Interview: Norman Reedus talks Ride season 4, The Walking Dead

Norman Reedus - Ride with Norman Reedus _ Season 4, Key Art - Photo Credit: AMC
Norman Reedus - Ride with Norman Reedus _ Season 4, Key Art - Photo Credit: AMC /

Ride with Norman Reedus kicks off its fourth season on March 8, and Undead Walking talked with Norman Reedus about what fans can expect this season.

Sunday nights belong to Norman Reedus now that Ride the Walking Dead is back for season 4. Fans can tune in to The Walking Dead at 9pm and stay up late to see Reedus and his guests explore the world on Ride. Undead Walking had a chance to chat with Reedus about what’s coming up this season on his travel show.

Now that you’ve joined the ranks of Girl Dads everywhere, do you ever think about how your adventures you might take with your little girl? 

Hell yeah, I have to get her on a motorcycle as soon as possible. 

Maybe a sidecar?

No, a full on real motorcycle! Her favorite toy is a truck right now, so I think she’s going to be into it. 

I have more younger and older women that come up to me and they say “You know, I watched Ride and I bought a motorcycle. I saw that badass girl riding a motorcycle and I wanted a motorcycle.” This kind of pushed me in that direction because I have more women saying that to me than men, and it’s kind of awesome. I love when I hear those stories and I think it’s super cool, so I’m thinking she [his daughter] might want to join in.

And you know, I always wear a full face helmet wherever I go, I’m very safe all the time. I have a 1946 Knucklehead that has the gas cap that has her name written on the top of it. I see her all the time when I’m riding it, her name is right there in front of me. 

That’s so cool! We know you have a lot of options when it comes to guest stars from The Walking Dead. Do you think you could ever get Cailey Fleming (Judith) out there?

Ha, yeah, she’d probably be doing wheelies down the street! I don’t know, she’s a little young to get on a bike right now but maybe we can do go-carts, who knows? She’s such a fun little girl, she’s awesome on the show. She’s a little badass and she’s really fun to work with. 

Switching gears a bit, Ride is like a love letter to everything you love. It’s so authentically you. What’s it like having this kind of creative outlet?

It’s really great, you know, I’ve made so many good friends shooting that show around the world. I’ve had the honor of meeting real heroes in the motorcycle community like the East Bay Dragons and a lot of people who aren’t known for their motorcycle riding because they’re more known for their comedy or their talent, like Dave Chappelle. I’ve really been able to have good conversations and get to know them better. It has been a real blessing doing that show. 

I get to see things I never would have been able to see otherwise. It opens my eyes to a lot of different things and I’m very grateful to be able to do it. Everyone’s really cool on the show, everyone likes to be on the show. 

The Ride season 4 premiere with Michael Rooker is great because it feels like a tribute to The Walking Dead, too, as you mention at the start of the episode. What do you think of the show’s crossover appeal?

That was such a fun episode to shoot. You know, I started The Walking Dead with Michael Rooker playing brothers and we always remained friends, just like brothers, and to bring him back to Atlanta from his hometown on an episode was especially cool. 

And then to end the episode with the crew from one show meeting the crew from the other show, which is my behind the scenes family that I work with in Georgia and then the one I travel the world with. I wanted those guys to get to know each other and I set up a little confession booth, mainly because I wanted them to talk s**t about me. They hit it off right off the bat.

Then riding back into Atlanta it was funny because at one point I had the helmets on and Rooker and I were talking to each other as we’re riding down the road pulling into Atlanta. I’m kind of rehearsing my lines for the next day of Walking Dead because I had to shoot the very next day so my two worlds were colliding there for a second. It was pretty wild. 

This season you’re riding with Ryan Hurst, who just had a huge appearance in the episode “Stalker.” That was an amazing episode for both of you. 

It’s fun being able to work with Ryan. And you know, that episode, I choreographed that fight and had a lot to do with that fight sequence. Samantha [Morton] and I worked really hard on making that a different kind of a fight. So I’m kind of overrun with fighting walkers and she just kind of pokes me, it’s like a cat and mouse game where she just tries to bleed me out and follows me. It’s a totally different fighting style than going up against a giant killer like Beta. It was nice to have two totally different types of fight scenes, it was fun. 

Speaking of big hulking Beta, you filmed two episodes in Japan and seeing Ryan Hurst in Japan is a sight to behold. The guys from Top Gear always love shooting in Japan so I’m curious if you’ll be returning to explore it again in future episodes. 

I lived in Japan for a little while so I know Japan pretty well. And then working with Hideo Kojima, he took me to the best sushi restaurant I’ve ever been to in my life. Japan has always had a soft spot in my heart. I remember early on when the earthquakes happened I did a lot of charity work to raise money for the victims. I’ve always loved Japan and it’s one of those places I try to go to as much as possible. 

And yeah, seeing Ryan standing in all white in a fish market five feet above everybody else was a sight to see. He’d just come back from India, where he’s a practicing Sikh out there in real life and he was in India for a retreat. He came to Japan straight from India and he was taking a lot of that message with him. It was a very zen way to start that episode. Tokyo, Japan makes Manhattan look like Provo, Utah. It’s Blade Runner out there. So to bring that zen attitude into that community is very interesting to me. 

We asked one of our Undead Walking fans about things they wanted to know about Ride with Norman Reedus. Laura Wright (@JackSparrowFan) asks “ What has been the ‘wow’ moment so far? Where do you want to go but logistics won’t allow it?”

Because of coronavirus we’ve had to rework our whole season. Right now we’re in the middle of shooting the new season (season 5) and went to New Zealand, both north and south, and then I was supposed to leave for Greece in the next couple of days. We’re going to Greece, Croatia and Italy but thanks to coronavirus we’ve had to put that on hold so that’s preventing me from going places I really want to go. 

There are just so many places in the world that I want to take this show. I’d love to go to India, to Vietnam. The possibilities of places to take the show are just endless. I love shows like Top Gear and game shows and they’re the foundation for what we’ve been following for this show. I love all of these travel shows and the different takes on travel shows and their points of view and what they bring to the show. 

And they’re always having fun. I think it’s important on travel shows like [Ride] to be informative and also have a blast. That’s the whole point of travel is to see things and experience them with open eyes. I take a lot from all of those shows and incorporate them in our show.

If you could orchestrate one dream ride with anyone you want, alive or dead, and go anywhere you want without worrying about logistics, who would you choose and where would you go?

Oh wow. Well I’ve been saying I want Cher on the show since season 1 so it would definitely be Cher, and maybe we could go to Cambodia. Ride bikes through the fields in Cambodia, that would be awesome!

We want to thank Norman Reedus for taking the time to talk with us about Ride with Norman Reedus season 4!

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Ride with Norman Reedus airs Sundays at midnight following all-new episodes of The Walking Dead and Talking Dead. Season 4 guests include Michael Rooker, Milo Ventimiglia, Ryan Hurst and Becky Goebel.