Michael Rooker talks Guardians Of The Galaxy and Yondu secrets

Making the next big Marvel mega-franchise...

During the promotion of The Walking Dead Season 3 - out now on DVD and Blu-ray! - we spoke to Michael Rooker about his role on the show.

And, because we're Total Film, we also took the opportunity to ask LOADS of questions about his Guardians Of The Galaxy character, Yondu...

What’s Yondu like?
 
There’s hope in this character, but the stuff going on… I can’t talk about it but… it’s challenging.

You have to forget that you have all these issues like three hour make-up and stuff… once you get that stuff on you have your own down time.

You forget you have it on. You just play the role and you have great time doing it.
 
Tell us about the make-up…
 
I have a whole team for it. And then they have to keep it up all day long – they have to keep it looking fresh. It’s a very intriguing process!

I’m familiar with long make-up jobs because I did a James Gunn project called Slither, when we first did that it took seven hours! This one is easier!

On working with James Gunn again…
 
He’s had a good time working with me, obviously, otherwise he wouldn’t be asking me back.

But that’s scary because I’ve really only worked with a few directors again in my career! What does that say about me?!
 
Does Yondu have any special abilities? Any special powers that you’ve had to practice?
 
I don’t think I’m at liberty to discuss any powers of any sort… Y’know, most of the roles I play, just by it being who I am – normally they’re somewhat formidable individuals. That’s just sort of my look and my build. So we utilise that in almost everything I’ve done, and it’s the same in Guardians.
 
Have you had to do much green screen work? Are you acting alongside an invisible raccoon?
 
There’s stuff like that in this project. That goes on. I’m not there everyday so I can’t really comment on how much or how little there is. But as an actor it’s always fun to be involved in that stuff.

Working those kinds of scenes is very interesting...


 
It’s an amazing cast. How are you all getting on? Are you all hanging out as a team?
 
Yeah. It’s an awesome cast, man. Chris and Zoe and Dave… John C Reilly, they’re all cool guys, and they’re all close. The people they have in this are all awesome.
 
Yondu obviously plays a big part in the comics, are you looking forward to playing this guy for a long while to come?
 
I’m game man, it’s definitely a fun role and I’m looking forward to what the future holds for the role. It’s beautiful. I am a happy camper!
 
Were you already fan of the comics?
 
I knew of the Guardians but it’s a lesser known one. It started back when I was a teenager. They have the newer and newer versions. I actually started getting more into graphic novels and comics a little bit later in life. It was before The Walking Dead, but during The Walking Dead I ended up reading all The Walking Dead – all the way up to the current issues.

I didn’t read all of the Guardians but I read a lot. Some of the old ones are hard to come by. They’re quite collectable. I go to these Comic Cons but I don’t get a chance to shop. I’m going to the London Comic Con.

I’m going down there today. I’m gonna mosey on down there and walk around. I don’t usually get to walk around much – I’m usually doing a Q&A or something. They keep me busy.

But I’m going down today just to be a spectator. I have my mask ready, so if it gets really hairy I’ll just pop into a phone booth or something like Superman and change!
 
What are you going as?
 
I can’t tell you! I have a mask that the Guardians folks lent me. It covers my face and I can just put a hoodie on and be a sort of skeleton-looking-creature-guy.
 
Do you enjoy talking to fans?
 
I get on so well with the fans. I have several fan groups – many of whom show up at these Comic Cons. I can’t even name them all… I start naming them and I miss one and they get all upset!

Needless to say I have several and they are all extremely loyal. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many web pages and groups dedicated to Michael Rooker! I’ve had fans, but I’ve never had an internet footprint like I have now. It’s a whole new world.

Honestly, I’m as excited to meet a fan that’s been a fan since the beginning of my career and a new fan who’s just started watching my work as they are meeting me. Don’t tell them that. I have to look cool. I find it thrilling to meet these people, be they 15 or 67… It’s The Walking Dead or Black Ops II! Or the zombie game I did. It’s fun. 

Excited for Guardians? Tell us below! 

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