'Walking Dead's' Norman Reedus gets pranked with real zombie scare

Image: Norman Reedus

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By Ree Hines
"Walking Dead" star Norman Reedus was caught without his crossbow during a recent prank.Today

Norman Reedus knows how to handle a zombie attack — well, at least he does when he's in character on "The Walking Dead." As Daryl Dixon, he stays calm and cool and lets his crossbow do the dirty work. But in real life? Reedus isn't exactly zombie-ready.

That became evident when "Walking Dead" super fan Nick Santonastasso joined forces with show star Andrew Lincoln and special effects go-to guy Greg Nicotero for an elaborate prank.

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Santonastasso is no stranger to zombie pranks. The teen, who was born with a rare condition called Hanhart syndrome that left him without legs and with only one arm, makes a habit of dressing up as the undead to shock unsuspecting passersby. But shocking one of his favorite stars proved to be his biggest prank yet.

After traveling to Japan, Santonastasso sat in the makeup chair for the full show-worthy zombie treatment, and then hid in a tablecloth-covered cart until Reedus entered the room for what he thought was a quick promo shoot.

Once Reedus was alone — or seemingly alone — Santonastasso burst out of the cart and got a very un-Daryl-like reaction from the star.

"Aaaaaaaah!" was what the actor had to say. "You (expletive)!"

When the shock wore off, Reedus recognized the zombie and let him know he was a fan too.

"I already know about you," Reedus said. "I've already blasted you out to the planet (on social media). Good job, you jerk!"

The gag left Lincoln and Nicotero in stitches.

"The Walking Dead" returns from its midseason break on Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. on AMC.