‘The Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln Said Norman Reedus ‘Likes to Wipe His Dirt On People’

The Walking Dead has now been on the air for over a decade, but the friendships that the series formed may last even longer. The early seasons remain a fan favorite, even as the later ones fail to capture that original magic. The show is a bleak look at life after a zombie epidemic, and as such, the life behind the scenes can be intense. Luckily, some castmates, such as Norman Reedus, help keep things light away from the scripted drama on the screen.

Cast members of 'The Walking Dead' smiling in front of a black background
(L-R) Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Andrew Lincoln | Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Who are Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln? 

As a look at his IMDb page notes, Andrew Lincoln was a far cry from his on-screen persona in Rick Grimes. After all, he was a heavily acclaimed British actor thanks largely to romantic movies like Love, Actually and a slew of period pieces. However, when he took on the role of an American sheriff, it quickly became a career-defining moment for the longtime actor. 

Reedus also had a decent amount of success going in. According to IMDb, he first broke onto the scene in the cult classic Boondock Saints and rode that wave to several other prominent performances. However, Walking Dead was the mainstream success that propelled him over the top. There, the two actors formed a bond that appears to remain strong until today. 

Who do they play on ‘The Walking Dead’

Rick Grimes was the heart and soul of The Walking Dead from early on. After all, he was the eyes and ears of the audience after waking up from a coma that not only helped them set up the apocalyptic world, his failed attempt at keeping his family safe was the emotional core of the first few seasons on the air. On the other hand, Darryl is the loner cowboy who starts as a man who’s angry about his brother’s death but quickly becomes one of the show’s most iconic heroes.

While Lincoln left the show in 2018, the relationships he formed with characters like Darryl still resonate as they go on without their embattled leader. Just because the relationships were complicated on camera, however, it doesn’t mean the actors behind the scenes kept the same intensity. Many actors play around when cameras aren’t rolling, but according to Lincoln, no one does it quite like Reedus. 

A licker, not a fighter

Reedus has been there since the beginning, and while his castmates often speak glowing of him, a 2014 YouTube interview with the cast shows a co-star who is willing to go out of his way to make people laugh and disgust them. After Lauren Cohen spoke on Reedus’ penchant for licking people, Lincoln elaborated on his now-former co-star. 

Speaking about Reedus’s quirks, Lincoln spoke about the Boondock Saints actor’s most memorable quirks, from red carpet habits to his means of getting under co-stars’ skin. “You go to the red carpet with Norman, and that’s it,” Lincoln explained. “You’ve got the bird or the lick. I think it begins with the bird, and then if you grow in confidence, or if you really offend him, he will lick you. He’s a licker, not a fighter.”

However, licking might not be the most obnoxious Reedus quirk. Lincoln explained the actor’s favorite bit when he sees a castmate wearing a clean white shirt. “He likes to wipe his dirt on people, as well, among other things. At the end of the day, if you’re wearing white, never wear white around Norman Reedus. It’s like the Turin shroud. He wipes his face on people’s vests,” Lincoln said.

While this could be obnoxious for anyone who wasn’t in the mood for Reedus’s shenanigans, you’d be hard-pressed to find a co-star past or present who doesn’t think the world of the actor. That’s why he’s still there. The Walking Dead has seen many changes in the last decade, but Reedus remains one of the show’s big draws. 

With Lincoln, Cohen, and several other original castmates gone, this means that a new generation will learn not to offend, annoy, or wear white around the man who helped kick off one of the biggest series ever.  

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