Yeah, that’s not Daryl. Isn’t she great? You read that right. She. That’s Marta Mendes, a female Daryl Dixon cosplayer. She kindly agreed to answer our baker’s dozen of questions. Let’s get right to them.
Where are you from and will you go anywhere to cosplay?
I’m from Portugal and I have never gone far to cosplay. It will be my first time to attend Walker Stalker Comicon London next month. But if I had to…who knows?
Had you been to any comicons before you start cosplaying?
Yes. I started going to cons just as a fan. Then I started to go as a vendor to sell handmade stuff that I make. Then one day I decided to start cosplaying.
Well, it was at a con last year, when I was cosplaying Negan (ironic 😃 ) and a friend of mine who was cosplaying Beth asked me if I was capable of cosplaying Daryl. So I tried and did a makeup test. When I saw the result in the mirror, I was surprised! That’s when I decided I had to cosplay Daryl Dixon.
Have you met any other female Daryl Dixon cosplayers?
I have seen female Daryl’s, but I have never seen a girl performing cosplay the way I do, only men.
I always liked to dress myself in costumes for Halloween and Carnival. I had theater classes at school, so to me, cosplaying was something I just felt that I needed to try.
How long does it take for you to get in full wardrobe, makeup, and character?
Well, it depends on the character, you know. The hardest one I’ve ever done was Edward Scissorhands. As for Daryl, it was easier because he’s very “natural” the way he acts.
No, unfortunately I haven’t met him yet but I hope to get to know him or at least see him at Walker Stalker Comicon London. He has already noticed me on Instagram by liking some photos and even commenting. This picture turned viral!
Even today people still think it’s Norman Reedus! 😃 They make collages with my picture, thinking it is him! I had this good luck thanks to help from some friends that shared my photo. I want to thank @CreepynCuteShop and @twdmemequeen, along with many, many more. THANK YOU ALL! ❤
Have you met other The Walking Dead cast? What was their reaction to you?
I never met any cast, unfortunately. I did see Lennie James live at a Comicom in my country from a distance.
How many conventions or events do you attend each year?
Tough question. Between 5-8, it depends on the cons.
Is cosplaying just a hobby?
Well, I like to say that cosplay is just a hobby because here it is very hard to take cosplay to another level, unfortunately. Cosplay is different in my country; it doesn’t have the same value or effect. I wouldn’t mind taking it to the next level if I had a chance. If somehow someone would make a deal or something where I have to move outside of Portugal, if I knew it was to start something new, professional, and serious…why not? 😊
What has been the craziest interaction you’ve had while in cosplay?
LOL Weeeelllllll, to be honest, being Daryl here has been some of the craziest cosplay interactions I’ve ever had! It’s very funny because I’m a woman and most of the comments or situations are coming from other women! I could be here all day giving examples but I’m going to tell you two or three so you can get an idea.
First, it was on social media when people started sharing my photo that became viral. People wouldn’t believe that person was in fact a girl! ME! Ha Ha Ha Because of that the “virus” spread so fast that I found out I was on Pinterest. Someone shared my picture there and other people start sharing, etc., etc. I realized I was a “Favorite Pin” on more than 250 folders with names like “Norman Reedus,” “The Walking Dead Cast,” “Daryl Dixon/Norman Reedus,” “Hot Norman,” and “I want a Daryl in my Life.” LMAO! I didn’t know what to do, so I just laughed and didn’t break that “chain.”
Second, at a convention two girls almost started a fight to see which one would take a picture first and to see which one was getting closer to me. lol This was after like five photos I’d taken with them in different situations on that day. Yes, they asked me five times during the whole day to take a picture. lol I can’t say if they really liked the cosplay or if they were confused.
Third, when people, especially women, comment “funny things.” I’m just telling you the ‘appropriate’ ones like, “OMG, I had to check it TWICE or zoom in!!” or “I thought it was Norman!!!” or “YOU’RE HOT!” hahahahahahaha (Thank you, ladies.)
Right now I’m working on some new cosplays, such as Tonto (Lone Ranger) or Rufio (Hook).
What do you see in your future?
This one is a tough one. Five years ago someone asked me the same question and at that time I was a nobody, like Daryl said he was. lol I couldn’t imagine myself in a “normal” future like everyone else, with a job, family, etc. But after five years I just stopped and realized what I had done in those five years. Was I still the same person? Did I have the same life? Was I the same “nobody?” I looked back and saw change, hope, a new life! I start cosplaying in September, 2014; I ended up my studies; I made new friends; I’ve seen Johnny Depp live, (yes, one of my to-do list); I saw the DeLorean from Back to the Future (because we all had those dreams when were kids right? lol); Norman Reedus noticed my work on Instagram (also a to-do list, get Norman Reedus to notice me lol); I got a job; I saw Lennie James from The Walking Dead live; I’m going to London to the Walker Stalker Comicon (one of the cons I’ve always wanted to go to!); and I got into a poll for the Spacie awards (which I was very excited about because I’m not a professional, and being in the poll was and still is amazing.) I can’t express how I feel about the support from all around the world from all the people. THANK YOU!
AND I might have something to show you all: https://www.instagram.com/p/BPAbegBBjjB/ (it’s just a teaser). So, how do I see myself in the future? Happy, no matter what is there waiting for me. If it’s meant to be, so it will be. Everything happens for a reason!
I’ll be honest; it took me a second or two to tell that viral photo wasn’t Norman, too. Her cosplay is amazing! If you’re in London for the Walker Stalker Comicon, look her up. I’m sure she’ll be glad to take a selfie with you…..or five. Hopefully, our female Daryl Dixon cosplayer will get to come to America someday and show us just how good she is! Here’s a little cosplay video to leave you with:
Source: All photos and video provided by Marta Mendes