Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2: Michael Rooker on Yondu, Merle & James Gunn

Michael Rooker talks Yondu and Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

Things are changing for Yondu in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2. Once the antagonist, the Ravager is turning over a new leaf for the sequel and joining Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Baby Groot to become a protector of alien-kind. We spoke to Yondu actor Michael Rooker about what’s coming up for the space pirate…

SciFiNow: Can you tell us a bit about Yondu in Vol. 2? Obviously he was one of the main antagonists in Vol. 1, but now he’s rolling with the Guardians. 

Michael Rooker: Yondu is this tough love kind of guy, and his surrogate child, Star-Lord, in human terms would have been treated kind of rough and tumble. That how James Gunn treats me! James Gunn is so rough and tumble! He’s like, ‘Rooker! Just go out there and act hard! Do it!’ I mean, when I look at him it’s like a mirror image of the relationship between Yondu and Star-Lord! That’s mine and James Gunn’s relationship, with James being Yondu of course. [Laughs] ‘Rooker! You call that acting? Do it again!’ He made me do it a thousand times!

James Gunn has said some nice stuff about you…

He said nice things about me? I’m going to have to punch him squarely in the nose! He said nice things about me! He is such a wonderful guy. We have been friends since Slither, and we’ve truly become surrogate brothers. An unspoken question-answer thing goes on between us all the time, especially on set when we work together. He doesn’t have to say much. He nods his head and I know what he mean, and we go and get the job done. I’m glad I get a chance to express more about Yondu in this second film. It really feels good to be able to stretch my wings with this character a little bit more this time around.

How long does it take for you to get into costume and makeup? 

Do you know what, it’s about two and a half hours for the makeup and another 30 minutes or so for the costume, so it’s about three hours with tweaking and I’m ready to go.

Ah, it could be worse… 

Gamora and Drax and a couple of the other guys, they have much more time involved in getting into the makeup and stuff, and also in the cleanup afterwards. They’ve got it down to a science. My makeup team is absolutely on top of it.

Do you find people associate you more with Yondu now, or Merle from The Walking Dead?

[Laughs] You know what, the Walking Dead fandom, there’s a lot of spill over with the people who love The Walking Dead and the kinds of fans who really dig and enjoy Guardians Of The Galaxy as well. It’s about 50/50. Reading up on Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, I’m telling you, it’s on the Internet, my Instagram and the Facebook stuff, the fans are big, big, big into Guardians Vol. 2, and I have a sneaky suspicion that it’s going to surpass the recognition value. Honestly, both characters are so different and the fans are pretty different and yet they still have this overlap. Right now it’s still 50/50, but people are really digging the trailers that have been put out for Guardians Vol. 2, and they’re looking forward to lots of Yondu.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 is in UK cinemas today. Get a behind the scenes look at the film with the latest issue of SciFiNow.