Guardians Of The Galaxy Or The Walking Dead? Michael Rooker Reveals His Favorite Character

michael rooker

If there's one actor who has hit the jackpot in regards to nerd culture, it's Michael Rooker. While the American actor has been in the business for quite some time, he's recently hit his stride with mainstream audiences. He first captured our attention playing tragic bad boy Merle Dixon in AMC's The Walking Dead, which was closely followed by his supporting role as Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy. Now a bonafide MCU favorite, Rooker has a special ability to play gruff, immoral characters that are somehow charming enough to still make the audience love him. But which character does the actor prefer to play?

Michael Rooker recently participated in the Guardians panel at Heroes & Villains Fan Fest. During this panel (via, a fan asked which character he liked more, to which he said the following:

Merle was okay. Yondu was okay. Yondu paid more money. I have a lot more fun playing Yondu. And I didn't have to dodge rattlesnakes and pick ticks off my body but there's just something out of being a guy with a knife as a hand... The first time I tried on the hand, I was putting on my jacket...I stabbed the wardrobe guy in the belly. It didn't go in or anything but it was like poking the Pillsbury Doughboy.

There we go. Both characters are fun, but the paycheck and overall tone of playing Yondu in Guardians of the Galaxy are the winner.

It should be no surprise that Yondu is Michael Rooker's favorite character to play. To start, the schedule and paycheck for movies is far superior to TV. Rather than filming over the course of a year and essentially moving to Atlanta, Rooker could take a smaller bit of time to film his work in Guardians, while also making way more moolah in the process.

Additionally, Yondu is a much stronger character than Merle. A intergalactic space pirate, Yondu is the leader of his crew called The Ravagers. He shared Merle's rough exterior, but he is truly the master of his own destiny and does what he wants. Plus, he's blue, which pretty damn cool. Merle; however, never really came into his own as an independent character. The redneck brother of Daryl started the series handcuffed to a roof, and ended up spending most of his tenure under the control of The Governor. His one attempt to stand up for himself and reunite with his brother resulted his being killed and zombified, with Daryl having to put him down.

It should be interesting to see how Yondu progresses and grows in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It seems like his role is being expanded in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but it's unclear if he will end up doing any crossovers or showing up in Avengers: Infinity War.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will fly into theaters May 5th, 2017.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.