them are quite odd. Seriously, Norman Reedus is one strange dude, but that’s also why people love him so much. Because, how can you not love someone who is so willing to embrace their weird side?
What makes Norman Reedus so strange? Well… a lot. Norman Reedus lived quite a life, even before his time in Hollywood. The odd jobs and the ways he made money before his Hollywood fame were definitely strange. Before his success in film and television, he also modeled. Yes, Daryl Dixon was a model for Prada. His lifestyle is also interesting, from his business investments, to his diet, to who he goes to strip clubs with. Oh, and Norman Reedus’ relationship with Andrew Lincoln is 100% strange. But, it is this quirky personality that has helped Reedus find such a huge fanbase, resulting in his own show Ride with Norman Reedus. Like we said, you gotta love a man who embraces his strange.
What’s so strange about Norman Reedus? A LOT. Below are the weirdest, oddest, strangest facts about Norman Reedus.
15. He Kept Andrew Lincoln’s Beard Clippings
Remember when Andrew Lincoln had a full-blown beard as Rick Grimes? It was glorious. The beard highlighted Rick’s growth into a more brutal survivor. After the fall of the prison, after Rick bit out someone’s throat, after Terminus, Rick’s beard was at its maximum beardiness, as Rick’s vicious determination to survive was at its maximum as well. Upon arriving in Alexandria, Rick shaves so he can reveal his chiseled jaw. (Amen!) For this scene, though, Lincoln really shaved off his beard… and then Norman Reedus kept the beard clippings. No, we’re not kidding.
Reedus even posted the above photo of his “Rick’s Beard” bag on social media. When asked what he was going to do with the beard clippings, Reedus said that he was planning on cloning Andrew Lincoln. What Reedus really plans to do with the baggie of hair is beyond us.
14. His Mother Was A Bunny
Norman Reedus’ quirky lifestyle may have begun the day he was born, because his mother wasn’t the most conventional mother. Marianne Reedus dabbled in many, many different career fields. Most notably, she posed as a Playboy bunny. Yes, Daryl Dixon’s mom was a Playboy bunny.
Marianne Reedus was also reportedly mad that Norman had mentioned this tidbit about her past in an interview. Perhaps she was mad because she held so many other interesting jobs too. She also sold coffins. Yes, a Playboy bunny who sold coffins… but, it gets weirder. She taught kindergarten and ran an orphanage at one point. No many people in the world can say that they posed for Playboy, sold coffins, and taught kindergarten. In fact, she may be the only person in the world to have done all these jobs.
13. He Used To Sell Paintings Of Stray Cats
Before making it in Hollywood, Reedus lived quite a life. He dropped out of high school to move to Tokyo. He was quite the world traveler in this time, going from Tokyo to London to Spain. While in Spain, he reportedly supported himself by selling paintings of stray cats. Yes, you read that correctly. Norman Reedus used to pay his bills by selling paintings of stray cats. Oh, and he hasn’t stopped creating cat related art. At 2016’s Cat Art Show in Los Angeles, Norman Reedus displayed cat paintings and photographs. So when he’s not playing Daryl Dixon, he’s in his trailer creating cat art. Think about that for a second.
Apparently, cat art is really popular. A cat painting sold at Sotheby’s for a whopping $826,000 in 2015. We don’t think Reedus is raking in that kind of dough for his cat art, but hey, you never know.
12. He Was In A Band Called Vicious Pr*ck
Norman Reedus’ quirkiness began early in life. Did you know that he was on a competitive youth tennis team? Yeah, it’s strange. Just when you hear something and think “Norman Reedus wouldn’t do that,” he probably did that.
While his tennis days were short-lived, he did spend a good chunk of time in a band called Vicious Pr*ck. Reedus has said that the band was terrible. To be fair, most bands started by teenage boys are terrible. That’s just the way it goes. Reedus also revealed that they mostly just sang Black Flag songs. The band was mentioned in the short film, Meet Me in Berlin, in which Reedus appeared.
Reedus’ musical career didn’t fully end after that. He went on to appear in several music videos, for R.E.M., Keith Richards, and Radiohead. He also appeared in Lady Gaga’s “Judas” music video. Reedus’ son, Mingus, is keeping the musical tradition alive. He’s in a band called God Fart. Yes, Vicious Pr*ck and God Fart.
