The reason why Norman Reedus' Darly Dixon is The Walking Dead's biggest character? He can work that dirt, according to his costar Josh McDermitt.
McDermitt, Eugene on the popular AMC zombie apocalypse series, revealed the secrets to the dirtying process. Spoiler: they do shower and don't stink…right away at least.
"I'm a really pale guy and then I'm in shorts, so they bronze me up. This whole process with my hair and makeup takes about an hour. I go a whole hell of a lot longer than anyone else in the cast except maybe Norman because...he's constantly running back saying, ‘More dirt, more dirt!' They're like, ‘You're already filthy.' He's like, ‘I need more!' Sometimes he comes out looking like a coal miner, just like blasted, being so dark with this dirt," McDermitt tells us. "It's just like, ‘This looks ridiculous!' And then for whatever reason—they start sweating him up with sunscreen and just the sweat of the Georgia heat and some of the dirt washes away and he's seasoned perfectly with this dirt. I don't know how he does it. I think that's why he's the biggest star on the show because he knows exactly what to do to look as sexy as possible. I don't know that I'm ever going to be in his ranks because of the fact I'm wearing shorts. [Laughs.]"
When we last saw Eugene, he was coming to the rescue, saving Glenn (Steven Yeun) after Noah's (Tyler Jesse Williams) horrific death. Eugene lured the zombies away and secured a gravely injured Tara (Alanna Masterson). The affects of those happenings will be felt.
How will Tara's injury affect Eugene? Will we see that in the coming episodes?
Yeah, I think it's going to hit him pretty hard. This is one of his closest friends, at least with the group in the apocalyptic world at this point. She herself sort of felt like an outsider because of the things she had done with the Governors camp. It wasn't something that she did on purpose, she didn't know that he was that bad of a guy. So there were some justifications there, but I also feel like there are some justifications for Eugene lying to the group and saying he had the cure when he didn't. He just wanted to survive. Any one of us would've done something to survive…
The fact that they kind of both have that in common, just doing some kind of bad things, they certainly have bonded on a level that no one else has with them and so even though she still kind of gives him some crap and was even saying in the beginning of last week's episode, "Really are you still that much of a coward?" He threw it right back in her face saying, "I told you I was." I don't think he would've been that honest with someone else had it been someone else he was having the conversation with. He probably would've shut down, or he probably would've gone back to some sort of manipulation trying to ensure the fact that he wouldn't be out on this supply run. He's able to talk to Tara in ways he can't talk to other people. I think this injury to her really hits him hard and we will see a little bit of that moving forward.
And how does Noah's death affect the group as a whole?
I mean, it still remains to be seen, I think it's going to hit the group pretty hard. We have to remember that Noah is still a kid, I want to say he was 17 or 18 years old and they kind of had adopted him…especially after we find out his family had been killed. This whole group is a group of people that have lost someone and a lot of them fairly recently. The one thing that still just kind of impacts this group is the fact that they lose people that they love. I think they really related to him on that level, they brought him in and just to lose him so quickly and in such a violent and gruesome way—under Glenn's watch no less. I think we talked about it on Talking Dead, I don't know that Glenn has ever had someone killed or has lost someone under his watch. I think this is a really hard death that the group's going to have to deal with.
At the same time, maybe peek into the fact that Aiden died. We definitely are going to need to see what Deanna's reaction is to that, even though she kind of felt like he was a punk too, still it's her son. That's the thing that the show does so well, you could love or hate someone and then quickly turn in the opposite direction about how you feel about them just based on the fact they're a human and you can relate to them. I think that's something that Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman and all our producers do so well. Just kind of snapping you back to this emotional reality that a lot of times is void in other shows.
I read the comics, so I know Eugene begins to really flourish in Alexandria. Assuming that the show stays in Alexandria a little longer, are you looking forward to seeing that happen? Exploring the character more?
I'm definitely interested in seeing where Eugene goes. Whether or not it says in line with the comics remains to be seen. I think it's Scott Gimple's goal to do some storylines from the comics exactly as they were in the comics and then to do others in a remix sort of fashion, and also to bring up brand-new storylines. I think that's what they've done so well to keep it fresh. There's things you could do on the show that would've fly in the comics and vice versa. The show is definitely a separate entity, but still within that world and I think they do a great job of pulling from both sources back and forth. Wherever Eugene ends up, I'm going to be happy. I'm just excited to be part of the show.
Is there any other character you'd like to have more scenes with?
I would love to do a scene with Norman. I think with Daryl and Eugene, it's ripe for some really fun scenes. [Laughs.] I would love to see Eugene and Daryl going out and hunting for some squirrels, going on a ride on his motorcycle or something. I just think they're two unlikely companions and I think it would be really fun to explore that. Fans would get a kick out of that.
When the show introduced Aaron and his partner, there were some vocal fans online who were not pleased to see two gay men show affection on the show. What do you make of that? What do you say to them?
Really, we've go to be mean to each other? It's 2015. [Laughs.] I'm sure they would rather have it that no gay people survived the apocalypse, but the fact is it's probably what would happen. People need to chill out is what I'd say.
It was disappointed to see that there were enough people tweeting about it that it became a story.
I don't know why it needs to be a storyline, to be honest, on Twitter and the Internet. Newsflash: There are gay people in the world. OK, so you don't like it. You're up in arms about it? You've got to take to the Internet? There's really other things that you could probably pour your energy into that needs your attention. How about the fact that we're in a drought in California or how about there are starving children, we have a homeless problem. Whatever, it's stupid.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays, 9 p.m. on AMC.