Mickey Rourke Talks ‘Sin City 2′, ‘Iron Man 2′ & Hollywood

Published 3 years ago by , Updated October 31st, 2011 at 2:52 pm,

mickey rourke expendables 2 Mickey Rourke Talks Sin City 2, Iron Man 2 & Hollywood

Mickey Rourke is not an actor who is known for his circumspect actions or speech. He has been enjoying Hollywood’s warm embrace over the past several years, however. So it was somewhat surprising (and wholly refreshing) to hear Rourke speak with an intriguing combination of humility and candor about his recent and past experiences as an actor at this weekends press event for director Tarsem Singh’s latest visual extravaganza, Immortals. Rourke provided some insight into his reservations about his potential participation in Sin City 2, as well as his frustrations while working on Iron Man 2.

The dialogue opened with congratulations to Rourke on his upcoming inclusion in the Hollywood walk of fame. The actor gave an immediate sense of how the discussion would evolve when he said that it probably meant more to us than it did to him, as “everyone” is getting a star on the walk nowadays. The actor did indicate that the honor may come to mean more to him at some point in his life, and that his return to the fold of highly-visible working actors is something he is deeply thankful for.

“To be honest with you, after I was out of work thirteen, fourteen years (or whatever the hell it was) I remember I went back to Cannes with Rodriguez for “Sin City” and I was sitting in the car and I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m getting a chance again.’ Because all the years go by, and it’s thirteen years, and you’re living in a room. After like seven years go by you think, ‘Yeah, I really f**ked up.’ And then ten years go by and it’s like, ‘They’re not gonna let me back in the door again.’ Especially I was out here (Los Angeles) and this is the worst place to be when they grind you into the ground, and they can’t wait to do it. And I helped them do it. I really thought I could turn it around in a year or two and they’d let me back in, but it just didn’t happen.

And so I thought it’s too shameful and degrading to feel like this. I was really close to going back to Miami and doin’ I don’t know what, but I wasn’t gonna sit around and be yesterday’s news. That’s just too hard. I remember buying a pack of cigarettes. I was in the line and it was like two in the morning. Some a**hole, some fat guy goes, ‘Hey didn’t you used to be…?’ (laughs) Oh, God, and he mentioned the wrong name! I remember walking two blocks going, ‘Oh f**k!’ I’m very grateful that period is over. And I’m very capable of having that happen again so I’ve gotta watch myself on a daily basis, you know?”

Mickey Rourke in Sin City Mickey Rourke Talks Sin City 2, Iron Man 2 & Hollywood
Rourke as Marv in ‘Sin City’

Rourke’s character in Sin City, Marv, appears in the script for the sequel (which is scheduled to begin shooting in early 2012). When asked if he plans to appear in the follow-up to the film that helped to bring him back from the void, Rourke laughingly replied:

“It depends. It depends on how bad they want me. You feel me?”

The actor elaborated, saying:

“I did (like the character). But I’m claustrophobic, so the the hours of makeup…You have to keep it on for about 13 or 14 hours a day. It’s latex and glue and that stuff that gets my eyes all red…”

He gave another, very human reason, for his resistance to revisiting Marv.

“I remember I picked up some chick at a bar in Texas one night and invited her to the set to have lunch at the lunch break,” he shared, laughing at the situation. “I couldn’t take the s**t off. F**k it, I never saw her again!”

The actor plays the villain of Immortals. In the film, Rourke’s ruthless King Hyperion kills, torturers and maims with calculated abandon. Rourke has often played the malefactor in his recent films and his focus has been on bringing a sense of reality and depth to these roles – a desire he feels has been thwarted by movie studios. He was particularly disappointed with the final depiction of his character, Ivan Vanko / Whiplash, in Iron Man 2.

“I fought very hard in the last couple of years playing bad guys. I find them much more interesting than the good guy. You don’t get paid as good. (Laughing) No, really. (No longer laughing) The bad guy doesn’t always have to be one-dimensional, you know? It’s to try to find layers and reasons to justify why he is what he is. Find moments. I know gangsters from the old days that I would sit down with. I’d bring a girlfriend to the table and I’d go, ‘That’s so and so.’ And he’d be the nicest guy. She’d go, ‘Oh I can’t believe people talk about him like that. Did he really kill 12 people?’ And I’d go, ‘Yeah.’ So I try to find the moments where he’s not that clichéd, evil bad guy, and it’s a big fight. I had it on “Iron Man 2.” And they won.

Going to work for Marvel and them breaking Favreau’s balls and wanting just a one-dimensional villain. So the performance I tried to bring to him ends up on the f**king floor. That could cause you not to care as much. Not to want to put that effort in when you try to make it an intelligent bad guy or a bad guy who justifies what his reasons are. So I fight for that all the time. This character was hard because he was written as pure evil. It was okay. I can only try to justify the King’s actions so far. I mean, I know when he’s chopping the guy’s balls off, it doesn’t look too good.”

immortals Mikey Rourke Mickey Rourke Talks Sin City 2, Iron Man 2 & Hollywood
Rourke as King Hyperion in ‘Immortals’

Never one to pull punches, Rourke had the following to say about his thriller 13:

“It’s a piece of crap. If you don’t believe me, call up Jason [Statham] and Ray [Winstone].”

