Yes, Norman Reedus did say in his recent GQ interview that he and original The Walking Dead showrunner and show creator Frank Darabont discussed plans that Reedus would play Daryl Dixon as gay. Specifically “prison gay.”
“I remember Frank Darabont, after the first season we were at a party in LA, He said, ‘I’ve got an idea for Daryl. He’s gay. Would you be interested in that?’ I was like, ‘Let me hear you out.’ He said, ‘Well, he’s prison gay—like, you’ll catch him looking at a member of the same sex, but if you mention it to him, he’ll just stab you and be like what the f**k?—he will never admit it.’ I was like, ‘That’ll blow minds—let’s do that.’ And he said, ‘I knew I hired you for a reason.’ “
But before the Bethyl and Caryl shippers jump off a bridge while Rickyl shippers watch and gloat, Frank Darabont is long gone. And Reedus doesn’t say that he plays Daryl “prison gay” now. Just that he sees Daryl as a person who is confident in everything but romance.
“You could drop him off in the middle of the woods with a stick and he’ll come back well fed and doing well, but I don’t think in matters of the heart he’s real secure,” Reedus said.
On the other hand that doesn’t mean he won’t be revealed as gay either, as original The Walking Dead comic creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman has hinted could happen. We’ll have to wait and see.
This tidbit about Reedus and Darabont is nestled into what might be the best and most honest interview with Reedus I’ve seen. It goes deep into his career, his attraction to the dark and the grotesque, and how being Daryl Dixon has changed his life. It’s well worth reading the whole thing, so check it out.