This year’s Motor City Comic Con brought us a couple of “bad guys” that were actually really good guys. Yondu and Kraglin of the Ravagers, better known on this planet as Michael Rooker and Sean Gunn, invaded a panel and a press conference and we couldn’t have been happier. Now, while one of them could have possibly been in Maui with Guardians directed James Gunn, Mr. Rooker stated that he was extremely happy to be in Detroit for the convention (James Gunn was vacationing there after the release of GotG Vol 2).
Michael Rooker entered both the panel and conference to rousing applause and sporting some very sweet shades. The man has quite the presence, being known for such roles as Yondu, Merle from The Walking Dead, and (a personal favorite) Mr. Svenning from Mallrats. Michael has worked both on television and film and he doesn’t care which one he works on, he enjoys them both. He has also mentioned that the life of an actor is an interesting one, one that he is excited to live because he lives very unexpectedly. Sometimes the drive to pick up certain roles is predicated on a simple thought, “I think I can do this” he told us about what keep him coming back. Of course, with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 earlier in the month, there were quite a few questions fired off about Yondu. Unknown to me, at one point he was up for the role of Rocket Raccoon (though probably before they decided to go CGI for the character) which also is his favorite Marvel character. Every day that he had to sit in the makeup chair, Michael said that it took three hours for him to get made up to be his character. When it comes to his performance, he is quite the energetic performer. He does “what pops into my head at the time” and just goes for it though sometimes the worst feeling that he has gotten is doing scenes then feeling like ‘Oh, I should have done that’. Wrapping up my section here on Mr. Rooker, his favorite line from the movies was this one from Vol 2 “It’s my underwears”. When a question about the “I’m Mary Poppins, y’all” line came up, it was mentioned that there is very little improv done on the set, only about 1-2% of the lines were improvised.
Sean Gunn, best known for his roles as Kraglin in Guardians as well as Kirk Gleason on Gilmore Girls, also appeared in the panel and it made me pretty excited since I’ve wanted to hear more from this gentleman. While there is many, many people that fangirl/fanboy over the comic book movies, he was very surprised by the enthusiastic fan base that is out there for Gilmore Girls, including seeing some people actually cosplaying at characters from the seven year series. We heard much about Guardians from Gunn and it was a fun journey he took us on. One of the biggest and more interesting things was when he had originally gotten the information about the new movie, which was at his parents house for the 50th wedding anniversary. His brother and director James Gunn had told him the plot and all the new stuff that he had planned for Kraglin. One of the aspects of the Gunn brothers (two of 6 brothers in the family) that I adore is that they both love working with the other. I had first seen an article with James stating how his favorite actor to work with is Sean, Sean then reiterated those thoughts, saying that they still act like brothers/perfectionists on set and they have a shorthand way of communicating with each other.
Going into a string of questions about the recent Marvel film, Sean gave us quite the set of answers (plus we were under a Rooker watch, he had been delayed coming to the panel so it was just Sean and moderator Aaron Sagers). His favorite scenes in the film were the funeral scene and the aftermath at the end of the film. Mr. Gunn believes that the success of Guardians came from a couple different factors which included the heart that the cast and crew had for creating the film and seeing that the audiences were full of kids that full of joy and the parents didn’t mind seeing the film. Actor Bradley Cooper, whom voices Rocket Raccoon and Sean does the on-set motion capture, is extremely generously happy about how things are set up for him because of Sean’s on set work (Sean is standing in at the eye level where the actors can look at him as if it were Rocket). His favorite line came from the original Guardians and spoken by Rocket “It’s important to me” and his favorite Marvel character is Silver Surfer. Wrapping up, Sean said that if Kraglin had an Awesome Mix, that “Jukebox Hero” would be the first song on his list and that Vol. 2’s “Lake Shore Drive” has a special spot in his heart.
My weekend wouldn’t have been as much fun if I wouldn’t have had the chance to see both of these wonderful gentlemen at MCCC 2017. These two have a spirit and enthusiasm that make me so joyful that we have actors like them. I hope that my path crosses theirs again in the future!