‘The Walking Dead’ Star on Daryl and Connie Becoming More Than Friends

The Walking Dead star Lauren Ridloff, who plays slingshot-wielding warrior Connie, is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to a potential romance with Daryl (Norman Reedus).

“I don’t know,” Ridloff said through an ASL translator when asked by TV Guide if the fan-favorite pairing will turn romantic. “I can say that they definitely have a lot in common. They both don’t really speak that much. And they both are very strong leaders. They both are very loyal. They will do anything to protect the people that they care about. So I think they definitely have those things in common. Friends or more than that? Who knows! You'll just have to keep watching.”

A crumb of Connie’s backstory was revealed in 915, “The Calm Before,” when a signed conversation with sister Kelly (Angel Theory) hinted Connie may have lost a child, spurring her to take off and rescue an abandoned Whisperer baby in 911, “Bounty.” But as The Walking Dead looks ahead to Season Ten, Ridloff added she’s “intrigued to see where they’re actually going to go with my character.”

Ridloff previously revealed the gruesome discovery of the decapitated heads of Tara (Alanna Masterson), Enid (Katelyn Nacon), Henry (Matt Lintz) and other victims — claimed by unforgiving Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton) — “will have a huge impact on what happens in Season Ten,” which could be the first season to explore any kind of romance for longtime loner Daryl.

A small familial unit has already emerged between Daryl, Connie, Dog, and rescued former Whisperer Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Alpha’s abused daughter, who is feeling more displaced than ever after Henry’s murder. Could that dynamic carry over into a little family-within-a-family for Daryl?

“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,’” Reedus said at PaleyFest when asked to address the growing calls for ‘Donnie.’ “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.’”

Reedus added of the stoic Daryl, “I think he has a lot of respect for her, he admires her, for sure.”

The Walking Dead next airs its Season Nine finale Sunday, March 31 at 9/8c on AMC ahead of a Season Ten return in October.

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