11. He Modeled For Prada In The ’90s
Before success on The Walking Dead, Reedus modeled for Prada, Gap, Levis and H&M. While most of his female fan base wouldn’t be surprised by this information, Norman Reedus is incredibly humble about his looks in general. When talking about rejection, Reedus recalled an audition, “I remember a long time ago I auditioned for something, and the casting person said, ‘Can you do it again but try to be better looking, like that guy from Lost?’ he said. I went, and I looked up Lost, and I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be better looking than that guy from Lost.’”
To be fair, Josh Holloway is really good looking. Even though Norman Reedus doesn’t look exactly like Josh Holloway, it hasn’t stopped his female fans from loving him all the same. In fact, one fan even sent Reedus a breast implant in the mail. It was apparently to cheer him up. Reedus uses it as a phone cradle. Just imagine being such a stud that women send you breast implants in the mail.
10. He Opened A Restaurant In Georgia
Since The Walking Dead shoots in Georgia, Norman Reedus spends a lot of time in Georgia. Why not open up a restaurant there, right? Well, that is exactly what Norman Reedus did. With partner Greg Nicotero, an executive producer on TWD, Reedus opened Nic and Norman’s. The restaurant offers a wide selection of burgers, with a Norman’s Pick, which we can only assume is Norman Reedus’ favorite item on the menu. It’s a bison patty, topped with spinach, onions, a friend egg, and mustard.
On the restaurant’s website, the mission statement reads:
“As artists, we are passionate about creating special moments. Beyond the screen, we recognize that this often happens while enjoying a great meal in the company of family and friends. When the opportunity came to open a restaurant in Senoia, we knew it was a natural extension of our passion. We hope you capture a few of those special moments here.
Thanks for joining us on this journey we call Nic & Norman’s.
Greg Nicotero & Norman Reedus”
9. He Had Thanksgiving With The Duck Dynasty Cast
The reason fans love Norman Reedus so dearly is because he gives his fans what they want. Well, in 2013, the fans were the cast of Duck Dynasty and what they wanted was to have Thanksgiving dinner with Norman Reedus.
Duck Dynasty is a reality television show that follows the Robertson family. They live in Louisiana and they hunt ducks. That’s about it. We understand why the Robertsons would like The Walking Dead and be huge fans of Daryl Dixon. I mean, Daryl Dixon would fit in with the family not problem. But, would Norman Reedus, the guy who sells cat art, fit in with the family? Of course, he would! Norman Reedus can get along with anyone. Of the occasion, Reedus said, “A bunch of weird dudes. Come to think of it, they seemed pretty sophisticated to me.”
8. He Credits His Success To His Scowl
As we pointed out earlier, Norman Reedus is very humble for being a star on one of the most popular shows on television. I mean, this is a guy who has gotten breast implants sent to him, but he hasn’t even let that go to his head. He actually thinks he owes his career to his insecurity. In an interview, Reedus stated, “I’m still insecure, but when I first started acting, I was really insecure. I glared at a lot of people. I assumed everyone hated me. Somehow that scowl has turned into an acting career. And I kill someone in everything I do, so…”
We have to admit that Norman Reedus has a point. More times than not, Reedus is cast as a killer in his roles. So, maybe he really does owe his career to his scowl.
7. He’s A Vegetarian (Because Of The Walking Dead)
Daryl Dixon will eat just about anything. We’ve seen him eat dog, bunny, rat, snake, and even dog food. He’s eaten anything and everything he could get his hands on, but that’s mostly because he doesn’t have a choice. Norman Reedus, on the other hand, has a choice about what he eats because, y’know, he’s not living through the apocalypse. About his vegetarian diet, Reedus revealed, “I’ve become a vegetarian and I’m kind of bummed about it.”
While meat is delicious, the grotesque violence on the show has turned Reedus off eating meat. He’s not the only one. It’s been reported that about 80% of the food served on set is meat-free because the cast and crew have all been so turned off meat. Well, we can’t really blame them. It’s hard enough to watch on television, so we can’t imagine how disgusting it looks while they are filming.
6. His Favorite Episode Sucks
Norman Reedus’ favorite episode of The Walking Dead is “Still” (S4, E12). This was the Beth and Daryl episode, in which the two characters play a drinking game and bond.
After the fall of the prison, Beth and Daryl are on their own. It is at this point that Beth decides if she’s going to die, she might as well get drunk first. While it’s irresponsible, we get her logic a little bit. Live while you can, right? Daryl is hesitant, but eventually plays Never Have I Ever with Beth and a bottle of Moonshine. In the course of the episode, there was yelling. There was crying. There was hope for Daryl-Beth shippers everywhere. However, some fans hated this episode and claimed that it was out of character for Daryl to act so recklessly.
