At this point in his life, Norman Reedus should know a thing or two about how to survive a zombie attack. It doesn’t usually involve screaming. His character Daryl has made it through almost four seasons of The Walking Dead, and he might be the only one in the cast that, if the producers decide to kill him off, there would be dire consequences. Even if they killed of Rick (Andrew Lincoln), who is, at least in theory, the most important character on the show, there wouldn’t be the same public fall out as if they offed Daryl. He’s the only person on the show who has been consistently good throughout the entire run. That’s beside the point. After seeing thousands of fake TV zombies, how would Reedus react to seeing what, by all appearances, is a real life zombie? This video has your answer.
Huge Walking Dead fan Nick Santonastasso was born with a rare condition called Hanhart syndrome, which left him only one arm and no legs. This teen has a wicked mischievous streak, and has used his condition to his advantage. He’s made a habit of dressing up like a zombie and scaring the living shit out of random unsuspecting strangers. My favorite is the clip in this video where the woman at the hardware store starts hitting him with a stick.
Santonastasso’s videos have made their way around the Internet, and it’s very possible you’ve seen one or two, but he recently got the chance to unleash his prank on Reedus. He hooked up with Lincoln and Walking Dead make-up guru/producer/director Greg Nicotero to pull the stunt off. On a promotional tour in Japan, Reedus was just sitting in a hotel room, waiting for what he thought was going to be another in a probably endless parade of photo shoots and interviews. When he’s left alone, playing on his telephone machine, Santonastasso busts out from under a table and goes after the younger Dixon brother. Not so tough without your trusty crossbow, are you, Norman? It’s especially good when they show his reaction in slow motion.
This is all pretty funny, but my favorite part is that it’s almost as much as a surprise for Santonastasso as it is for Reedus. He knows he’s going to be part of another elaborate prank, but he has no idea who he’s going after, and is legitimately stoked that it’s Daryl.
The Walking Dead returns for the final eight episodes of season four on Sunday, February 9.