Former Walking Dead Star Talks Giant Blockbuster Sequel This Weekend


Michael Rooker In Guardians 2

Michael Rooker | Photo Credit Marvel

With The Walking Dead in a brief hiatus between seasons, fans are looking everyone to find their favorite characters. For Merle Dixon fans, they will be able to find Michael Rooker in one of the biggest blockbusters of the season.

“I really enjoy what I do, as an actor,” said Rooker about the role of Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. “Yondu comes from very cool stock. [Director James] Gunn is really into doing the rehearsals.”

“I’m not a big rehearsal guy, but I’ll go through the motions. I like to save it for the bi day,” said the man behind Merle Dixon.

From Days Of Thunder To The Walking Dead

Michael Rooker | Photo Credit Days of Thunder

Michael Rooker used this method for the part of Merle Dixon as well. “I can’t be walking around like Merle all day,” joked Rooker, no doubt thinking about the evil inside of the Dixon brother.

“I was ecstatic when The Walking Dead came along. Merle Dixon was so perfectly adapted for me. My casting director friends—who I’ve known since Days of Thunder—called me about the role.”

They told the actor, “I have this role that is absolutely written for you. It’s about a redneck, racist guy that I know you can play very well. He’s such a dick that they cuff him to the rooftop. He’s such a crazy mofo that he cuts his own hand off!”

“That’s me. Where do I sign?” joked Rooker.

Going Against Sly And Cruise

Michael Rooker | Photo Credit Cliffhanger

Before his role as Merle Dixon, actor Michael Rooker’s most popular roles were opposite Tom Cruise in Days of Thunder and opposite Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger, where he went head to head with both A-listers.

“I tried my best to steal as many scenes as possible,” said Rooker, thinking back on his time with Sly in Cliffhanger. “If we weren’t really climbing and jumping around in the snow, it would have been bullsh*t.”

Now, Rooker does his best to steal scenes from Chris Praitt as Guardians 2 hits a theater near you.

Is Merle Dixon still the “bad guy” you love to hate?

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