‘The Walking Dead’ star Norman Reedus Reveals His Non-traditional Path to a Successful Acting Career

norman-reedus-the-walking-deadSome people have very traditional routes in pursuing their acting career by studying at a prestigious school, making their way out to Los Angeles and eventually getting their first big break. For The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus, his path was anything but traditional.

In an interview with the U.K.’s Metro, he talked about his journey as a working actor.

“I followed a girl I met in Japan to Los Angeles and ended up working in a motorcycle store. I quit the job one night, went to a party in the Hollywood Hills and ended up yelling at a bunch of people. Someone saw me yelling and asked me to be in a play,” he said.

While he didn’t even have to audition for the role, his path got even easier when he was scouted once the play went up.

Reedus continued, “The first night, there was an agent in the audience who took me on and sent me out for jobs.”

After the play closed, he immediately was cast in another project.

“I did a film called Floating early on that had a scene which was similar to a real-life situation I was in at the time. It involved me having a conversation with my father, who was dying. It was close to home and it made me realize acting wasn’t just making faces for the cameras, it was a real art form,” shared the 44-year-old actor. “That scene opened my eyes and made me want to try harder at it. You need jumbo elephant balls to be an actor in the first place because there’s a lot of rejection – so you need to believe in it.”

It seems like the AMC star had it pretty easy in the beginning of his career, but not all of his jobs were glamorous. He talked about his least favorite jobs both in and out of the entertainment industry.

“The motorcycle store wasn’t that much fun. It was a lot of grunt work – changing oil and tires,” said Reedus. “As far as acting, I did a film early on which involved me crying and breaking down and making a confession. As I was doing it, I looked at the other actor in the scene, who was looking over my shoulder, saying: ‘Can I get a cappuccino?’ I was like: ‘Is this how it works? Is this what you’re supposed to do?’ I was so new to it, I didn’t know any better. Now I think: ‘What a jerk…'”

Season 4 of AMC’s The Walking Dead premiered on Oct. 13.

Leave a Reply

Tom Hanks on Working with Steven Spielberg and Mark Rylance in ‘Bridge of Spies’
"Steven does this incredible thing when he casts you: He empowers you with the scene." - Tom Hanks on Steven Spielberg
Tom Hardy on Playing Twins in ‘Legend,’ Being Seen as a Tough Guy, and Working with Philip Seymour Hoffman
Hardy speaks about why he challenged himself to play twins, what he thinks of his tough guy image, and working with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who directed him on stage.
Emily Blunt on Action Movie Roles: “I think it’s important to show different layers. Nobody is just tough, nobody is just vulnerable”
Emily Blunt touches upon why she has gotten into roles with an action bent and why she thinks there aren't more action movies with female leads
Jorja Fox on Life After ‘CSI’: “I’ve always enjoyed not knowing exactly where the road leads”
"I think you kind of have to embrace the unknown if you're an actor." - Jorja Fox
John Turturro on the Life of an Actor: “It’s a rough business. I wouldn’t want my kids to do it”
"I am usually very well prepared. If you’re a surgeon, you’ve got to know what you’re going to take out today." - John Turturro