“I think when it happens, it’s gonna be a big deal. But I’m glad that we have played him the way we’ve played him. I think if we would have had some hot steamy barn sex somewhere, it would be over and done, it wouldn’t be a thing,” Reedus told TV Line.
“I don’t think he’s that type of a guy. I think he’s the type of guy that when he does it, he’ll be in love. Like he will fall in love. He wears his heart on his sleeve. Everything he means he says, when he cares about someone, he cares about them. And I think playing it in that direction is better than having an episode or a scene in one thing. It means more to him. He’s sensitive.”
A fling is out of the cards for the reserved Daryl, who has long been unattached and yet to express romantic interest in eight seasons of The Walking Dead. The series flirted with a potential Daryl and Beth (Emily Kinney) pairing during season 4 — most notably in 4x12, “Still,” which isolated the archer and the farm girl as they hunkered down in a shack — but the relationship never progressed beyond Daryl’s usual protectiveness, despite a subset of fans calling for a coupling.
Others have long lobbied for ‘Caryl,’ a romantic pairing between Daryl and the more self-sufficient Carol (Melissa McBride), who looks to have finally established a romantic relationship with King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) in season 9.
Reedus revealed previously original showrunner Frank Darabont, who co-created Daryl Dixon specially for Reedus and exclusively for the show, once intended Daryl to be revealed as gay.
“He said, ‘What do you think if we made Daryl gay?’” Reedus recalled in a chat with Mirror Online. “And I was like, ‘Let’s do it, let’s do it!’ He was like, ‘I knew I picked the right guy for this job!’”
“It never happened obviously, but I'm not against it. And if it happened, I would be down for it, and I’d try to kick ass at it, but I don’t know if that’s where we’re going with it,” Reedus said. “It hasn’t come up other than fans, and Tom [Payne] joking about it.”
Earlier this month, new season 9 showrunner Angela Kang — who penned several Daryl-focused episodes, including “Still” — told TV Line the upcoming season might not explore Daryl’s non-existent sex life, but will give the gruff survivor a compelling story.
“What I will say, is that we will be telling a great story with Daryl this season,” Kang said. “He has some really meaty material coming up, so Daryl fans will get their fill.”
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres Sunday, October 7 on AMC.