Appearing All Weekend
Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke Jr. (born September 16, 1952), is an American actor, screenwriter, and former boxer, who has appeared primarily as a leading man in drama, action, and thriller films.
During the 1980s, Rourke starred in the comedy-drama Diner (1982), the drama Rumble Fish (1983), the crime-black comedy film The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984), and the erotic drama 9½ Weeks (1986). He received critical praise for his work in the Charles Bukowski biopic Barfly and the horror mystery Angel Heart (both 1987). In 1991, Rourke teamed up with Don Johnson and Tom Sizemore in the cult classic action film Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man; also in 1991, Rourke—who had trained as a boxer in his early years—left acting and became a professional boxer for a time.
After retiring from boxing in 1994, Rourke returned to acting and had supporting roles in several films, including the drama The Rainmaker (1997), the comedy-drama Buffalo '66 (1998), the thriller-remake of Get Carter (2000), the mystery film The Pledge (2001), the crime dark comedy-drama Spun (2002), the action film Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
£70.00 each (+ booking fees)
(Photo with Q-JUMP, Auto with Q-JUMP and souvenir lanyard and pass)
£170.00 (+ booking fees)
and the action thriller Man on Fire (2004), playing the role of a corrupt lawyer.
In 2005, Rourke made his comeback in mainstream Hollywood circles with a lead role in the neo-noir action thriller Sin City, for which he won awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the Irish Film and Television Awards, and the Online Film Critics Society. In the 2008 film The Wrestler, Rourke portrayed a past-his-prime wrestler; for his work in the film, Rourke received a 2009 Golden Globe award, a BAFTA award, and an Academy Award nomination. Since then, Rourke has appeared in several commercially successful films, including the 2010 films Iron Man 2 and The Expendables and the 2011 film Immortals.
In 1971, as a senior at Miami Beach Senior High School, Rourke had a small acting role in the Jay W. Jensen–directed school play The Serpent. However, Rourke's interests were geared to boxing, and he never appeared in any other school productions. Soon after he temporarily gave up boxing, a friend at the University of Miami told Rourke about a play he was directing, Deathwatch, and how the man playing the role of Green Eyes had quit. Rourke got the part and immediately became enamored with acting. Borrowing $400 from his sister, he moved to New York, working an assortment of odd jobs while studying with Actors Studio alumni Walter Lott and Sandra Seacat. It was under the latter's tutelage, Rourke later recalled, that "everything started to click."
Seacat motivated Rourke to find his father, from whom he had been separated for more than twenty years. During his appearance on Inside the Actors Studio, after the release of The Wrestler, host James Lipton disclosed that Rourke had been selected to the Actors Studio in his first audition, which Elia Kazan is reported to have said was the "best audition in thirty years".
Appearing primarily in television films during the late 1970s, Rourke made his feature film debut with a small role in Steven Spielberg's 1941. He played Ritchie, Dennis Christopher's bullying and ill-fated co-worker in the 1980 slasher film Fade to Black. However, it was in 1981, with his portrayal of an arsonist in Body Heat, that Rourke first received significant attention, despite his modest time on screen. The following year, he drew further critical accolades for his portrayal as the suave compulsive gambler "Boogie" Sheftell in Barry Levinson's Diner, in which Rourke co-starred, alongside Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Steve Guttenberg, Tim Daly and Kevin Bacon; the National Society of Film Critics named him Best Supporting Actor that year. Soon thereafter, Rourke starred in Rumble Fish, Francis Ford Coppola's follow-up to The Outsiders.
Rourke's performance in the film The Pope of Greenwich Village alongside Daryl Hannah and Eric Roberts also caught the attention of critics, although the film was not financially successful. In the mid-1980s, Rourke earned himself additional leading roles. His role alongside Kim Basinger in the erotic drama 9½ Weeks helped him gain sex symbol status. He received critical praise for his work in Barfly as the alcoholic writer Henry Chinaski (the literary alter ego of Charles Bukowski) and in Year of the Dragon.
In 1987, Rourke appeared in Angel Heart. The film was nominated for several awards. It was seen as controversial by some, owing to a sex scene involving Cosby Show cast member Lisa Bonet, who won an award for her part in the film. Although some of Rourke's work was viewed as controversial in the US, he was well received by European, and especially French, audiences, who loved the "rumpled, slightly dirty, sordid ... rebel persona" that he projected in Year of the Dragon, 9½ Weeks, Angel Heart, and Desperate Hours. Director Adrian Lyne said that had Mickey died after the release of Angel Heart, he would have become a bigger phenomenon than James Dean.
In the late 1980s, Rourke performed with David Bowie on the Never Let Me Down album. Around the same time he also wrote his first screenplay, Homeboy, a boxing tale in which he starred. In 1989 Rourke starred in the docudrama Francesco, portraying St. Francis of Assisi. This was followed by Wild Orchid, another critically panned film, which gained him a nomination for a Razzie award (also for Desperate Hours). In 1991 he starred in the box office bomb Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man as Harley Davidson, a biker whose best friend, Marlboro, was played by Don Johnson. In his last role before departing for the boxing ring, Rourke played an arms dealer chased by Willem Dafoe and Samuel L. Jackson in White Sands, a film noir that reviewers found stylish but incoherent.
