Michael Rooker

Michael Rooker

Michael Rooker portrayed Yondu Udonta in Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Significant roles

  • Henry in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986)
  • Bill Whitaker in The Equalizer (1988)
  • Frank Bailey in Mississipi Burning (1988)
  • Bosko in L.A. Takedown (1989)
  • Terry in Sea of Love (1989)
  • Rowdy Burns in Days of Thunder (1990)
  • Bill Broussard in JFK (1991)
  • Sheriff Alan Pangborn in The Dark Half (1993)
  • Hal Tucker in Cliffhanger (1993)
  • Sherman McMasters in Tombstone (1993)
  • Gennings in Mallrats (1995)
  • Babe McCloor in Fallen Angels (1995)
  • Uncle Earle in Bastard Out of Carolina (1996)
  • Keith Michaels in Keys to Tulsa (1996)
  • Sheriff Walker in Rosewood (1997)
  • Father Vassey in Shadow Builder (1998)
  • Fritz Brown in Brown's Requiem (1998)
  • Matt Cooper in Renegade Force (1998)
  • Captain Howard Cheney in The Bone Collector (1999)
  • Robert Marshall in The Sixth Day (2000)
  • A.J. Mercker in Undisputed (2002)
  • Detective Stafford in The Box (2003)
  • Colonel Edwards in Stargate SG-1 (2003)
  • Mark Spencer in Chasing Ghosts (2005)
  • Repo Man in Repo! The Genetic Opera (2006)
  • Grant Grant in Slither (2006)
  • Det. John Hayes in Thief (2006)
  • Shawn Curaco in Crossing Jordan (2007)
  • Sidney in Whisper (2007)
  • William Rice in Jumper (2008)
  • Jamie Yost in Law & Order (2008)
  • Richard Crummly in This Man's Life (2008)
  • Oscar Riddick in Shark (2008)
  • Calvin Stark in Meteor (2009)
  • Chief Carlson in Criminal Minds (2009)
  • Mann in Penance (2009)
  • Garth Lawnmore in Psych (2009)
  • Church in The Marine 2 (2009)
  • Ray Clement in Cell 213 (2010)
  • John Canterna in Matadors (2010)
  • Mitch in Scott's Dead (2010)
  • Det. St. John in Freeway Killer (2010)
  • D.A. Billy Watkins in Blood Done Sign My Name (2010)
  • Red Doc in DC Showcase: Jonah Hex (2010)
  • Pat McMurphy in Louis (2010)
  • Abe in Super (2010)
  • Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead (2010-2013)
  • Father/Alien in Atlantis Down (2011)
  • Captain McCarthy in Mysteria (2011)
  • Chief Carter in Brother's Keeper (2013)


