Norman Reedus, the 45-year-old star and fan favorite who plays the part of crossbow zombie hunting expert Daryl Dixon on the AMC mega-hit television series The Walking Dead, was accidentally injured during filming of the sixth season of the series earlier today, and currently is listed in critical condition at a hospital located in Atlanta, Georgia.
A small explosive charge used to simulate gunfire went off inside co-star Andrew Lincoln’s backpack during filming and exploded, hitting Reedus, who was said to have been standing behind Lincoln at the time of the accident. Lincoln, who plays the part of Rick Grimes on the show, suffered only minor injuries.
Lincoln activated a toggle switch on his belt and set off the small charge, called a squib, a device commonly used on movie sets to simulate the effects of gunfire, and Reedus was struck in the abdomen by a projectile. He was airlifted to an anonymous hospital in Georgia.
“The surgery went as well as could possibly be expected, but Mr. Reedus is not out of the woods by any means. The next twenty-four hours are absolutely crucial in his recovery,” said trauma surgeon Dr. Amar Ashamalla. “In an unrelated injury, we removed an arrowhead which had been lodged in his right thigh for what must have been several weeks, and was left untreated. Apparently, Mr. Reedus somehow injured himself and didn’t notice, or didn’t care. He also had many cuts, scrapes, and bruises, presumably from his grueling film schedule for The Walking Dead, and had reportedly not spoken to the on-set physician about those, either. Curiously, we also found a fragment of ballistics casing in his left forearm. It had clearly been there for years, and we assume it must have been something that happened during his filming of Boondock Saints. Regardless, he is in great hands here, and we will see to it that he recovers in a timely manner.”
When asked about the injuries, Walking Dead Executive Producer Frank Darabont said that Reedus was known as being the ‘toughest actor’ he has ever worked with. “By tough, though, I mean serious, hardcore, no-bullshit badass. He’s laid back and easy-going when it comes to acting, but he’s an intense guy who doesn’t mess around. Norman is a freak, especially when he channels himself in the role of Daryl Dixon. He gets hurt all the time, and never lets anybody treat his injuries. He shoots himself with an arrow and he just doesn’t care? It’s crazy. But, there is absolutely zero doubt in my mind that Norman will make a quick, full recovery and Daryl will be back in action in no time. Norm is one tough son-of-a-bitch!”