Norman Reedus in The Walking Dead

AMC’s The Walking Dead has an–excuse the phrase–“rabid” fan base. The horror drama is the highest rated show in AMC history (keep in mind, this is the network that brought us Mad Men and Breaking Bad, to name just two) and indeed, is one of the biggest shows in the history of cable TV. The zombie apocalypse-meets-Survivor blood fest boasts a cast of relative unknowns who’ve become household names. Arguably, the most famous and revered zombie killer on the show is the former Prada model, Norman Reedus. Reedus plays Daryl Dixon, the bow-slinging avenger with a boulder on his shoulder due to the disappearance of his brother, Merle (Michael Rooker). There are numerous fan sites paying homage to the svelt actor including Daryl’s Dolls, Norman’s Nymphos, Dixon’s Vixens, and The Boondock Betties! Norman is certainly getting his fill of Hollywood fame and glory. But things weren’t always so fertile for the hunky slayer of the undead. After attending an REM concert in 2005, the car in which he was riding was hit by an 18-wheeler, and he was thrown through the windshield. Reedus sustained numerous injuries and underwent extensive plastic surgery. “I have a metal eye socket and four screws in my nose,” he casually explains. Norman remained in the hospital for several months and wasn’t sure he would ever act again. “After my accident, I was super self conscious,” he admitted. Not a great mindset for an actor! “My face was still swollen, and I looked like I had a black eye. My equilibrium was off, and I would trip over curbs. I felt so not myself.” But Norman didn’t lose faith; he kept at it and eventually landed the role that would make him famous/infamous: Daryl Dixon, zombie killer.

Norrman Reedus after car accident

So, what’s the point here? The point is this is inspiring! And if an actor’s job is anything, it’s to be inspiring. There will be challenges you face that feel like tragedies. You will come to a place you believe to be the end of the road. Car accidents, losing your home, bankruptcy, divorce, sleep apnea, you name it; everyone has their crosses to bear. But you have to keep on showing up. As Reedus himself explains it, John  Carpenter (legendary horror icon) had to push him to get back into acting after his accident: “I was terribly afraid, but John talked me into doing a role in his Masters of Horror TV series.” Okay, so Norman needed a little push, but let’s face it, we all do. Consider this blog your little push. Keep going, keep working, and keep striving. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll have multiple fan sites–or maybe you’ll just kill a lot of zombies!

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