  • " Guardians of the Galaxy is a comic book series based on superhero-type guys that help protect humankind and all kinds of life that live out in the galaxies. They kill bad guys and shit like that. I’m not at liberty to say anything other than that!"
  • "[about Yondu] I dig it, and I can’t tell you what it’s for. None of your business."
  • "He is the most prepared director that I’ve ever known. He’s a good friend now. We’ve been friends ever since Slither, and he’s a joy to work with. He’s an excellent writer, a very well-prepared director. He comes in and talks with you. It helps a lot to have a director who knows what the hell he wants out of a scene as opposed to someone who’s over there in the corner going like ‘I’m not sure how to shoot it.’ Gunn’s not like that at all."
  • "The speciality is that it has Michael Rooker, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana - it's the cast, my friend. We're having a great time doing it and I have a feeling that it's going to be a really sweet deal when it comes out. People are going to love it."
  • "There's so many people guessing and trying to figure out stuff. I can't really comment on any of that."
  • "My make-up was fabulous! It was stunning, really. It's beautiful - it's really pretty amazing stuff. I'm just taken back by how talented the make-up artists are."
  • "I don't know if everybody's a bad guy! Not everybody's a bad guy, I think Gunn likes to mix it up. In a way her statement is probably correct, but not 'bad'... there's variations, there's grey areas going on there. My guy Yondu is a bit of a cad, so I'm having a really good time playing the role. I had no scenes with Karen at all - the closest we came was at San Diego Comic-Con when she showed everyone she'd shaved her head."
  • "Rocket and I don’t get along, he’s a bit abrupt and brash for my taste. I probably have a little Merle in me still, because I would roast him over an open flame and eat him for supper!"
  • "The paparazzi have a bunch of photos of Yondu – I think Yondu was the first of the characters that got totally exposed – and you can see the character looks totally different from the comic.... the blue [paint] is simple, it’s beautiful. The colours that we use in Guardians are just exquisite. When everything is put together – when you have wardrobe on and the lighting’s going – man oh man it’s beautiful, it’s going to look fabulous."
  • "Y’know, most of the roles I play, just by it being who I am – normally they’re somewhat formidable individuals. That’s just sort of my look and my build. So we utilize that in almost everything I’ve done, and it’s the same in Guardians."
  • "It's felt like a James Gunn movie as soon as he called me about it! I went out and bagged a comic just to see what he was doing, and I was like 'Oh my God, he's doing this!' I was very happy because he's a big comic guy, even as a young child he really enjoyed reading them, so it was great to see him doing something that really got his creative energy going. He loves to torture me and make me look strange. Directors always love to tell actors what to do, and he loves telling me what to do, and that's why he hired me!"
  • "My makeup and wardrobe took about six hours before getting camera ready and it’s a cool role and it’s going to be a lot of fun. In the end, at the end, we did a huge photo session and I saw the end result in some of the lighting we we’re using and I was just blown away. I saw the photograph and it was really… I mean I had seen it in the mirror with really bad lights and I’ve seen myself on a video you know, little feedback and replays, but on the set. Now I finally see myself a photo of myself with a real camera, a real lens and real lighting and brother it was beautiful. The first time I saw what real people are going to see and it was stunning, stunning, it just I can’t describe it it just looked like real skin. It was so believable, it’s amazing, it amazed me and totally blew me away, stunning, beautiful and I couldn’t believe it. It made me think that I was working with real artists."
  • "It’s hand done every single time, so each and every time it’s a little bit different. So you become a part of the process and you need a keen eye for any kind of mistake or continuity. They are looking for the same and we’re all checking each other. It’s pretty amazing the way everyone worked together to get this done and there’s several, several layers I mean there’s more than just blue. There’s clear, golden and like silver and there’s blue and darker blue and lighter blue and it’s just amazing what they had done and what they do."
  • "As you can see from some of the photos out there, I’m not in a loincloth. I don’t have a major, major fin thing that goes down my back. We haven’t visually gone with the way that Yondu was in the comics."
  • "Lovely, beautiful colors. What do you expect? It is a superhero movie. And I hope that you see it, and you’re going to be going ‘I’m going to see this again.’ That’s what I hope."
  • "It was a beautiful shoot. James Gunn was an awesome, awesome director to work with again. I’ve worked with him before in the past, and it was great to get to do it again. It’s what attracts him to me, not what attracts me to him. You’ve got the wrong question there. [Laughing] We get along well. We’ve been good friends since our first film. He allows me to do my thing, and he has great comments. Very good director…when you’re lost in the woods, he can direct you."
  • "It’s a beautiful story, a great uplifting story and I found the relationship between Quill and Yondu intriguing. He went to pick him up from Earth and for some reason he decided not to take him where he was meant to go and raised him himself. He made a connection with him, and Yondu now enjoys the fact that Quill has the courage to do his own thing."
  • "He's feeling lost, vulnerable, defeated, emotionally drained and hurt, and here is Yondu in this light coming down and brings him up into the spacecraft and takes him away. It might have been pretty horrific, but also a bit cool."
  • "He's some interesting issues — not a good guy, not a bad guy. There's hope and there's a heart inside Yondu. It's not so black and white — I should say blue and white. And I enjoy roles that are like that, even if they're not in some galaxy somewhere other than ours."
  • "[referring to his nails] They're not so long and pointy that they're like demon things, and yet they're not so manicured like a regular human guy."
  • "Gunn wrote the role with me in mind, with a combination of Michael Rooker, Yondu and Merle, all mixed together, You know how Merle is. I could call you some name or do something really dumb and stupid and mean, but you still kind of like me, Yondu's the same way. I think people are going to get that. They're going to like the character, but he's not the friendliest guy."
  • "Most of the tweets are wondering if Yondu's going to have his mohawk -- the fin -- and if he's going to have the bow and arrow. It's a great weapon."
  • "What are we going to do? You know? But it worked so well for this story in this movie. That’s what really worked. And, yeah, what are you going to do? And it’s for the good of the movie. The hero of the movie ends up being remembered. And the hero of the movie ends up being, well – you’re the hero of the movie! You know, they’ve done something! They’ve given up something that most of us would not even come close to having the balls to give up in real life, and in the movies as well."
  • "The whole movie led to that one moment. It seemed to be calling to me. And that’s what fulfills this true story. This is a story about a father’s love for his son, his ultimate love, so much love that he sacrifices himself for that, and that’s what Yondu is. He is 100 percent Peter Quill’s father. And Ego is 100 percent not his father. Just because Ego is biologically his father, that isn’t who he is."

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