Interview: Mickey Rourke on ‘Immortals’ and the Roots of Pure Evil

Published 3 years ago by

mickey rourke immortals Interview: Mickey Rourke on Immortals and the Roots of Pure Evil

Mickey Rourke will bring a brand new malefactor to the silver screen this weekend in director Tarsem Singh’s lush reinterpretation of classic Greek mythology, Immortals (read our review). In Immortals Theseus (Henry Cavill), a simple stonemason, rises up in vengeful retribution against the viscous King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who is waging a bloody and gruesome war against both the Hellenic people and the Olympian Gods. A war that cost Theseus’ mother her life at the hands of Hyperion.

We recently had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with Hyperion the merciless himself, Mickey Rourke, to talk about working while injured, playing a reprehensible villain, and his take on the final film.

We have provided excerpts from the conversion below.

(Read our interview with Cavill and Evans HERE, Tarsem Singh HERE, and our previous interview with Rourke on Hollywood, Iron Man 2 and Sin City HERE).

What drew you to the project initially and what were some of the challenges that you experienced?

“Well, the days would start out bad because the lady, Iko? She spent three years doing the wardrobe and it was heavy. It took me an hour to put my pants on. It was like this layer and another layer. Then a layer up here. Then a belt over here. Then another layer and a gauntlet over here. It was like, ‘Now I have to stand?!’ And the shoes were like 300 pounds a piece. It was nice once I got dressed and then it was another two hours in the makeup chair. The main reason I took the movie was to work with Tarsem. I saw his commercial reel and I saw the interesting Nike reel he did where he had the faces on all the athletes. The masks. He brought some drawings of the different characters. I thought this guy is very prepared, you know. And I like working with guys who do a very long pre-production because they know exactly what they want. And because he comes out of commercials, he has such a fabulous look. I thought he could take this material to another level. So I don’t necessarily know if I would have done this movie if it wasn’t Tarsem involved.”

Immortals Mickey Rourke Interview: Mickey Rourke on Immortals and the Roots of Pure Evil

When you’re playing a guy who is essentially pure evil, is it hard to sympathize?

“I never look at the guy as that pure evil. I always try to find a reason. Maybe it’s Theseus’ problem, you know?”

You find a justification for why he does what he does?

“Absolutely. It’s like territory. Back home it’s like, ‘this is my territory.’ I got a reason to do whatever I want in my territory – or you could say ‘in my house.’ He (Hyperion) considered everything his house.”

Was there any particular portion of the experience that felt the most rewarding?

“Once again working with Tarsem and Henry. Henry’s very young, enthusiastic. He was running around doing push ups and cartwheels. I remember when I used to get that excited. I thought maybe he’d better work on his lines. (Laughter) But it’s nice to work with someone who’s beginning their career, seeing them so gung ho. Tarsem was excited. It was a very good…. I worked a total of eight days maybe on the movie.”

Immortals movie Interview: Mickey Rourke on Immortals and the Roots of Pure Evil

You have a pretty good history of physical discipline. So did you have to do anything different for that short period of time?

“I had just come out of surgery. I had torn my bicep and I just had bicep surgery. I lost my whole tendon. The operation didn’t work. So I was actually worried about just being able to tie my shoes. It’s one of the reasons I wore a gauntlet up here (motions to top of his right arm). I had a big scar. I’m going to have to have a cadaver tendon put in to fix it.”

But it will heal eventually?

“No. I have to have a dead person. Do you wanna volunteer?”

No more questions.

On second thought.

Mickey, have you seen the movie?


What did you think?

“What did you think? It’s entertainment, you know? It looks great. I didn’t wear the glasses. I just wasn’t in a mood to put them on, they told me there’s a difference. I thought Tarsem did a hell of a job. It’s a wild looking two hours of something you can escape to and go, ‘Wow. That’s different.’”

Immortals opens in theaters today.

Follow me on twitter @jrothc

TAGS: Immortals
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  1. honestly… i wish this movie had a villain that never showed his face, it worked so much better when you never saw who he was.

  2. He couldnt even put on his glasses for a 3D scrreening? The more I read about this guy, the less I like him.

    • Totally agree. This guy is such a douché everytime I see/hear him. Who does he think he is?

      • He’s Mickey Rourke. That’s who he thinks he is. He’s sought after and people want to work with him. Honestly, he’s a guy who’s been around long enough to know what he wants (something people seem to have a problem with), and to me, he comes across as a whole lot more practical and down-to-earth than a whole lot of other actors. Love him or hate him, I doubt he cares what anyone thinks of him, and I can at least respect that).

        As for the whole 3D thing, does it really add anything to most films? Just another distraction…

        • Down to earth? He did a PR thing with espn and acted like an arrogant jerk. He acted as if he was too good to be there.

          He couldn’t be bothered to put on glasses? How is that down to earth?

  3. Compare Mickey’s interviews with those of Tom Cruise. I’d rather read Mickey’s any day of the week.

  4. Mickey complained and complained about how one dimensional Whiplash was and blah blah blah

    And King Hyperion was the picture perfect bad guy. There was no sympathy over him. There was nothing conflicting about him. He was a bad bad dude he did bad things to good people to get what he wanted. The prototype for a bad guy. So is he going to complain and complain about this character too?

    He was PURE evil. There was no good reason. “Maybe its Theseus’s problem” makes absolutely no sense.

  5. Immortals was perfect, just the right balance of fantasy, violence and drama. Mickey Rourke was excellent as the narcissistic King Hyperion, Mick really plays great “bad guys” and this movie does him justice, for all you young ones who haven’t been schooled yet on just how great Mickey is, try reading about his story and watching more of his movies.
    I loved this movie and I saw it in 2D. Peace!

  6. I hope for a immortals 2

  7. A little less arrogance, Mickey, else you might find yourself an out-of-work actor again. Remember what that felt like? It lasted for awhile, until someone else (not you) wrote a good character for you to play in The Wrestler. If you don’t like the roles you are playing now, perhaps you should exercise your power of choice better, rather than sign onto something and then disparage it later.

  8. Mickey’s just being Mickey. I love that he says how it is, unlike the other PC b******* every actor blows up people’s asses. I understand he can get under people’s skin but with Mickey what you get is the truth and not some fake character who when you see the real side of him you are surprised.I think it’s refreshing someone who watches the movies they’re in and are critical instead of the constant “it’s a great film” or “it’s a great character” when everyone at home can see it for the crap it is. Mickey’s a little left of center but at least he’s the real deal. I’ll take that any day.

    • Some people are unable to handle the truth so therefore they are unable to handle or understand him.

      • So, Mickey’s “truth” is “the” truth? You must think him a god, then.

  9. Jerk or not Mickey Rouke did an awesome job in the is movie. In fact I would go as far as to say her carried the film. I hate to admit it but he clearly out classed everyone else in the film as far as acting. They probably would’ve benefited from a stronger presentation of Zues.