Zombie hunter gives an insider's view of the apocalypse

Norman Reedus in a scene from the TV series The Walking Dead.
Norman Reedus in a scene from the TV series The Walking Dead. Russell Kaye/AMC - Contributed by FX

WHAT would you do in a zombie apocalypse?

This question has been at the heart of acclaimed AMC drama series The Walking Dead, now in its third series, which follows a group of survivors led by deputy sheriff Rick Grimes.

Rather than feature endless zombie killing, the show focuses on the human dramas of survival in a hostile, post-apocalyptic world.

"I think that's one of the reasons this show is popular," said star Norman Reedus, who plays fan-favourite Deryl Dixon.

"Everyone's infected; time is precious; these are your feet on the ground, so what are you going to do? The clock is ticking."

The Walking Dead - FX - Tuesday at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW

The Emmy Award-winning series shocked fans late last year with its mid-series cliff-hanger, in which Deryl and his brother Merle were facing death at the hands of the crazed Governor and young Carl was forced to shoot his own mother to prevent her from becoming a "walker", as zombies are referred to in the show, just after she gave birth.

"I knew that was going to happen when we started this season," Reedus said.

"We talked about that happening way back when. I saw it coming."

The highly anticipated series three return will air on pay-TV channel FX just 33 hours after it airs in the US.

That's lucky for Aussie fans, considering the mid-series cliff-hanger sent Twitter and Facebook into meltdown.

Reedus, who plays "redneck hero" Deryl, was in Sydney last week to talk about the show's epic return.

A war is brewing between the citizens of Woodbury, lead by the charming Governor, and Rick's nomadic group of survivors after one of them kills the Governor's zombie daughter, whom he was protecting in the hopes of an eventual cure.

"A full-blown war happens," Reedus said.

"There is so much stuff that happens; look how fast the first half of season three went with all the deaths.

"Things happen that are horrifying and sad and amazing and terrifying."

Unlike many of the show's characters who seem to lose hope after the zombie outbreak, the crisis has brought the best out of Deryl.

"He's finding a sense of purpose with these people," Reedus said.

"He's turning into the man he was never going to be.

"He's the only one, I think, that's happening to."

And Reedus, whose character's weapon of choice is a crossbow, says his favourite walker kill of the series is coming up in the second half of series three.

"It involves three walkers, one arrow and a knife," he said.

"It's pretty impressive."

But if a zombie outbreak really ever did come to pass, Reedus says he wouldn't be quite as heroic as his character.

"I would just give up," he said.

"I'd probably watch cartoons until it was over."

Topics:  the guide, tv show, zombies



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