The Walking Dead: Michael Rooker kicks off the Con

Credit Wizard World Chicago
Credit Wizard World Chicago /

Kick off the con

257 Kick-off-the-con-Chicago Woodfield /

Last night at Level 257 in the Woodfield mall in Schaumburg, Illinois just outside Chicago, press gathered to get their credentials a day early and enjoy appetizers, drinks and games before meeting a few of the celebrities from Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con, which will be going on all weekend. As a Walking Dead fan, I decided to attend and pick up my credentials last night because Michael Rooker, aka Merle Dixon was one of those celebrities.

I wrote about my interview and a little bit about my experience already last night when I returned home from the event. As often happens with me, I tend to think about things for a while after they happen.

Mr. Rooker said a few things while speaking to other interviewers that may have seemed like little things to them or even to me at the time, but reveal quite a bit about The Walking Dead and about Michael as an actor and a person upon further review.

I don’t care

Michael used that sentence quite a bit during the night with interviewers about different topics. He talked about how his take on what he reads when he reads a script is different from anyone else’s and if it’s not your take he doesn’t care. He talked about reading underneath the script.

Michael Rooker at Wizard World’s Kick off the Con event in Schaumburg /

He also gave a charming story to one interviewer who asked about something odd. Michael told how he will sign the arms of young kids at cons because when you’re a kid you don’t have dough and at cons there’s so much you have to buy. He said pretty soon he’ll have little lines of kids asking him to sign their arms.

Then he told the interviewer that he didn’t know if that answered his question, but he didn’t care.

Just watching and listening to Michael Rooker answered questions better than actually asking the questions for some things. I could have asked how he was like Merle, but I got my answer by watching and listening. Neither one cares what people think.

That’s not to be misinterpreted as they don’t care about people. They both care about people. That’s evident. Even when he teased and said he loved answering questions, no matter how stupid. They are just both confident enough and playful enough to not care if they are misunderstood. Now, Merle’s confidence is different from Rooker’s,  but that’s irrelevant right this minute.

Nothing is fully explored

Michael Rooker at Wizard World’s Kick off the Con event in Schaumburg /

This was a throw-away line and the most insightful comment of the night. That’s why I think I’d never really get what I want in an interview. Unless the interview was an entire night of hanging out and talking, not asking and answering questions. The comment of nothing is fully explored came from the rumors that Michael has been seen on the set of The Walking Dead.

The interviewer said, the reports say the brother relationship wasn’t fully explored and Michael said right away, “Nothing is fully explored.” And then asked, “Is that why I was on the set?” beautifully deflecting the rumors question.

But the idea that nothing is fully explored is a great theme in The Walking Dead. It’s part of what gives it its heartbreaking realism. It’s not the type of fiction that makes sure each story and character is fleshed out perfectly and cleanly.

So when fans say things like, there was so much left to that character’s story, he/she shouldn’t have died yet, that’s not really a valid argument. Nothing is fully explored. Just like in life. We don’t die when we deserve to die. When our story is finished. We don’t always know everything behind another person’s pain and mask.

Wizard World Chicago Comic-Con starts today

The con was kicked off last night. The official Comic-Con starts today at Rosemont Horizon. now called Donald E Stephens Convention Center. Check out the details about the 5 Walking Dead actors and Walking Dead/zombie related panels here!

Who is Merle Dixon?

More to Merle

My interview with Michael Rooker

Next: Season 5:All Named Character Deaths

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