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If you watched the series finale of AMC's The Walking Dead Sunday evening, then you probably fall into one of two camps: you either really enjoyed Daryl's name-drop of the show's title or — and this is understandable — you loathed it entirely. During a tense standoff with Governor Pamela Milton (Laila Robbins) and the soldiers loyal to her, Mr. Dixon (Norman Reedus) calls out the inherent BS of a place like the Commonwealth, which brought back the bigotry and classism of pre-walker society.
"You built this place to be like the old world, that was the f—in' problem," he tells Milton, who feebly counters with the argument that if she open the gates to affluent neighborhood, the dead will just pour in along with the living. "If you don't, you're gonna lose everything, anyway," parries Daryl. "We've got one enemy...we ain't the walking dead."
How did ‘The Walking Dead’ series finale differ from the comic’s ending?
Again, you either rolled your eyes at the corniness of it all, or found yourself swept up in the truth of his impassioned words. Reedus apparently falls into the former category. While chatting with Vanity Fair, the actor revealed that he really didn't want to say the line.
"They kind of talked me into saying it," he admitted. "But, if you remember way back when Rick says it, he was like, 'We are not the walking dead,' and he made such a big thing of it that I was like, 'Well, I can't make a big thing of it now because that's what Andy did way back then.' So I kind of just incorporated it into the dialogue, and I didn't want to shout it from the rooftops, because that's what he did. So I had to figure out a way to just make it part of the sentence without making it a poster."
Thankfully, Reedus can put an entire ocean between himself and that potentially cringe nod to the audience now that he's three weeks into production on a Daryl-centric spinoff project set in France. Currently without a title, the show will tie into the post-credits scene of The Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 2, which alluded to a connection between French scientists and the walker virus. So far, Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter) and Adam Nagaitis (Chernobyl) have been announced as key supporting cast members.
"It's so beautiful, it's so moving, and it's the character, but it's like he got swept away in a tornado and woke up in this foreign land and doesn't understand anything," Reedus teased. "There's French people speaking French, obviously, and part of the story is being confused with what’s around him, trying to figure out what they're saying, is this going to be a fight, are we going to get along? It's so epic in scale and it's so moving in tone that I'm just over the moon with what we're getting."
Seasons 1-10 of The Walking Dead are currently streaming on Netflix. The jumbo-sized final season can be found on AMC+.
If you're looking to satisfy your zombie craving immediately, head over to Peacock and check out the movie that kickstarted the entire genre: George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Or check out the SYFY original series, Day of the Dead.