Micheal Rooker is one of my favorite people. As an actor he has played roles in some of my favorite films and shows – The Walking Dead, Slither, and of course his turn as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (in theaters now) and the first film of the franchise. As Yondu he was the bad guy you loved. Sean Gunn plays Kraglin, Yondu’s right hand and one could say his conscience.
He and Sean Gunn walked into our interview room all smiles. Michael had done interviews like this before but Sean was a newbie at it.
Michael: Oh, this is fancy schmancy stuff. Look, we actually have a table this time around. Last time we did this, we were like, squatting on a bucket.
Always a jokester… keep that in mind when reading below…
Sean on Working with Brother James Gunn
Sean: We’ve been working together in various capacities since we were little, so it’s like, 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. And so I think that we work together really, really well. I’m certainly grateful that I, he gave me such a nice role in this in this film.
Michael : You owe it all to me. I talked to him about you.
On Kraglin and Yondu and the Fin
The first question was the one that was burning in all of us – Kraglin using Yondu’s head fin and arrow.
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 shit.
Sean : I’d like to think there’s more in store for that character, but I don’t know anything. I mean, really, so I don’t know if anyone knows anything, actually. I don’t know what any of the story is.
Ok they aren’t spilling. Sean is James Gunn’s brother – he HAS to know something…
On Becoming Yondu and Kraglin
Michael : The makeup process is awesome. Awesome makeup process. It took about, maybe a three 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, you know, and then sometimes they just flick it on with a brush. They put it on the brush and they just go and they just flick it and it’s like little, little speckling all over your face, but tiny little dots that helps to bring out the depth of the, of the paint so it looks like, it just looks like real skin and I mean, it feels like real skin, too.
How was it working with the teeth?
Michael : Oh, we both had some grills, baby. Do we not? Sean, you had more of a problem with it than I did.
Sean : Yeah, the teeth. Yeah, 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 talking. I, because I think talking through the teeth, in the first movie it was one of the most difficult things I did.
Michael : It was. But I didn’t have a problem with it, you know, everybody’s different. Sean can speak English. I cannot. Sean’s, he uses consonants. I do not almost never and my, my quality is more throatal and glottal. His is not. I mean, he can do that, of course. We are trained actors. This is just my quality in that’s how I do it, so thereby, the teeth are up in the front, so I form my words and my consonants and sounds more back, so it didn’t’ bother me at all with the speaking. 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. [He told the makeup dept] These, we got to fix these because I got to whistle. And so they did. And they did pretty good and I had to relearn a little bit of where I focus. Where I focus the sound for the whistling and stuff.
Fun Fact: Yondu’s whistling is Michael Rooker’s whistling
On Working With CGI Costars
Sean Gunn is Rocket on set, Bradley Cooper does the vocals but is not on set.
Michael : Rocket is my friend right here and we worked together day and night doing this. We go through like, how many times we do, when we’re doing a scene, it takes like, four or five times. Four or five good ones to layer all that stuff.
Sean: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. We have to do several takes for anything that Rocket is a part of. We do a reference take. We’re in there and we make sure we get one or two good ones of those and then we have to do one with, with, you know, like, a light. I’m doing the lines from just behind the camera.
Michael: Got to do one with a stick… With a piece of tape.
Sean: Got to do one that’s totally empty. Yeah, all that. All that kind of stuff, it’s a whole process.
Michael: So, the process for doing this kind of movie with such heavy CGI and also characters that don’t truly exist, you know, it’s like doing five movies, for God’s sake. It is, I will forever get a whole hell of a lot more money if I ever have to do this again. That being said, I’ll probably never get hired again. For this kind of movie, but if ever I do, trust me, guys. Producers out there, you better know you better come with your best offer because I know how this shit works now. And it is hard. It’s difficult.
On Yondu’s fate
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.
What was it like on set filming the death scene?
Michael: You know, it was emotional. Very, very emotional for everyone but me. I was, I was mostly, I was sleepy. It’s true. Swear to God.
Sean: Well, we were doing, well, when we’re doing the funeral scene at the end where like, and there 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 would never forget that. So funny.
Michael: Absolutely. I don’t know why. I have no idea. It put me to sleep.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is in theaters NOW!