The ‘Smallville’ alum opens up about auditioning to play Star-Lord and the rather crass autograph the ‘Star Wars’ star once gave him.
After cementing himself as DC comic book royalty on the small screen, Michael Rosenbaum has shifted to Marvel with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
The Indiana-raised actor played Lex Luthor for seven seasons on TV’s Smallville and has earned fan acclaim for voicing The Flash in DC animated properties. This month, he returns to his comic roots as Martinex, an associate of Sylvester Stallone’s Ravager character Stakar. It’s a homecoming of sorts, as Rosenbaum — whose podcast Inside of You With Michael Rosenbaum launches in June — auditioned for friend and director James Gunn for the role of Star-Lord in the original Guardians.
In a conversation with Heat Vision, Rosenbaum opens up about reading for the role that ultimately went to Chris Pratt, his Smallville years and his surprising friendship with the late Carrie Fisher.
Marvel and Disney are known for their secrecy. When you landed the role of Martinex, how much of the script did they share?
I got the whole script. It was watermarked with my name. I knew Yondu [Michael Rooker] died before we shot it … I was sitting at the premiere with Michael Rooker and I could tell he was choking up at the end … it really says something when a man can get emotional about his own work.
You’ve written and sold several projects. If you could write something for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what would it be?
I’d love to write Power Pack. It came out in the ’80s … these young siblings get powers from an alien race right as their dad builds this planet-destroying weapon, which another alien race wants. It’s got that Spielberg/Stranger Things vibe. I could really take that concept and make it fresh.
You worked with Sylvester Stallone on Guardians 2. What was your favorite moment with him?
I love James’ [Gunn] taste in music, but he hates a lot of the ’80s shit that I like. I remember belting out this really obscure ’80s song and suddenly Stallone joins in … I look over at James and he’s just staring at me with this “f— you” look on his face.
You auditioned for the role of Peter Quill in the first Guardians. Can you talk about the screen test? Was it strange being in front of Gunn, who is a friend?
Yes, I was nervous as shit (laughs). You’re sitting there with one of your best friends who’s directing a huge movie, who knows your ability and said, “I wanna see your take on Peter Quill.” Now the pressure’s on. I just had to shut it off … I remember coming up with my own dance for the Star-Lord dance scene. I had a great partner, it felt really organic right from the start.
Were you disappointed when you didn’t get the part?
You know, I didn’t really care about getting the part. I didn’t know anything about the Guardians comics. I just wanted to do a good job for James.
Did you know Chris Pratt was cast before that became public?
Yeah, I’d heard. Chris is amazing in that role.
Were things weird between you and Gunn after that?
No, not at all. The way I look at it … I was privileged to be one of the few people that got to screen test. I was so honored and grateful that James had me audition.
How do you draw the line between friendship and business?
Friendship comes first 100 percent of the time. You don’t question it. I want to see my friends succeed … if they have the ability to cast me in something, that’s great. If not, I don’t think twice.
Talk about your relationship with Carrie Fisher. How did you two meet?
Carrie’s assistant reached out because Carrie’s daughter wanted a signed photo of Lex. I said, “Tell her I want a signed picture from Return of the Jedi!” Carrie actually sent the photo, which I keep in my office. It says, “Blow me — Carrie.”
At the time I was filming the first season of Smallville and living in a hotel. She said, “Why are you living in a hotel? I have these little bungalows at my house, Meryl Streep stays there, Richard Dreyfuss stays there, you could, too … it’s got its own kitchen, you’d never have to see me.”
So I stayed there for three months and I wrote like crazy. She really showed me the way when it came to writing, and she never asked for anything, she just said, “Buy me a gift when you’re done.” So I bought her a skylight for her living room.
She was just an amazing person, she embraced mental illness like no one had ever done and she was just so giving. Her house was always open to everybody, and she was so smart. I remember listening to her and saying to her, “I don’t understand a f—ing word you just said.” She said, “Oh, f— you, why don’t you try reading, Rosenbaum?!”
Carrie was always there for her friends. If I said, “Man, I feel like shit,” she’d say, “Why? Do you wanna talk?”
What’s one of the strangest things that happened with Fisher?
I remember lying on her giant bed with Michael Keaton, Tracey Ullman, Nicole Kidman and Carrie … just lying on her bed … laughing and talking. I thought, “Where am I?” Then she tried hooking me up with Nicole Kidman. Nicole is so out of my league … Carrie took me over to Nicole, said one sentence, and just left me with her. It was never gonna happen, but I’ll always remember that.
