The Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus and Lauren Ridloff addressed growing calls for the currently platonic dynamic between Daryl and Connie to turn romantic, a shift Reedus hinted is closer to happening because Daryl “admires” and “has a lot of respect” for the slingshot-wielding Connie.
“When we actually were shooting some of the scenes, when I was shooting some of them with Norman, I have to say, it’s almost like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” Ridloff said through an interpreter at PaleyFest in Los Angeles Friday, adding there are “exciting and cool things happening with Connie and Daryl.”
“I think they both are surprised at how well they work together,” Ridloff said. “Both of them are leaders ... And obviously we don’t talk much, obviously, I guess I didn’t have to say that [laughs]. So I do think that we definitely make sense as a team and as a duo.”
Reedus was slower to answer, mulling a response amid a sizable amount of cheers when host Chris Hardwick touched on “Donnie” — the given name for the Daryl and Connie pairing since adopted by viewers hoping to see the partnership blossom into a romance.
“Definitely the Butch Cassidy Sundance, let’s just start there, alright,” Reedus said.
“But I love the scene when I’m leaving Hilltop and she’s like, ‘Hey, I’m coming with you.’ I’m like, ‘Nuh uh.’ And she’s like, ‘No, I’m coming with you.’ I think — Daryl’s not ever gonna be with somebody that’s like, ‘So, what do you want for lunch?’ ‘I’ll just have a salad.’ He’ll never be, somebody has to — he has to respect them. And you see during the episodes that we work together, he’s like, ‘Oh, sh-t, she can handle herself. She’s a leader.’”
Daryl and Connie first splintered off together in 911, “Bounty,” venturing with Dog into dangerous Whisperer territory to retrieve Henry (Matt Lintz), who aimed to rescue abused girlfriend Lydia (Cassady McClincy) from her mother, psychotic Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton). Daryl, Connie, Dog, Henry, and Lydia then formed their own unit when on the run from Beta (Ryan Hurst) and Alpha’s underlings, a mission that proved Connie’s capabilities in the field.
“And I think that’s something that... I don’t wanna say much. You know what I mean? The boss is right here,” Reedus said, motioning towards showrunner Angela Kang. “But yeah, I think he has a lot of respect for her, he admires her, for sure.”
When addressing Daryl’s lack of a love life in February, Reedus compared the woodsman to “a flamingo or a penguin,” saying if Daryl finds love “he’s gonna stick with it.”
The Walking Dead next airs its penultimate episode of Season Nine Sunday, March 24 at 9/8c on AMC.
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