Austin Comic Con 2013: Michael Rooker Vs. The Audience

imageArguably the most colorful actor from the cast of The Walking Dead, Michael Rooker headlined his own discussion panel, casting aside the need of a moderator. After all, Rooker is a man of many words, so why let someone else use them? There was much for the actor to say, even touching on his latest project just completed overseas. Michael made his entrance to a resounding applause as yours truly had front row seats for the event. After expressing his appreciation for the room’s welcoming, Rooker quickly mentioned he just returned from Europe as filming wrapped up on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The very animated actor plays a very real Yondu in the film; a blue alien whose specialty comes in the form of hunting. When asked just how much of his body was painted, Rooker quickly replied, “Why? Are you looking for a job?” As the audience’s laughter subsided, he did say he had quite a lot of blue paint in quite a lot of parts. We’ll take his word for it.

During the Q & A, I got to ask the actor if he did his own stunts for Guardians. “I tend to be stupid like that,” Rooker exclaimed. “I won’t do high falls or car crashes or any of the really dangerous stuff but I like to do the hand to hand and the shooting.” We’re looking forward to your Marvel debut, Michael!

After the brief discussion of that other-worldly movie, things came back down to earth when he spoke about his time on The Walking Dead. One of the first things he said was, “I’m still wondering why my brother stabbed me 7 times. Is Norman Reedus here today? Yeah I’m dead to him.” When asked by a fan if he was happy with the way he exited from the show, Rooker promptly stated, “Loved the way I came in, loved the way I went out.” He went on to say he told the writer, “I want to go out an ass kicker. Write it.”

He stated that he loved almost everything that happened with the Merle character. “A lot of the actors get a lot of say and control over the characters. They would give me four lines and I would give them fifteen. I just take the scripted lines as a jumping-off place. If something else comes up in the making of the scene, I like to surprise the other actors with it.” Another audience member asked what he would change, if anything, about his character. Rooker confidently responded by saying he wanted more of a beat down before the governor snatched him up.

After he finished his relaxed round table discussion, Rooker opened things up with a rapid fire Q & A. Here are some of the questions from the high energy back-and-forth:

Fan: What was your favorite part about being on The Walking Dead?
MR: My mortgage got paid! Working with all the other actors too.

Fan: What do you like more, movies or tv and why?
MR: I prefer the one that pays the most and that’s why!

Fan: Do you like to do video games (Rooker has done voice work for Treyarch’s Call of Duty)?
MR: I hope to do more video games. They’re fast and there are awesome people to work with.

Fan: Do you prefer to play a hero or villain?
MR: Doesn’t matter!

Fan: Do you get royalties for The Walking Dead reruns?
MR: I better!

Fan: Did you know if you we’re going to get called back after season 1?
MR: I didn’t know. Frank Darabont wrote the roof scene and left it open-ended to return.

Fan: What else do you want to accomplish?
MR: Make more money!

And with a big laugh and a quick goodbye, Michael Rooker took his fedora and shades and was onto his next stop within the convention. Surely for Guardians of the Galaxy and all his works beyond, it’s pretty much a given the man will pour his unmistakeable personality into the role.



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