With AMC's The Walking Dead back into production and starting on the six "extra" episodes set for early 2021 that are meant to bridge the 10th and 11th seasons, Norman Reedus aka Daryl Dixon (who tipped fans off via social media that the team was back to work about a day or so before the "formal" announcement) is offering some more personal insights into how filming has changed with new COVID health protocols in place. Speaking with the hosts of SiriusXM's EW Live to promote his new book Portraits from the Woods, Reedus revealed that some state-of-the-art technology is in place to make sure the every stays safe: "We wear these little tracers in our clothes that will tell us how long we spend in proximity to another tracer."
While the set has masks, shields, temp checks, testing, other steps in place to guarantee a healthy work environment, there's one part of the process Reedus can't quite get used to: being "announced" before coming on set. "It's kind of embarrassing," he admitted. "Because I'll show up on set and they'll be like 'Actor on set!' And then the people part like Moses and the sea. And I'm like, "Excuse me, coming through.' It's embarrassing." Not being able to physically interact with castmates as he's been able to in the past has also taken Reedus some time getting used to. "We like to hug, we like to high-five, we like to shake each other. We're with that group. So to keep us all separated, it's different. Granted we're getting used to it, but there are no divas on this set," he explained. "Now everyone's away from each other and everyone's got these masks on you and you can't see people's smile, so it's kind of a different vibe."
New rules will even impact how Daryl takes on walkers on-screen- and from the sound of it? While the new protocols are keeping them safe from a positive COVID test, they'll also be walking away with a few more bruises than usual. "I just fought with a zombie stuntman last week, and usually you're kind of face to face and you can roll around together and have fluid movements and it doesn't hurt your body as much. But this guy had to be away from me and he had to wear a mask on a zombie, which was really weird. But instead of the fluid-rolling-around sort of style, he has to stiff-arm me to get his face out of camera. So it hurt a lot more," Reedus explained. "I finally got manhandled by the zombie. I had to offer him a free drink at Nic and Norman's because I think I hurt him a little bit. But it was actually me that deserved the drink 'cause I got beat up more than him."