Anybody who’s ever attended a Michael Rooker panel at a comic convention will tell you that, if presented with the opportunity, attend a Michael Rooker panel at a comic convention. Well, I did just that at Rhode Island Comic Con 2018 in Providence, Rhode Island, where, on November 3, the Guardians of the Galaxy actor commanded the room during his “The Man of 1,000 Attitudes” panel.
Just as I was warned, the 45-minute question-and-answer session was all over the place–in the best way possible. You can’t control Rooker, which was evident as soon as he barged in the room and cut short a RICC representative’s speech about panel rules.
“I can’t believe that guy!” Rooker yelled into his mic.
What followed was one of the best convention Q&As I’ve ever seen, as Rooker didn’t sit on stage the entire time, feigning interest in audience questions. He got on his feet and moved around the entire room–and I mean the entire room, even the far back. And best of all, he was genuinely engaged, treating each fan as if they were an old friend.
Of course, such an off-the-cuff panel featuring an actor who’ll say whatever pops into his head is sure to yield more than one unpredictable moment. For instance, when a young fan asked why Rooker, in blue face makeup as Yondu in the Guardians of the Galaxy series, didn’t disappear when filming against a blue screen, he decided to go to the one person who could answer that question: Guardians director James Gunn. Unfortunately, Rooker’s call went straight to Gunn’s voicemail.
“Call us back in the next five minutes, or your ass is grass!” Rooker said in his message to Gunn.
Rooker also revealed that Yondu would have been proud of how Star-Lord handled that losing battle against Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
“He did good,” Rooker said of Star-Lord. “He did exactly what I taught him–punch him in the face!”But it was when a fan asked who would win in a fight, Yondu or Merle Dixon, who Rooker played on The Walking Dead, that the actor made a Guardians revelation that may shock fans of Marvel’s space franchise.
“Merle would sneak up on Yondu in his sleep,” Rooker told the fan. “As you know, Yondu, Yondu goes to sleep very easily. You didn’t know that? Ya know, did you see Guardians 2, Vol. 2? Remember the funeral scene? Well during the funeral scene, it’s not anything to brag about, but I… fall asleep.”
Whether Rooker was implying his character isn’t actually dead (and instead asleep), or was telling the truth about dozing off (definitely seemed like the latter), he was quickly interrupted and told the panel had to end, so it shall remain a mystery.
But I’ll leave you with some parting wisdom: If you ever have a chance to attend a Michael Rooker panel at a comic convention, attend a Michael Rooker panel at a comic convention.