Michael Rooker Vs. The Audience At Wizard World Portland

By Alyssa Pak

On January 25th, hundreds of Wizard World Portland attendees gathered in the ballroom for a Michael Rooker Q&A panel. The longtime Hollywood actor known for films such as Cliffhanger, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Mallrats, Slither, Guardians of the Galaxy, and for his role as Merle from The Walking Dead was like a firecracker on stage. The only problem with the panel was the lack of microphones for questions but Rooker fixed that really quick. Instead he ran around the ballroom to share his microphone for questions giving the panel a more of a one-on-one experience. After a short introduction he immediately turned to the audience for questions.

IMG_0201Q: What was your favorite role that you have played so far?

Rooker: The ones where I got paid!

Q: Will you be back as Yondu for Guardians of the Galaxy 2?

Rooker: Hell yeah!

Q: How long did it take to do the make-up for Yondu?

Rooker: It took 4 and 1/2 hours! Then when I needed it off it took 1 and 1/2 hours because the blue make-up was hard on the skin.

Q: How long did you train for Cliffhanger?

Rooker: I started training a month before production, but actually trained for three months since the production date kept getting pushed back. It was a lot of hardwork but I loved the physical training.

Q: Who would win in a fight without weapons: Merle or you?

Rooker: Neither would fight without weapons!

Q: How did you like working with Chris Pratt?

Rooker: You should ask him what it was like working with Michael Rooker!

Q: How did it feel being in a movie with a talking racoon and tree?

Rooker: Pretty damn cool!

Q: How do you think Merle Dixon was viewed by The Walking Dead viewers?

Rooker: Merle was an interesting character. You never knew when to love or hate him. Some episodes I'm sure people wanted Merle dead and then the next time you saw him he did something that made viewers want to keep him around longer. In the end, I think viewers loved the relationship between Merle and his brother and could really relate to that.

Q: Do you still like chocolate covered pretzels?

Rooker: Of course I do!

The main reason so many con goers gather to Rooker's panels is that he aims to entertain the audience in a comical way. Through his crazy run around during his panel at Wizard World Portland he made a personal connection with every person in that ballroom. Even though Michael Rooker can sometimes play gruff characters, his panel showed that he really enjoys entertaining people both through the roles he plays and the personalized experience he provides at conventions.

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About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.
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