Merle Dixon is not a great guy. Sure, he tried to help Rick by betraying the Governor in The Walking Dead, but Daryl's brother is far from the hero of Season 3. However, the actor who plays Merle, Michael Rooker, is a favorite among audiences, always taking time out to converse with fans of both The Walking Dead and Guardians of the Galaxy.
However, during a visit to the Heroes & Villains Fan Fest in London this weekend, Rooker revealed how he may have lost a fan on the set of The Walking Dead, while almost losing his freedom in the process...
Despite his recent Mary Poppins-related stint in #GuardiansoftheGalaxy2, the crowd at #HVFF were also eager to question Rooker about his time walking among the walkers. One particular fan who was clearly enamored by the actor's time on The Walking Dead asked Michael about the knife that Merle wore as a hand in Season 3, which quickly led to a rather surprising story from his time working on the set.
"The first time I put that on, the wardrobe person is putting on my wardrobe, and I'm coming with the knife hand and I had forgotten that I had worn 8 inches extended from my hand."
Rooker then made a hilarious squealing noise to portray how the wardrobe person reacted to feeling the pointy end of Merle's knife hand. Fortunately, Merle is far less violent in real life. Instead of killing the crew member, Rooker just gave him a fright;
"It wasn't very sharp. It didn't really stab him. It just poked him a little bit."
There's already enough accidents on the set of The Walking Dead — the last thing that Rooker or the rest of the team needed was for someone to meet their gory end like one of the many characters on the show. Fortunately, a real stabbing was probably averted through Rooker's dedication to the role:
"I would practice all the time, trying to touch certain objects on the wall... you're extending your own hand out 8 inches into the tip of a blade... I worked hard so I wouldn't accidentally stab someone."
Although he did add the caveat:
"It was a little bit difficult to get used to..."
Perhaps Merle would still be alive if he'd taken the time to practice more:
Perhaps the set of #TheWalkingDead would have been safer, had Merle been equipped with Yondu's arrow instead of his knife hand. After all, Rooker himself told the fans that he would choose this intergalactic weapon over a makeshift hand prosthetic any day:
"The arrow is the weapon of choice for any period of history. Whether you're fighting zombies or aliens from other worlds, Yondu's arrow was quite a formidable weapon."
We imagine Yondu's arrow would have come in handy when the Governor shot Merle in the chest, or when Daryl stabbed zombie Merle in the face. There's only so much that even someone like Michael Rooker can do with a knife hand, it seems — although that's still better than what poor Baby Groot went though on the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 set.
Which weapon do you prefer? Merle's knife hand or Yondu's arrow? Let us know in the comments section below!