In 2001, Rourke appeared as the villain in Enrique Iglesias's music video for "Hero", which also featured Jennifer Love Hewitt. In 2002 he took the role of The Cook in Jonas Åkerlund's Spun, teaming up once again with Eric Roberts. His first collaborations with directors Robert Rodriguez and Tony Scott, in Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Man on Fire, respectively, were in smaller roles. Nonetheless, these directors subsequently decided to cast Rourke in lead roles in their next films. In 2005, Rourke made his comeback in mainstream Hollywood circles with a lead role in Robert Rodriguez's adaptation of Frank Miller's Sin City. Rourke received awards from the Chicago Film Critics Association, the IFTA, and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as Man of the Year from Total Film magazine that year. Rourke followed Sin City with a supporting role in Tony Scott's Domino alongside Keira Knightley, in which he played a bounty hunter. Rourke played the role of "The Blackbird" in an adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Killshot, and appeared as Darrius Sayle in the adaptation of the Alex Rider novel Stormbreaker.
In addition, in 2004, Rourke provided the voice for "Jericho" in the third installment of the Driver video game series. Rourke also appeared in a 40-page story by photographer Bryan Adams for Berlin's Zoo Magazine. In an article about Rourke's return to steady acting roles, entitled "Mickey Rourke Rising", Christopher Heard stated that actors/musicians Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, and Brad Pitt have "animated praise for Rourke and his work". During a roundtable session of Oscar-nominated actors held by Newsweek, Brad Pitt cited Rourke as one of his early acting heroes along with Sean Penn and Gary Oldman.
Rourke had a role in the film version of The Informers, playing Peter, an amoral former studio security guard who plots to kidnap a small child. In 2008, Rourke played the lead in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler, winner of the Golden Lion Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, about washed-up professional wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson. Regarding first reading the screenplay, he stated that he originally "didn't care for it".
"I didn't really care for the script, but I wanted to work with Darren and I kind of thought that whoever wrote the script hadn't spent as much time as I had around these kind of people and he wouldn't have spoken the way the dude was speaking. And, so Darren let me rewrite all my part and he put the periods in and crossed the T's. So once we made that change I was okay with it."
He also spoke on personal concern and hesitance of being in a film about wrestling, for he perceived it as being "pre-arranged and pre-choreographed". As he trained for the film, he developed an appreciation and respect for what real-life pro wrestlers do to prepare for the ring:
"I kept getting hurt. I think I had three MRIs in two months because I wasn't landing right. These guys take several years to learn how to land and I think after I started getting hurt doing it, I started to realize these guys are really suffering and I kind of gained a respect for their sport." He trained under former WWE wrestler Afa the Wild Samoan for the part, and has received a British Academy (BAFTA) award, a Golden Globe award, an Independent Spirit Award, and an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. Rourke was pessimistic about his chances to win the Oscar, as he had burned many bridges in Hollywood as a result of his past behavior. Rourke lost the Oscar to Sean Penn, while Penn did acknowledge Rourke in his acceptance speech.
Rourke has written or co-written six scripts: Homeboy, The Last Ride, Bullet, Killer Moon, Penance and the latest, Pain. Of these, the first three were produced as films between 1988 and 1996. In early 2009, Rourke developed a small feud with WWE wrestler Chris Jericho, as part of a storyline. The storyline climaxed at WrestleMania XXV, when Rourke knocked out Jericho with a left hook after Jericho won his match against Jimmy Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, and Roddy Piper, with Ric Flair in their corner. In 2009 Rourke starred in John Rich's music video for Shuttin' Detroit Down alongside Kris Kristofferson. In 2009 he voiced protagonist US Navy SEAL Dick Marcinko in the video game Rogue Warrior.
In 2010, Rourke played the role of the main villain Whiplash in the film Iron Man 2. In an interview with Rip It Up magazine he revealed that he prepared for the role by visiting Russian jail inmates. In 2011, he portrayed the villainous King Hyperion in Immortals and received praise for his performance, while the film received mixed-to-positive reviews and became a box office success. He also had a minor role as Tool in Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables. Though he had little screen time, his performance was met with rave reviews and cited as one of the film's highlights.
Just before the end of the year, he confirmed on a British TV talk show that he would play Gareth Thomas in an upcoming film about the Welsh rugby star who came out as gay the previous year. As of February 2011, he had begun research on the film, but noted, "We're not going to make this movie until we've done all the proper research. We need to do our homework and I need to train for from nine to eleven months." In 2011 Rourke was cast in the film Java Heat as an American citizen shadowing terrorist groups in Java, Indonesia. The film was released in 2013.