I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Rooker since Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer and getting a few moments to chat with him at Wizard World this year was kind of a surreal experience. That definitely had a bit to do with interviewing him at a comic book convention shortly after the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which just hit Blu-ray. At times it felt like he was channeling Yondu during our interview, while still interacting with passers who were constantly trying to get him to let loose his now famous catchphrase from the film. While he was keeping that ace in his back pocket for panels, he wouldn’t bat an eye at offering up a Ravager whistle to fans.
In the time I got to observe Rooker, what I saw was a man who not only loved the character of Yondu as much as his fans, but also loved that camaraderie that only a convention setting can bring. Rooker was a man of few words, but anytime someone came by and wanted to simply say hello or get a hug from our favorite Ravager he did so without even asking for an autograph fee or sometimes even making them wait in line. Its great to see success finally embrace an actor that I think has deserved it right from the get-go and is returning that generosity to his fans who support him.
You’re pretty prolific on the con scene, what keeps you coming to these things?
Question with a question, I usually like to start that early on…
So congrats on Guardians Vol. 2, was it hard for you to let go of Yondu, but on the plus side the character kind of stole the film?
I don’t think that way when I’m doing the role. I just do the role and whatever is in the script, is in the script.
Speaking of the script what was your first reaction when you read the ending?
I knew about before I read it. When I got the script, I immediately cut to the end and was like, “WHAT?” Basically it was like, WOW. That was my thought, just wow, this was extremely powerful and I hoped I could do it justice.
So you do your best and it was well worth it.
In the first film you were more of an anti-hero and this time around your sort of fully one of the good guys. How did it feel to officially be a Guardian of the Galaxy?
I’m still an anti-hero! I’m still a Ravager, you know. I’m just hooked up with my new group and actually I got on very well with Rocket as you see in the movie. Rocket and I are very much cut from the same cloth.
Now your catchphrase in the film…..
That I have to mention was geniusly written by James Gunn
Did you have any inkling at all it would sort of turn into what it has?
From the first one, we knew we had a great product, the script came out great, that cast was well put together; we were on it and did our jobs well. So we thought it was going to turn out really well, and it did. Now, the second one, I didn’t have any doubts. I thought it was going to be very well received and all the actors brought it. We just do our jobs and do it well and if its well received its beautiful, and its not, its not. That’s all.
I don’t worry about that stuff.
People ask do I think, or do I know, I don’t really think about that.
You just do it.
You’ve always seemed to me like that kind of actor.
Once I’m in the character, its sort of tunnel vision and I don’t think about anything else.
Speaking of Mary Poppins, would you appear in the new film if you were asked?
It’s hard for me to appear in any movie these days, because most of them can’t afford me.
Was there anything you wanted to bring as an actor this time around to the role?
You know a lot of the stuff you see in the sequel, ideas and backstory was things we already talked about in the first Guardians. Right, which was really cool for me. That all manifested itself into actions in the sequel, which was very, very awesome. The second one was, I don’t want to even say as good as, I thought it was better. The way we developed the characters, it was a great combination, it was a great balance going on in that film.
Do you think we’ve seen the last of Yondu?
I have no idea. Its completely out of my box. I don’t think about it, I just move on. I’m an actor I just move on.
I do want to see you and Stallone together again for a Guardians prequel?
Me and Stallone together again! (Laughs) When we’re not yelling at each other.
Finally what do you have coming up next?
I have a film coming up King Bolden, and its about the birthing of Jazz about the story of Buddy Bolden and I hope that comes out one day. We did a lot of fun stuff in it. A lot of really great actors in it. I hope to see that.