We rang Michael Rooker to chat about his new film, what it’s like playing Yondu, and working with Chris Pratt.
With a highly anticipated film coming out soon, Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2’s Michael Rooker guarantees his fans won’t be disappointed. The film begins three months later as we find the Guardians crew working together to stop an enemy from destroying the galaxy. The character he plays, Yondu, widely known as the blue-skinned leader of the Ravagers and father figure to Quill, played by Chris Pratt, is sporting a new look to which the reasoning behind his mini makeover can only be revealed when the film releases.
Here, he chats about Yondu’s “enhancement”, his relationship with Quill, and why he will never direct a film again.
Were you a Marvel Comics nerd before you landed the role of Yondu? MICHAEL ROOKER: A little bit. I learned to read through the comics and Playboy. (laughs) I kind of learned to read through the visuals of the panels and the comics. It was amazing. It was a great way to sort of get my mind focused in on reading at the same time looking at the comics, images, and stuff.
It looks like you have so much fun playing this character. I mean, how much fun is it? MR: It was beautiful and I had a blast. I try to have fun with with everything I do. In this business, you’ve got to have fun. If you’re not going to have fun, it’s too hard to do. And most people think, oh wow, an actor, what a great, easy job. And let me tell you man, it ain’t that easy, baby. It’s a tough gig. Most people don’t even get the emotional aspect of acting and bringing something to life on the screen.
Yondu kind of got a new look for the next film, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. What are your thoughts on his makeover? MR: Awesome. It’s a short answer but it’s truthful. And it’s really cool. I can’t really speak on the reasons for that occurrence and some of the things that led up to it.
Was it uncomfortable to wear? MR: It was not uncomfortable at all. It was easy, the original Mohawk thing was a shorter version. I had to get used to the height. The weight was nothing. It came out maybe two inches from my forehead and about eight inches high. I had to stoop down [and] get used to going through doorways and stuff like that.
What’s the process like with all the prosthetics and makeup that you put on everyday when you’re on set? MR: I have a nice warm latte, I sit down and I watch the makeup team through the mirror as they do their gig. They’ve got it down to a science and I let them do it. It’s relaxing—the whole process. It’s about a two and a half to three hour [process] to install and then about an hour and a half to take off. My makeup team is the best in the world, man. Every actor had their own makeup team, but my team was by far, they killed it every time. It was beautiful work and it looked like real skin. I just forgot that it was on.
Yondu and Quill have a kind of unique relationship. Will we see more of a relationship between the two in this next film? MR: You know, it’s a continuation. It’s only been a few months since he kind of fooled me with the orb. And I mean, that final look of Yondu when he sees the orb is holding a troll is genius on my part, thank you very much. He’s fooled me, he tricked me and look what I get in return—a troll which is one of my favorite things. Yondu loves these little trinkets so I get another trinket to put on my console and it was an endearing discovery as Yondu. It’s the smile at the end instead of a frown. I think the more important choice was that it all came full circle. I trained him so well that he even fooled me.
How do you keep such a straight face around Chris Pratt? MR: I always think that my humor is way funnier than Chris Pratt’s, except I’m not funny. In my mind, I think I’m very funny, but I’m not too funny. Yeah, Chris is funnier, okay. You got it out of me. Geesh, the guy is funny. Damn it, he’s funny. Chris is a great guy.
And he’s pretty. MR: He is pretty. He’s almost as pretty as me. What a great guy, though. We had a fun time doing the movie.
What’s next for you. You also direct, too, right? MR: (laughs) Trust me. This is probably the only absolute straight honest answer you’ll get in this interview and any other interview with me. I will never direct again. Oh my god, what a brutal job. That is the toughest, hardest job in this business by far. I am totally not into it.