I'm a huge Michael Rooker fan. Yondu, Merle, Bud Melks. Just a few of the great characters Michael's played recently. He's such a unique guy, playing a vast profile of character types. When I interviewed him at comic con, he was all about chatting with my kids instead of me.
Last month I had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn for an Exclusive Interview on their roles as Yondu and Kraglin in the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Between the two of them, we pretty much laughed the entire interview. They are a comic duo and I can only imagine what working on set with the two of them must be like.
Read on to get the details of our interview, but be warned. THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD.
STOP READING NOW if you haven't seen the movie and don't want spoilers.
Last chance to turn back.
Michael Rooker joked about the fact that there was no Yondu Funko POP figure. We couldn't agree more that it was disappointing. People would buy the regular version and a version with a prototype fin, but apparently no Yondu is foreshadowing. Or as Michael suggestion, it was symbolic.
On Kraglin using Yondu's arrow at the end being a tie in to Vol. 3
Sean: I don’t know anything other than where I’m supposed to stand and what I’m supposed to say.
Michael: Good answer, dude. You’re good at this sh*t.
Sean: I mean, honestly, I’d like to think there’s more in store for that character, but I don’t know anything. I don’t know if anyone knows anything, actually. Yeah, he knows it all, but he forgets.
Michael: I know everything. I know it all. Five minutes after I know it, it’s gone.
On learning he was going to die in the script
Michael: You know what? I’m used to dying. I’ve died several times. Many times in different movies and different TV shows, and it doesn’t hurt at all. It’s okay. I’ll be back somewhere.
On the make-up process for Yondu
Michael: Yeah, the makeup process is awesome. We have a makeup artist in this room that was part of the makeup. My makeup crew, you know. Awesome makeup process. Maybe a 3 hour process to put on and four or five, six layers of different shades of blue and gold and silver and yellow, flax, and all kinds of stuff.
And I’m like, ‘What color is this?' ‘It’s gold.' Sometimes they just flick it on with a brush. You know, they put it on the brush and they just go and they just flick it and it’s like little spackling all over your face, but tiny little dots that helps to bring out the depth of the paint so it looks like real skin and I mean, it feels like real skin, too.
On the teeth
Michael: We both could answer that stuff. Oh, we both had some grills, baby. Do we not? You had more of a problem talking with it than I did, but yeah.
Sean: Yeah, the teeth, can be tricky. Yeah, I tried to get the teeth made a good several months before we started so that I could just put them in and work with the, the talking. I, because I think talking through the teeth was— like, in the first movie, it was one of the most difficult things.
Michael: It was. But I didn’t have a problem with it because my everybody’s different. Sean can speak English. I cannot. Sean’s consonants are, you know, he uses consonants. I do not, almost never, and my quality is more throatal and guttural. His is not. I mean, he can do that, of course. We are trained actors.
What it did do, was it’s very difficult for the whistle. A whistle’s all in the front right where the stupid teeth are. I had to relearn a little bit of where I focus. Where I focus the sound for the whistling and stuff.
[It's Michael Rooker's whistle but they enhance it.]
On their favorite characters
Sean: I don’t know. I like ‘em all in different ways. I love Drax. I loved sort of the journey that I’ve seen Dave take from from his audition for the first movie through this magnificent performance he gives in this movie and so, I don’t know. I guess if I had to choose, I’d say Dave, but I love all the characters in the movie.
Michael: I would say, I don’t like working with real humans. Never have. I’m going to go, I’m going to go with Rocket and Baby Groot are my favorite, you know. But that being said, Rocket is my friend right here, and we worked together day and night doing this, doing this. He does all the vocals and all the voice stuff for Rocket.
On the transition from a behind-the-scenes character to an onscreen character?
Sean: To the first point about working with my brother, I mean, we’ve been working together in various capacities since we were little, so I have an easier time working with him than just about anybody because we have such a shorthand for communicating with one another, and I know for the most part, what he’s looking for. When I read scenes, I have a pretty good feel for what he’s going for.
And so I think that we work together really, really well. I’m certainly grateful that he gave me such a nice role in this in this film. I have so much to do. Thanks, I appreciate that.
Michael: You owe it all to me. I talked to him about you.
Sean: I really am happy to be part of it. I know that that’s kind of what I’m supposed to say, but it’s true. It's a great franchise, and I think that the movies are made with a lot of of love and a lot of heart, and I’m very happy to be part of that.
Michael: And you should be happy that he didn’t torture you too much.
Sean: Well, these guys, what they go through with makeup and stuff is amazing. You hear Rooker talk about having hours worth of makeup and it’s really impressive. I mean, because he never complains, and so it’s not just going through the makeup process. It’s then also being ready to go and ready to perform and focus and so, what, what he and Dave and Karen and Zoe go through every day.
And Sully on this movie, too, is just so intense, so I was very glad that he let me play a humanoid character in this movie, and that I not like in every other I’ve had to do, either a lot of makeup or I get killed, so I’m glad that, I’m glad.
Michael: He’s into, he’s into killing the people he loves the most. Oh, you get to die two times.
Sean: So that’s, yeah, I do. I die twice in Super, but yeah, but I was very happy when I read the script of the first movie and I’m like, ‘I don’t have tons of makeup and I live, that’s awesome!' He picked the right movie.
On filming the death scene
Michael: You know, it was emotional. Very, very emotional for everyone but me. I was mostly, I was sleeping. It’s true. Swear to God.
Sean: Well, when we’re doing the funeral scene at the end where Chris has his big speech and we’re all there, we’re all super sad and all of the sudden you hear snoring. Rook was out. I won't forget that. So funny.
Michael: Absolutely. I don’t know why. I have no idea, it just put me to sleep.
On expanding Yondu’s back story into its own movie and would Michael Rooker like to be a part of that
Michael: Well, any kind of extension and of Yondu would be good. I wouldn’t mind that at all. You know, I’m used to the makeup. I’m used to the character. I already know it.
I will get paid more, yes. But you know what? This is, have you ever spoke with these ladies before? This is the best, this is the pinnacle of all the interviews that we have done.
Sean: I agree. I know. We should just do this all day.
Michael: Oh, I could totally do this all day.
So could we.
I’ve been invited to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles. As always, all opinions are my own.