“If that’s the story they gave me, I would rock that story. I’m not afraid of it,” Reedus said.
While most of the characters in the show are derived from the comic books on which the series is based, Reedus’ character was created exclusively for the AMC drama, making his backstory an easy target for speculation.
Reedus said he discussed the idea of Daryl being gay early on with then-executive producer Frank Darabont, who exited the show after season one.
“I (was) like ‘Hell yeah, let’s do it,'” Reedus recalled saying to Darabont when asked if he’d be open to the possibility.
“Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman has talked about Daryl’s sexuality before, first in the letters column of the “Walking Dead” comic and then during “The Talking Dead” aftershow. When asked if the character might be gay, Kirkman responded that the storyline has been talked about.
“We have very specific ideas about Daryl’s sexuality (or the seeming lack thereof), and if there’s ever a quiet period in the show where he’s not consistently distracted by crossbowing… we’ll tackle it in the show,” he said in the letters section.
He later clarified on “Talking Dead”: “In the letter column of the comic book that I do, I mentioned that there was a possibility early on about making Daryl Dixon’s character gay. I just wanted to clarify that the possibility is there and that I would have been fine with it, the network would have been fine with it — but we ultimately didn’t do that. I can make it official: Daryl Dixon is straight.”
While it’s always possible that the producers could change their minds (it seems as though Darabont might have pursued that storyline had he stayed with the series), the show has recently introduced its first two openly gay characters, Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Eric (Jordan Woods-Robinson), after debuting lesbian character Tara (Alanna Masterson) last season. In an interview with Variety, Marquand admitted that current showrunner Scott M. Gimple plays his cards pretty close to his chest.
“From one episode to the next you really don’t know where he and the writers will go,” Marquand said, adding, “I think for Rick and also for the audience, it’s nice to see that relationship between Eric and Aaron. It’s clear to anybody watching this that these two absolutely love each other and they’re not afraid to express that.”
“The Walking Dead” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC. Do you think it should be revealed that Daryl is gay on the show?