Meeting Norman Reedus
The first time I met Norman was at Wizard Chicago. He was only there Saturday and Sunday due to filming The Walking Dead, so you can imagine his lines for photo ops and autographs were massive.
I got in line Saturday for autographs and ended up leaving the line to go to photo ops. I don't get nervous meeting people at Cons very often (I think you can count the number of people I've actually been nervous about om one hand), but I was nervous about Norman.
The first one I had was a "Boondock Saints" photo with Norman and Sean Patrick Flanery. The first thing I noticed when I got into the area they were taking the pictures (it was closer than the autograph area) is that they are even better looking in person.
I said, "Hi guys," when I walked up for my photo (I was happy I was speaking and got in between them). Sean said, "Hi," and Norman said, "Hi Hon." He uses "Hon" a lot, but it's very sweet when he does. I thanked Norman for getting there and doing all this even though he was filming late in Georgia on Friday. He said he loves to do this, told me I was sweet and then gave me a hug.
They were moving the pictures along quickly and I for some reason felt the need to tell Norman I would see him in a little bit (I'm a dork), and made my way out to get back in line for The Walking Dead photos with Norman and Jon Bernthal.
When it was my turn for that photo, I walked up and said, "Hi" to Jon, and looked at Norman to say something. He said, "Hi again." I was flustered, but managed a "Hi" and a smile. After the picture, I had to turn to my right [which is the side he was on] to leave and when I did Norman hugged me again.
I walked out and again got in line for solo pics with him. When I went in this time, I walked over and he again hugged me to which I thought, "I could really get used to this." I apologized to him for being sweaty (it was like a furnace in the picture area). He told me it was okay, and that he was really sweaty too because it was so hot in there. I left the photo area and went to get back in line for autographs, but they were closing his line down. It was still massive. I was a little pissed that I would have to wait, but I figured I would see him Sunday.
Sunday morning, we got to the convention and went right to his autograph line. It was already long. I tried to find out if they knew he was signing before photos, but the girl running the line wasn't sure. After about 45 minutes, I figured he would never make it there before photos, so I had someone hold my spot in line while I went for more photos. I had another "Boondock Saints" photo and two with just Norman. I did the BDS photo, and noticed that they both smelled amazing. When I went for my solo pics, he gave me another hug and we took the first picture. I told him that I hoped he got some sleep, and he said he did and felt much more awake. He told me I was sweet for asking. Then he asked, "What do you want to do for this one?" I asked if we can flip off the camera (he does this all the time). He smiled, laughed and said, "Fuck Yeah!"
I went back to the line for autographs and waited. It was a long line, but I got to take pictures during the wait, so that was nice. After about two hours, I finally got up to him. I had bought him a Zippo that said "Zombie Apocalypse Survival Gear" and had the other side engraved to say "Survival Tip: stick with Daryl Dixon." I felt a little silly because I would usually never give someone a gift that has to do with a character, but he seems to really like that stuff, so I was giving it a try. I got up to him and gave him my Walking Dead poster that I am working on getting as much of the cast to sign as I can. I had him sign it to Kyle, and he asked who Kyle was. I told him it was me, and that everyone always thinks it's for a guy. He said it was cool that that was my name, and then put a heart with his autograph.
I told him I had something for him and gave him the lighter. I was explaining that it had no butane because I couldn't bring it on the plane. He looked at it and said, "It's awesome." He told me he has butane. I told him it was engraved and he flipped it over and got a huge smile. He came around to give me a hug and then kissed my cheek. It was very unexpected, and he apologized. I told him it was okay--he could do that anytime he wanted. He laughed and then went on to explain that he was told not to do that because he can get in trouble. He said he heard that Bruce Willis sometime walks through places with his hands up so no one accuses him of anything. I promised he had nothing to worry about, and he laughed and hugged me again.
I had him sign a picture I bought at his table and got another hug when I was leaving. The rest of the day I smelled like him--my shirt, my arms, my face--it was wonderful. I do need to say he gives great hugs, so tight. And his arms--let's just say those are good arms to have. Norman was a real sweetheart, and if you are thinking about going to see him, I highly recommend you do. He also seems to really appreciate his fans. He has a blog with pictures of all the gifts he gets. The lighter is almost at the bottom of the list.
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