Exclusive: Michael Rooker Talks Guardians Of The Galaxy And The Walking Dead!

Michael Rooker

Among comic book fans, Michael Rooker is best known for playing Merle on The Walking Dead. However, it’s one of Michael Rooker’s upcoming roles that really has fans excited now. At 2013 San Diego Comic-Con, Michael Rooker appeared with director James Gunn and several other actors and actresses to confirm his role in Guardians Of The Galaxy. Michael Rooker will be playing Yondu, who is a blue-skinned game hunter and founding member of the Guardians Of The Galaxy.

At Fandomfest in Louisville, Kentucky this weekend, Comicbook.com caught up with Michael Rooker for an exclusive interview about Guardians Of The Galaxy and The Walking Dead. Given the secretive nature of all of Marvel Studios film projects, Michael Rooker couldn’t go into much detail about Guardians Of The Galaxy, answering most questions with “none of your business.”

Rooker wouldn’t tell us if he had filmed any scenes yet or how much CGI would be involved with his character, but he did tell us a little about his experience so far, around how long he’s going to be working on the film, and not to assume the movie will necessarily match the comic book storyline exactly.

When we asked how long he knew about the Comic-Con trip in advance, Michael Rooker said, “Well, I knew I was in the film, but I was already over there [England] doing some prep work...makeup and hair and wardrobe and all that stuff. And so we all got together and flew over and did the San Diego Comic-Con thing, and they flew back, and I had some business to attend to in LA, and now I’m here [Fandomfest].”

When we asked if he signed a multi-picture or a one picture deal, Michael Rooker said, “None of you business. Nothing is one picture anymore…hundred picture deal. It was a hundred picture deal [laughing].”

When we asked about any other projects, Michael Rooker said, “Guardians is going to be taking up most of my time for the next four or five months or so. And then probably, you know, we do ADR work and stuff like that. So it’s going to be keeping me busy. But I have a little time now to come here [Fandomfest] to do this, and maybe later on I’ll have some down time where I’ll be able to fly back and forth and do some stuff. It’s going to be fun and challenging. I’m up for the task.”

When we asked what the vibe was after the Guardians Of The Galaxy trailer proved to be a home run with fans and the media at Comic-Con, Michael Rooker said, “We knew we were going to hit a home run. We knew we had…you know when you get your home run hitter, you get him up to base and you already know what’s going to happen, so we sort of already knew it was going to be really fun and people were going to dig it. And they did, and we were very happy. We were very, very pleased that it turned out to be very positive. Everybody’s very excited about it, love it.”

When we asked about if he was worried about getting typecast since his character in Guardians Of The Galaxy also loses his hand, Michael Rooker said, “No, no, that’s only in the comic, and different…I don’t know…as in The Walking Dead, not everything’s the same when you do a project and bring it from a comic or a graphic novel, not everything stays the same. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Maybe, I’ll lose an ear or a toe. No, I’m just teasing with you [laughing].”

When we asked about The Walking Dead actors (himself included) not getting any Emmy nominations, Michael Rooker said, “I don’t care. I don’t care much about that stuff. The fans do, and I don’t blame them. And you know what, for me, I don’t need affirmation from any sort of nomination about my work. I just do my work. I do it the best I can. That’s all I do. And I just move on. I don’t really much care about the whole competitiveness of the award ceremony. Everybody’s got a damn award these day, don’t matter. It’s true, man, you’ve got an award for the most dorkiest person, there’s an award for everything. You’ve got so many awards they end up meaning nothing.”


When we asked if he would ever return to The Walking Dead for a flashback or a hallucination scene, Michael Rooker said, “It will cost them [laughing].”

As far as a message to comic book fans, Michael Rooker said, “The Guardians Of The Galaxy is going to be really cool. Walking Dead is still cool. So most people coming here [Fandomfest] today to see me are big, big Merle fans and big Walking Dead fans, so we get a lot of comic book people here too, so it’s been very cool for me. I just hope that my work continues to be kind of true and honest and bitchin’. I think it’s going to be very cool.”