Mickey Rourke - The Champ is Back


While the Academy awarded one of the finest actors of all time best actor for a feature film in his performance in Milk, Sean Penn humbly gave much recognition to his friend, and another great talent of our time, Mickey Rourke. Academy Award® nominee Mickey Rourke appears in ‘The Wrestler’ as Randy, in a truly moving and powerful performance. Mickey Rourke is one of the few true method actors of today and a graduate of New York’s Actor’s Studio, he is this generations’ classic working actor.

His career has been defined by his bad boy, edgy, erotic performances in soft core filmmaker Zalman King’s 9 1/2 WEEKS, ANOTHER 9 ½ WEEKS, and WILD ORCHID, as well as often sexually charged and outsider films including BODY HEAT, BARFLY, ANGEL HEART, YEAR OF THE DRAGON, POPE OF GREENWICH VILLAGE, DINER, JOHNNY HANDSOME, Vincent Gallo’s BUFFALO 66 starring Christina Ricci, FRANCESCO, and Francis Ford Coppola’s cult classic RUMBLE FISH. Most recently, Rourke received acclaim for his roles in Robert Rodriguez’ ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO and SIN CITY.

Rourke’s bad boy image on screen, was complemented by a tough guy position in real life. In the late 60’s, he began a professional boxing career which led to him scoring 16 knockouts, getting two concussions, at one point earning over a million during a fighting year, fighting champions, and receiving severe facial injuries which led to his need for surgery. After his hard edged, party hard lifestyle, he left Hollywood and began a successful run at bar and nightclub ownership and management in Miami. The Wrestler brought him back in to Hollywood, more wise, mature, still handsome, and better than ever.

Backstage after the 81st Academy Awards, Sean Penn himself had some more words for this explosively powerful actor.

Q.You spoke very emotionally about your competition this evening with Mickey Rourke. Could you speak a little bit about your relationship and what you feel about him and sort of the sense of how you guys have grown together?

SEAN PENN: ‘I've been making movies for over 25 years and I can't speak for his consistent sense of me… ( )… but we've had for the most part a very close friendship. And he's somebody that I alternatively looked up to and advised and directed. I've wanted to work with (him) and admired (him) and quite literally (he) had me, almost throughout THE WRESTLER, weeping. He's one of our most talented actors, he always was. I don't really think of it as (a comeback). Comebacks are funny, and we talk about it with him, but everyone in this room has to make a comeback every day. Life is tough. And I think what's sensational about him is always what's been sensational about him, he's one of the great poetic talents in acting that we have.’

Rourke’s forthcoming releases include KILLSHOT written by literary legend Elmore Leonard, and THE INFORMERS directed by Gregor Jordan. Other planned starring roles for Rourke in to 2010, include ST. VINCENT, THE EXPENDABLES, 13, IRON MAN 2, BROKEN HORSES, and SIN CITY 2.

© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. © 2009, The Hollywood Sentinel. Used with permission with kind courtesy of the 81st Academy Awards®.