Aug. 01, 2014 | 11:45 a.m.
Rarely is there an upside for an actor to have his character killed off one of the most popular series on television. But when Michael Rooker received the news that his role as Merle Dixon on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead” was coming to an end, he took some comfort in knowing that another opportunity was waiting in the wings. The popular character actor has a pivotal role in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Marvel’s epic space adventure that arrives in theaters Friday, playing Yondu, a bandit who is something of a mentor to Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord. “Yondu is a responder, he’s a doer,” Rooker said recently. “He’s the leader of a group of interstellar piracy-type guys and a very paternal figure for Peter Quill. He’s his kid pretty much and he taught him how to […]
Nov. 18, 2012 | 5:10 p.m.
Michael Rooker has a sizable fan following — one amassed during a decades-long career that stretches back cinematically to his breakthrough role in the chilling underground film “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.” The grisly low-budget movie established Rooker’s bonafides when it comes to projecting an air of charismatic menace, a skill set he’s employed for a range of roles in film and on television, including the character he plays on AMC’s hit zombie series “The Walking Dead.” And while Merle Dixon might not seem like the most affable guy, he does have his own code of honor, a kind of unique morality heavy on self-reliance and self-preservation, but not entirely without heart, especially when it comes to his brother Daryl, played by Norman Reedus. “Merle does have a code that he lives by,” Rooker said on the Georgia set […]