Michael Rooker is one of the coolest actors around right. Between supporting roles on The Walking Dead and in Guardians of the Galaxy, you’d think Mr. Rooker would be sitting high on the genre throne, but that’s a seat Rooker has been sitting on for years. Fans of the genre know that Michael Rooker is one of the all times great. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Slither and Tombstone cemented Rooker as a badass in the movie world. This past weekend SJP got a chance to attend a press conference with Rooker before Motor City Comic Con where he goes into his character on The Walking Dead, working with James Gunn and how he came to be a blue alien who kills people by whistling.
When asked what it was like working with Gauradians of the Galaxy director James Gunn?
It’s fine. But you’re probably going to have to ask Gunn what it’s like to work with Michael Rooker, because that’s the bigger questions! It’s O.K. Gunn is O.K. He’s in Maumi right now, without me. Can you believe that? He’s in Maumi right now having a blast, relaxing. He worked for the last 3 years, probably more than that, preparing for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 and finishing up Vol.1. It’s time-consuming, needless to say, it’s wild and crazy so he deserves a vacation… without me.
Who would win if Merle fought Yondu?[Sly smile and Rooker whistles, then shrugs and begins laughing] That answers that question!
What made you want to take of Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy?
Paycheck. [Laughs]. What other reason is there? No, I love sitting through 3 hours of make up a day. No, it was a good role. I knew Gunn wanted me in the movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, early on. At the time I was shooting a TV show called The Walking Dead. I played a guy called Merle Dixon and Merle was alive and well and at the time I said “Oh awesome let’s do this!” Then we discovered The Walking Dead was filming at the same time Gunn was filming the film and I discovered “Oh Shit! I can’t do it.” Then literally 3 weeks after we decided I couldn’t do the movie, I got a call saying they were writing me out. We had 3 weeks to develop and write and think of a way on what would be a great way for Merle to exit the show. I thought we came up with a great one. I had a lot to say about what we were going to do and how it was going to be done and all that kind of stuff. I was like a pig in mud. I got to be part of this whole creative part of the show, which I’m normally not. You’re sort of a little bit involved like the day of, but this was like term developing the ideas. I took the role [Yondu] for lots of reasons. James Gunn is my buddy. We’ve been together since birth. I like working with him, that’s the main reason. I didn’t even know the role. I was like”I’m in!”
Which character (between Merle and Yondu) had a better sacrifice for the greater good of the group?
I’d have to ask my business manager! [laughs] Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is a beautiful arc. When you look at GoG and watch both movies together, there were some double features going on around the country, and the folks who got to see the films on the big screen were very fortunate. Both these movies stand alone and are amazing. If you see Vol.2 without seeing the first, it’s awesome. If you seem them both together it’s really, really awesome! Then you see the true arc of, especially, my character. Those folks [who saw the double feature] got to see that. I saw it as well and was like “Woah, I didn’t know that!” You’re surprised too! That’s always a great thing when you’re part of the team and you get to see how they put it together. I don’t [which sacrifice] was greater. They’re both different. Different motivations, different upbringings. My god one, Yondu is an alien creature. He’s not even human. He doesn’t know how real human beings discipline their kids. He doesn’t know this stuff. I always thought Yondu could have several accents. Just testing out different accents because he’s so enthralled by the human race. That could have happened in the movie, but Gunn nixed that pretty quickly! [laughs] I’m not to sure if I would be good with an Australian accent. [laughs] I don’t know. I don’t really have an answer for that because they are so different and I love both characters.