Michael Rooker thrilled Marvel fans at San Diego's Comic-Con International on Saturday when he showed up on stage in the full costume, blue-skinned makeup and brightly lit head-fin of Yondu Udanta, his space-pirating Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 character. And while the 61-year-old actor admits the film's director and his longtime friend James Gunn talked him into it, he didn't have to twist his arm.
"It was James' idea," laughed Rooker, an alum of The Walking Dead who's worked with Gunn on several films over the years. "It was totally his idea!"
"He didn't have to talk too loud," Rooker added. "I was up for it. It was great. The whole concept...Yeah, I loved it."
Gunn, who enjoys putting his friend in offbeat and often uncomfortable situations, said talking Rooker into going full-Yondu didn't take much convincing.
"I said, 'Rooker, you're going to be showing up on every magazine article in every website tomorrow pictured in Yondu,' " said the filmmaker, who directed the first Guardians film. "And Rooker's like, 'Ah, people will look at me? Okay.' That was not a hard thing to do."
VIDEO: Comic-Con 2015 Recap, from Ben Affleck and Harrison Ford to Ryan Reynolds's Deadpool Debut
Deadpool Debut!" data-ad-channel="peoplenow" data-ad-subchannel="peoplenownews" data-auto-play="no">
After an hours-long makeup process, Rooker was especially pleased by the uber-enthusiastic cheers from thousands of fans prompted by his in-character entrance during Marvel Studios' panel. "Oh my gosh, they freaked!" said Rooker.
"These are the people who make this movie great," he added. "They're the people that are going to go see this movie three, four, five times. From the response, they will be. These folks stayed out the last 24 hours, 48 hours, waiting in line to get into this Hall H to see our previews."