‘The Walking Dead’: Lauren Cohan Said Norman Reedus Was ‘Disgusting,’ ‘He Actually Licks People’

Many stars have brought their quirks with them to work, including on The Walking Dead set. The cast of The Walking Dead had a lot to say about the strange greeting co-star Norman Reedus tends to give people. 

Lauren Cohan and Norman Reedus smiling in front of a white background
(L-R) Lauren Cohan and Norman Reedus | Kris Connor/Getty Images

‘The Walking Dead’ has an impressive ensemble cast

Through the dirt, grime, blood, and zombie guts, the post-apocalyptic cast of The Walking Dead is full of some truly remarkable stars. The gritty series premiered on AMC in 2010 and became an instant hit, drawing in viewers with its intense pacing and tendency to leave stories on gripping cliffhangers. 

A set of core characters has been a stable foundation throughout the show’s 11-season run, but — as is to be expected in a show that’s about survival in the most inhospitable conditions — many of the cast members have made exits over the years. Likewise, several new characters have joined the series.

Many of the stars have gone on to impressive careers beyond The Walking Dead. Steven Yeun, who rose to fame playing Glenn on the series, is now one of Hollywood’s hottest stars with an Oscar nomination under his belt. Danai Gurira, a fan favorite as Michonne, went on to wow in Black Panther

Lauren Cohan is one of the longest-running stars of ‘The Walking Dead’

At this point, only two cast members have been on the set through the show’s entire run. Both Norman Reedus (who plays Daryl) and Melissa McBride (who plays Carol) were introduced back in season 1. Lauren Cohan’s portrayal of Maggie comes in right behind those two, however — and that’s despite taking a season and a half away from the series before making a surprise return.

Maggie stole viewers’ hearts after her season 2 introduction. As they watched her fall in love with Glenn, the young couple represented a desperately needed optimism, and that symbolism only grew stronger when Maggie became pregnant. Eventually, Maggie gave birth to a baby named Hershel, and she was a stalwart part of the core group of survivors.

When Maggie was widowed at the cruel hand of Negan and Rick was assumed dead, she headed off with her son to find other communities. Her return has put tensions on high as Negan is not a prisoner as she expected but an allegedly reformed member of the community. 

Lauren Cohan called Norman Reedus ‘disgusting’

Cohan has worked alongside Reedus — who plays the quiet, brooding Daryl — for years. In an interview, she opened up about her disgust for Reedus’ tendency to greet people with “his standard greeting,” which is “to lick someone’s face” regardless of how much dirt and grime they’re covered in for the show. 

Andrew Lincoln, who played Rick, confirmed this observation, explaining that Reedus has two greeting options: the bird (referring to a raised middle finger) or the lick. Reedus talked with Conan O’Brien to explain the bizarre behavior, as Huffington Post reports. 

Reedus admits that he started “licking [his] castmates” despite their vocal opposition. Then he went on vacation and took selfies of him appearing to lick various monuments. At that point, it had become “a thing,” and the star leaned into it as his signature greeting — for co-stars and fans alike. Reedus said that fans will now come up to him and ask him to lick them, so not everyone objects to the questionable treatment. 

RELATED: ‘Walking Dead’ Star Lauren Cohan Reveals Why It Took Her a Month To Get Back Into Character as Maggie