Norman Reedus is a fan-favorite star on The Walking Dead and was in the cult favorite film The Boondock Saints. However, in the dozen years between those two gigs Reedus had experienced ups and downs in his career and in many cases he was cast in very small roles in big movies or lead roles in movies that went unnoticed. Because of that, he knows what it’s like to be both a superstar and an out-of-work actor. He shared with CNBC what he learned from those lean years.
Reedus understands what its like to be a struggling actor. He explains, “I mean, I’ve lived off $12 a month for probably a good portion of my life. If it’s something you really want, you have to roll with the rejection.”
Like any other actor trying to find work, Reedus says that one of the most difficult hurdles is auditioning. Reedus recalls one particular impossible audition experience. He says, “I remember a long time ago I auditioned for something, and the casting person said, ‘Can you do it again but try to be better looking, like that guy from Lost?’ I went, and I looked up Lost, and I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be better looking than that guy from Lost.'”
So what did Reedus learn from that experience? Don’t try to be someone or something that you can’t possibly be. He explains, “You just kind of have to realize it’s cool to be you, and just try to be the best you.”