We’d have parties at her place with my friends and her friends. It was like Meg Ryan with my stoner friend Roger. It was a great relationship. She was just a powerful human being.
Michael Rosenbaum can also be seen performing stand-up comedy at places around Los Angeles such as the Laugh Factory and the Comedy Store, and will be touring with his band The Sandwich this summer in Germany. More information can be found here.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is just a few weeks away, and there are still some things we don’t know. Although we found out the identity of Sylvester Stallone’s character earlier this week, it remains a mystery as to who Michael Rosenbaum is playing. However, the actor himself has given a few clues as to his role during the red carpet premiere of the film last night.
“Well, I’m in the movie, and I can’t really say the role I’m playing because James Gunn swore me to secrecy,” said Rosenbaum. “But it’s with Stallone, and it’s an important role. I’m not allowed to say anything other than that. I can’t wait to see it, I haven’t seen it, and I’ve been waiting a year to be able to say something. So it’s really exciting, I’m really excited. The fans are awesome. This is incredible. So I’m going to see it for the first time, too. I’m not going to tell you what I look like, either. You’re just going to have to see the movie. I don’t have to shave my head again, so that’s good.”
While still not much to go on, there are a few things here. We know that he is with Stallone in the movie, and that it seems that this is a role that James Gunn really wants to keep secret. Which means that the character in question will likely be an exciting reveal. The mind continues to go wild. Who do you think he’s playing? Let us know!
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is scheduled for release on April 28th 2017 in the UK and on May 5th in the States, with director James Gunn reuniting with returning cast members Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax), Bradley Cooper (Rocket), Vin Diesel (Groot), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Glenn Close (Nova Prime), Sean Gunn (Kraglin) and Laura Haddock (Meredith Quill) alongside new additions Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) as Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Ayesha, Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight) as Ego the Living Planet, Chris Sullivan (The Drop) as Taserface, Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy) as Tulik, Sylvester Stallone (Creed) as Stakar and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) in an as-yet-unrevealed role.
Yesterday after Michael went live on his Facebook he made a request in the comments:
“also i hear that the lower (closer to number 1) your imdb number is the better the actor you are.. hahhahhahahhaha. SO go to imdb.com and type my name in and go to link and i’ll be up for an oscar next year. haha. but i want to see if it actually works. Christina shaw, joy ann jones, chris aaron, maggie, beverly, etc… let’s do this. come on folks. takes a second. i have to see if this shit matters. lord.”
So as his loyal fans I ask you all to please help Michael achieve his dream of finding out if ‘this shit matters’
So yesterday I came online to a punch in the stomach…one of my favourite TV shows I have supported since it started and promoted as much as a fan can has been cancelled. I should be used to this after Firefly, Dollhouse, True Calling, Breaking In….and far too many to count. It seems like TV shows have 2 seasons tops and if they are not the top of the toppest they are cancelled and forgotten.
TV companies themselves say how hard it is to make quality TV and yet when they get gems like Impastor they do not give the writers time to explore the characters and they are deleted just as we the fans are getting to know the characters.
I know to TVland and these companies these shows are nothing but a chance to make money, but to us they are a chance to see our favourite actors on screen, a chance to make friends with other fans, a chance to make fanart or to write about our favourite characters. For me this was something I promoted so much I love Michael Rosenbaum (obviously) and I support him. But I came to love these characters, seeing the bloopers and the live facebook chats with Michael singing and it was a little light in my life and now I feel really sad that this is gone.
Now fans are calling to boycott the channel, a petition has been started and I beg you all to please SIGN HERE share this everywhere and tell everyone! We the fans need to show this channel that we will not let this amazing show be forgotten! And TVland please listen and give this a chance? Let us have this amazing show, get it up online, sell it to other countries, get some merchandise going and lets make this amazing
The cancellation — while not entirely surprising, given the show’s declining ratings — is sure to be a gut punch to devoted fans. Last week’s season series finale left Buddy standing over the dead body of Alexa’s husband, whom she killed before revealing that she’s basically been playing Buddy this whole time. (Season 3 could have been a real cat-and-mouse adventure, but sadly, we’ll never know.)
Source: TVline.com – Impastor cancelled