Reedus’ reasoning for picking this episode is this, “I gotta the say the one with Beth, ‘Still.’ I gotta say that one. Emily [Kinney] and I, we bonded so much on that episode and I had never really worked one-on-one with Emily before. I’d worked with everybody but Emily pretty much. Doing that…It was those two characters learning about each other as those two actors learned about each other all on the spot. It was really interesting and I loved watching her get that opportunity to just explode like that.”
5. He Was Married To A Victoria’s Secret Angel
Norman Reedus has been married only once and it was to a Victoria’s Secret Angel, because of course. Reedus was married to Helena Christensen from 1998 – 2003, in which time she gave birth to a son named Mingus Lucien Reedus.
The 5’10” beauty has brown hair and bright green eyes. In 1986, she won Miss Denmark and then went on to represent Denmark in the Miss Universe competition. Her career exploded, with covers on Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and others. She landed several high-fashion campaigns, from Chanel, to Hermes, to Valentino. She then went on to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel, along with Tyra Banks and Stephanie Seymour. It was this era of models that launched Victoria’s Secret line.
4. He Goes To Strip Clubs With Courtney Love
Honestly, hearing that Norman Reedus frequents strip clubs with Courtney Love isn’t all that shocking. In fact, it kind of sounds exactly like something Norman Reedus would do. If you were to ask someone what Norman Reedus does on a Friday night, they’d say, “Hm, I don’t know. He seems like the type of guy who might go to a strip club with Courtney Love.” In terms of normal people though, it’s still somewhat strange.
The pair were spotted at a New York strip club called Sapphire. It was reported that the strippers paid extra attention to Reedus, because duh. I mean, if Daryl Dixon/Norman Reedus comes into a strip club, I’m pretty sure all the strippers would be excited about that. Courtney Love then made it rain dollar bills on the strippers. What a friggin’ sight. We’re just bummed that we missed this outing.
3. He Once Owned His Own Art Gallery
After learning that Norman Reedus once made a living selling cat art, you may not be all that surprised to find out that he also once owned an art galley. He was the co-owner of Collective Hardware in New York. There’s no word if it was a cat art only gallery, but that would be super cool. It’s obvious that Norman Reedus has a great respect for the art world. Though, we’re guessing Daryl Dixon probably doesn’t give a shit about art, but alas that is what acting is all about.
Reedus is also a neat freak, whose favorite household item is the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. We’re going to go ahead and say that Daryl Dixon differs in this sense too. Daryl doesn’t come off like he’s even heard of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. I mean, the very first time the audience meets Daryl, he suggests they eat a deer that a zombie had just been chewing on. Neat freak Norman Reedus would probably not be too down with that, as most people wouldn’t be. Of course, they do have their love of motorcycles in common.
2. He’s In The Middle Of A Prank War With Andrew Lincoln
We talked about Norman Reedus collecting Andrew Lincoln’s hair, which is strange on so many levels. Well, their off-screen bromance goes even deeper than beard clippings. The pair has been engaging in a prank war for quite some time. We’re not talking about a low-key prank war, in which they pants each other, throw water balloons at each other, or something like that. They are elaborate. At one point, Reedus had filled Lincoln’s trailer up with live chickens. Reedus also filled the vents to Lincoln’s car with glitter, posting the glitter-covered Lincoln to social media. In the video, Reedus tells him, “Have a fun ride home in the heat, bro.” Way to rub it in, Reedus.
The fact that these two grown men are engaging in such childish pranks is awesome, especially considering the, errr, not-so-childish show in which they star. Never lose your inner child. Norman Reedus hasn’t.
1. Daryl Isn’t In The Comics
Daryl Dixon feels like such a solid part of The Walking Dead show that it may shock some to find out his character is not in the comic books. That’s right, Daryl Dixon is simply an invention of the television show. While that’s not so strange, since many characters are inventions of the television show, the reason he’s on the show is a bit strange.
Norman Reedus was apparently so obsessed with the script that he begged to audition for a role, so he was brought in to read for Merle, a role that had already been cast. The producers liked Reedus so much that they created the role of Daryl specifically for him, with the intention to let Reedus help develop the character. This is why some of Daryl’s personality (like his love of his motorcycle) is a reflection of Reedus.
There you have it. Norman Reedus is a big ol’ weirdo that you can’t help but love.