LOS ANGELES - From week to week fans simply never know which characters will survive the relentless zombie attacks on AMC's hit series "The Walking Dead."
That unpredictability keeps viewers on the edge of their seats and the shows' stars in a constant state of alertness.
"You see series and they last a long time and sometimes the writing gets lazy or the acting gets lazy. Because we're in a zombie apocalypse and anyone can go at any time, it sort of keeps us fresh and on our toes," Norman Reedus told The Associated Press Friday.
Fans lined up around the block to watch a panel discussion with Reedus and his co-stars at Paleyfest, the annual Southern California TV celebration. Many in the crowd showed their support for Reedus' crossbow-wielding character, Daryl Dixon, with their "If Daryl dies we riot!" T-shirts.
The 44-year-old actor says his vocal fan base is responsible for his character's impressive longevity in a series that seems to have no qualms in axing its most popular characters.
"Hell yes. Oh my god, yes," he said. "(They're) keeping me on the show."
"The Walking Dead" focuses on a rag-tag band of surviving refugees, including unruly brothers Daryl and Merle Dixon, who were not part of the series' comic book origins.
"I want to be Daryl Dixon in my next life," joked co-star Laurie Holden. "He's sexy and he's got the rugged thing going on."
When asked about his breakout star status, Reedus becomes humble and tries to turn the spotlight on his Golden Globe-nominated cast.
"I watch them grow and I watch myself grow. It's one of those acting things where like I'll be in a scene with her or with him and I'll say should I try this? And they'll go `yeah' and I'll believe them and I'll trust them. Everyone wants everyone to just kill it," Reedus said with a laugh.