If Michael Rooker intimidates you, it’s only because most of the characters he has portrayed in film and television are not typically the nicest of guys. Well, don’t let that fool you. The 60 year old actor (yeah that’s right 60) is not only a cool guy, he is a classically trained actor from Chicago’s Goodman School of Drama, and he has created an enormous fan base from his roles in classic films like Days of Thunder, Cliffhanger, Mallrats, and the recent Marvel hit Guardians of the Galaxy. He made an appearance at the Wizard World Comic Con this past month, and AMovieGuy.com was lucky to get a chance to talk with him about some of the great movies he has been in, and projects he has coming soon.
AMG.COM: Were you a fan of comic books growing up? What was or is your favorite super hero/villain?
ROOKER: Yeah I was. I liked the Silver Surfer and the Incredible Hulk, I grew up with these things and they are still in the back of my mind every day. They are some of my favorite characters.
AMG.COM: You have said that Yondu will be returning for Guardians of the Galaxy 2, how have you prepared for this character and where can we expect you to take him in this universe?
ROOKER: I’m still preparing. It is a very intriguing and complicated character (Yondu), so I am thinking about it and preparing for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I am excited to see where his character goes. It is something I walk with every day and mull over a lot of stuff.
AMG.COM: You have worked with Sylvester Stallone on Cliffhanger and Arnold Schwarzenegger on The 6th Day; settle the score, who was the bigger bad ass out of the three of you?
ROOKER: You don’t have to have a lot of muscles, or lift a lot of weights to kick ass so...(hesitant) I can’t say. They are both awesome guys. They could both crush me, (Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) Arnold could crush me with his little pinky! No they are awesome I enjoyed working with both of them on those films.
AMG.COM: You worked with the late great action director Tony Scott on the classic Days of Thunder, what was your experience like working with him on that film, and what place does that film have in your heart?
ROOKER: I cherished Days of Thunder before he passed away, but even after his passing it is still very heart wrenching when you think of how sad and unfortunate it is. He was a beautiful man. He and his brother (Ridley Scott) are both absolutely great. They devoted their lives to a craft that is only getting stronger.
AMG.COM: You took your first film role in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer without even reading the script, and it jump started your career. Would you ever do something risky like that again, where you take a role without (reading) a script?
ROOKER: It wasn’t a risk actually; it was more of a test. I was perfectly happy with doing theater, it didn’t pay the mortgage at all, but I still loved doing it. I thought, “You know, I am going to try this film thing. I hear they shoot out of sequence, so I really don’t know if I am going to be good at that.” So I took the movie as a test for myself, to see if I could do it and if I could grow from it creatively. I did, quite a lot actually. The Henry script was a work in progress from day 1. When I went in to give my audition, they only had ideas on 3 x 5 cards. So, I am good at taking ideas and making them my own. When you get a script you’re not always looking at all the words, I mean don’t get me wrong, you read it, but I am more interested in what is underneath the script. I am good at getting my imagination to work well with what is on the page. It has to be organic in real life, so when I work, everything I do or say on screen is something that needs to be said, not because it has been on that page for months. I care about making it real.
AMG.COM: Mallrats 2 is going to happen, what part is your character “Svenning” going to have this time around? How did Kevin Smith approach you about it?
ROOKER: Kevin didn’t even approach me. He just knew I was going to do it. He knew before I knew that I would do it. I haven’t really seen a script, so hopefully he’s going to do it at some point. All the fans are looking forward to it. I know I am looking forward to seeing it, we’ll see. As you know, I am a big fan of chocolate covered pretzel fan- Dark chocolate. That is probably one of the best candies ever. The whole crunchy with the chocolate, it is something delicious, like my character in Mallrats, I can’t live without it.
AMG.COM: Well thank you so much Michael we really appreciate it.
ROOKER: You are great man. Thank you for talking today, thanks for your interview.