COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Michael Rooker Interview

Created: 04/25/2014 12:43 PM
By: Aaron Chalich

Columnist Aaron Chalich got the opportunity to talk actor Michael Rooker who has appeared in many films and television shows.  He is currently known for playing Merle Dixon in The Walking Dead.

(Aaron)How’s it going today?
(Michael)All is good, man. How are you?

(Aaron)Michael you have been in many films and television shows; do you have a favorite character that you have played?
(Michael)I’m having a good time playing Merle Dixon, and it was quite a phenomenon.  It’s very strange because I didn’t think people were going to really like this guy as much as they learned to like and love him.  This character just came out of nowhere just like the TV show "The Walking Dead" came out of nowhere. None of them expected the series to get as big and as crazy as it has become and so was Merle. Merle Dixon was popular during the show, and I’m more popular now even after my death in the show. So it’s kind of crazy. I’m digging it.

(Aaron)You’re going to be in Minneapolis next weekend for Wizard World Minneapolis.  Can you please tell me a little bit about it?
(Michael) You know what?  Minneapolis is kind of a home away from home.  I spent a lot of time in Wisconsin which is sort of a neighbor.  I grew up in Chicago, so I know Minneapolis quite well.  I did a really great film there, "Mallrats."  I hear through the grapevine that "Mallrats" fans are going to come out of the woodwork and overpower me and bring me chocolate covered pretzels, so I have to renew my annual supply of chocolate covered pretzels.  And people, I like dark chocolate covered pretzels.  I’m looking forward to being there; I love the fans and just that whole area.

(Aaron) Do you attend a lot of conventions?
(Michael) I have been since my demise, and I’m all for it.  I love meeting the fans, and they’re the ones that made the show “The Walking Dead” what it is.  If you don’t watch it then nobody is going to make it right?  My character Merle Dixon has become even more popular, and I’m doing my best to get out there and meet as many people as possible. When I’m there, people are really getting excited about what am I doing now and most of them probably already know that I’m doing "Guardian of the Galaxy," and I was cast in that after my demise in "The Walking Dead," and they are going to absolutely go crazy about my role.  I play an alien guy by the name of “Yondu” who is a very famous character from the comic and I’m excited to have that open and it opens Aug. 1. The fans are already going nuts over that already, and they haven’t even seen me in any of the premieres or any of the promotional stuff, and I don’t come out until the second trailer.

(Aaron)Thank you Michael for taking the time to do this interview with me and I am looking forward to seeing you at Wizard World Minneapolis on May second through the fourth.
(Michael)  Come on out, everybody; we are going to have a great time.

For more information about Wizard World Minneapolis go to

Aaron Chalich is a entertainment columnist.

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