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Michael Rooker not letting Yondu role in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' go to his head

Michael Rooker attends a Marvel Studios' "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" screening hosted by The Cinema Society and Men's Fitness, at The Whitby Hotel on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in New York. Groot and Rocket Raccoon may seem very real on the big screen, but on the set of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" they were inanimate objects — if anything at all. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Sykes/Invision
May 04, 2017 - 11:20 AM

TORONTO - Michael Rooker's career has soared in recent years, with a key role as antagonist Merle Dixon on the hit series "The Walking Dead" and the part of blue-skinned space pirate Yondu in the smash franchise "Guardians of the Galaxy."

In the "Guardians" sequel, out Friday, he gets to shine even more as his character gets an emotionally stirring plotline that is garnering much praise.

But Rooker isn't letting such success go to his head, noting the impact "Guardians" has had on his career is still "left to be seen."

"Nobody is calling and offering me jobs as of yet but maybe that will happen as well," said the Alabama native. "But as an actor you never know. This is such an odd career and business, yet it's what it's all about.

"Being an artist is very unpredictable and you just never know if you're going to be able to pay the mortgage the next month or not, unless you're smart about it and you've invested well, things like that.

"And you've got to know that stuff as well, too, otherwise you're living paycheque to paycheque, just like everyone else."

"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" picks up where the first film — a smash hit in the summer of 2014 — left off.

Chris Pratt returns as Peter, the half-human outlaw leader of the story's intergalactic group of misfits. Other returning cast members include Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Vin Diesel as the voice of tree-like Baby Groot, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of rascally Rocket Raccoon.

Kurt Russell joins the cast as Peter's father, while Sylvester Stallone plays a space pirate who has a history with Yondu.

Rooker first worked with the film's writer-director, James Gunn, on the 2006 sci-fi horror "Slither." They've since worked on several projects together.

"His writing is very dead-on, very clear and concise," said Rooker. "It helps the actor a lot, when you don't have to rewrite every bloody scene because it doesn't make sense."

Rooker said it took about three hours to apply Yondu's makeup. On set, he embraced the green screen and movie magic used to create Groot and Rocket.

"Sometimes we have a little Groot puppet, a little stick puppet, sometimes we have just the little stick with some tape on it — and sometimes we have nothing there at all," said Rooker.

"I find that it really helps the actor get back to basics, get back to using your imagination, which is what you should be doing in the first place."

— Follow @VictoriaAhearn on Twitter.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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