Photo by Tom Gardiner

Wizard World NOLA 2015 – Guardians of the Galaxy’s Ravagers: Rooker and Gunn

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Michael Rooker may have turned and died on The Walking Dead, but he’s very much alive in the blockbuster film Guardians of the Galaxy as Yondu. With fellow Ravager Sean Gunn (Kraglin) along for the ride, the pair fielded questions from a fully packed house of enthusiastic fans. As usual, the questions were great and the answers even better.

We started with a simple enough question, “What comic book character would you be and why?” Michael Rooker said he’d like to be the Destroyer because he likes breaking stuff, which kind of fits for him. Sean Gunn said he’d choose to be Wolverine for the same reason others choose Batman: If you can be Wolverine, always be Wolverine. Sound logic.

The pair got hit with a deep question when a fan asked them which of the characters they’ve portrayed would they choose to live as if they were forced to pick. Sean Gunn was immediately bombarded with shouts of “Kirk!” by fans of his run on Gilmore Girls. He finally settled on Kraglin because flying around space would be cool. The audience wanted Michael Rooker to pick Merle, but he was having none of that. He said he’d go along with his buddy, Sean, and pick his character from Guardians of the Galaxy. Besides, as Yondu he’d never have to comb his hair again.

Someone asked Rooker who he’d pick in a bar fight between Yondu and Merle. He said he’d pick Merle because the knife-handed hooligan would take a cheap shot at Yondu and take him out before the blue dude had any idea it was coming. He admitted that in a fair fight, Yondu would win hands-down.

Rooker talked about how he enjoyed playing characters whose motivations lie somewhere between good and evil. He’s made a career out of playing fringe characters that could easily be defined as a “bad guy”, but Rooker always brings more depth to the roles, creating a more well-rounded character than a caricature.

Everybody, Michael Rooker included, was taken aback by a fan question concerning blue makeup and a connection to Arrested Development. You’ll just have to watch it yourself. Shortly thereafter, Rooker tells fans the one simple thing that inspires him. Again, you’ll have to watch, but it makes perfect sense for him.

Like so many panels, time was running short and there were still plenty of fans eager to ask questions. Rooker told them they were going to have what he called “Ten Quick Questions”. The lightning fast question-and-answer session gave us answers to burning questions like favorite color and animal, if either ever “borrowed” anything from a set, and who their favorite person to work with on Guardians of the Galaxy might be.

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Tom Gardiner