Norman Reedus targeted by zombie prankster
Back in December we told you about an online petition that sought to get Nick Santonastasso on AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead.
Santonastasso, a 17-year-old high schooler from New Jersey, was born without legs and only one arm, but hasn’t let his body slow him down. In addition to skateboarding, hunting and even wrestling for his high school team, Santonastasso has become an Internet star through a series of Vine videos where he dresses as a zombie and scares unsuspecting shoppers in stores near his home. For example:
Although the petition hasn’t resulted in Santonastasso appearing on the show yet, he did get the opportunity to work with actors Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus as well as special effects master Greg Nicotero recently. AMC flew Santonastasso to Japan where the actors were on a press junket and helped him pull off his most elaborate prank yet.
After a full zombie makeover from Nicotero and a meet and greet with Lincoln, Santonastasso was tucked inside a hotel room service cart and hidden in a room with Reedus. Despite some nerves, Santonastasso lurches out and delivers a serious fright to the famous zombie hunter.
Reedus, who had previously shared Santonastasso’s videos with his own followers on social media, took the joke in stride.
“Good job, you jerk,” he said with a laugh.
The prank’s set up and execution can be seen in the video below.
Now, Santonastasso has hopes of making the transition from the Internet to television with an appearance on AMC’s hit zombie show “The Walking Dead.” An online petition currently sits just under 1,800 signatures.
Santonastasso recently appeared on TMZ Live, telling the gossip site that he was always into zombies and he created the Vine videos because he wanted to do something he would “be the best at.” He said people have been inspired and entertained by his videos. As for appearing on The Walking Dead, Santonastasso said he hasn’t been contacted, but he’s hopeful.
Santonastasso said he’s been criticized for putting himself on display as a “circus act.” He counters that he could be sad and sit around and talk about his disability, but he prefers to do something fun that reaches people. Santonastasso said he plans to keep making videos, so if you shop in New Jersey, look out.
And by the way, Santonastasso is also a high school wrestler, a skateboarder and hunter.