One film the actor is exited about is his upcoming biopic of Rugby star Gareth Thomas. Rourke is penning the script and plans to star in the film. Somewhat appropriately (for a film about a Rugby player) the actor did have to suffer an arm injury in order to find the inspiration. He told the following story about the evolution of his involvement in the project:

“I was arm wrestling some rugby players at four in the morning, we had been drinking at a pub in London and I lost (badly enough to tear the tendon in his bicep). But we became good friends. They gave me a magazine about their club (they play with a team called the Huddersfield Bears). I was reading the magazine and there was an article about Gareth Thomas, the rugby player who announced that he’s gay. I came back home and was watching “Pardon the Interruption” and they were talking about Gareth. They were saying how brave he was for coming out and announcing it. I got on a plane and I met Gareth and I told him, ‘I wanna make your life story.’ I think I beat the studio out there by about four days and he gave me the rights. We’re gonna do this movie now. He announced his retirement three days ago and hopefully in March…I’ve been writing the script for the past year. Hopefully we’ll do it in March.”

“I mean, I can’t just say everything is great, it’s fantastic and go and see it. I’m just not built that way,” the actor explained when asked about his forthright manner of speech when it comes to discussing the films he has been a part of. His outspoken nature is unusual, to say the least. When asked how he has balanced his essential “Mickey-ness” with the demands of an industry that in many ways thrives on posturing, Rourke responded:

“It gets easier. I’ve come to terms with it. It’s getting easier. You realize this business is political and it’s a business. That may have been hard for me to do twenty years ago but I’m kind of accepting it. It’s kind of getting easier because I’ve tried to consistently make the change. It’s little things like,’They need you in five minutes.’ Where before it would have been, ‘F**k you,’ you know? ‘I’ll see you two hours later!’ And you can’t do that. I had some really bad psychological reasons why I behave that way. I had to put that in the past and bury it as much as I can.”

the expendables mickey rourke iron man 2 Mickey Rourke Talks Sin City 2, Iron Man 2 & Hollywood

Rourke as Whiplash in 'Iron Man 2'

The actor does put a good measure of focus on maintaining his current professional behavior. Rourke knows that like an addict “falling off the wagon” could mean the end of everything he has worked so hard to build for himself over the past several years.

“I could be right back where I was, so it’s like a guy who gets out of jail. You’ve got to behave. I had to change. There’s a big part of myself that’s never gonna change – certain things. But I did have to change. Realize that I had to be accountable. Before there were no rules with me and I wasn’t accountable. I didn’t care what the consequences are and now I do. There’s a part of me when I work with this doctor, I’m trying to put all these pieces together. He calls that change. Change for me was really hard because I had built myself up to be a certain kind of man my whole life, as men are where I come from. I thought I got to handle things different that’s gonna make me feel like a real pussy. For me it was hard to turn the other cheek. Even though it’s a stronger choice. It was very hard to make the change, but I had to in order to survive. Otherwise they would have won.”

Immortals opens in theaters on November 11th.

We will keep you updated on Sin city 2 as details emerge.

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  1. Dude’s been through a lot, even if he did some of it to himself, just glad he’s been in some movies lately.

  2. Rourke always comes off as a narcissistic *ss to me. Sounds like someone I would want to throat punch. Like him as an actor however.

    • I agree. You should throat punch him. Also, I was glad to hear that he had a legitimate reason for not wanting to be in Sin City 2…Marv make-up c*ck blocked him once, that’s a grudge any man can understand.

      • thats a bullish reason… he should do that part just because its the role that got him back to where he is now…

        • I agree. I don’t know the sarcasm emoticon :)

          • I use the number eight with a closing paren for a sarcasm emoticon. 8)


            • Thanks Vic

    • Yeah, but then again, so does RDJ — thing is, most people like it when he acts like a narcissistic a** ;) — it’s all in the personality.

      Anywho, I have made myself clear on multiple occasions: I VERY, very much dislike Rourke… as an actor? sure, he does a good job most of the time, but as a person? I say: screw him.

      He should learn to get over himself.

  3. Rourke is cool. I hope I can chop up game with him one day bout life.

  4. I feel no one else could really play Marv. And yes heavy makeup sucks. But he should use that and make the character even better!! It wouldn’t be Sin City2 with out him as Marv.

    • agreeed

  5. Im not sure what you guys were reading, but that man seemed very humble, straightforward and honest to me. Step out the Elehater and drop the Haterade.

  6. Anybody who thinks this guy is any more or less of a narcissist then any other actor, musician, or public figure should meet some of these people. It takes an equal amount of self-loathing and over estimation of ones self worth to do what allot of them do. That’s probably why so many of them, like Rourke and Downey, also end up doing such blatantly self-destructive things.

    • agreed

  7. i loved him in IM2 (probably the only thing i liked in that movie), his performance was great and he really came across as a bad guy, i can’t even begin to imagine what the character would have been like if things had gone his way. that would have been uber epic.

    • indeed, i agree.

  8. I dont think he gets it all. If he doesnt want to be part of the movie that brought him back and gave him an opritunity to play a bad guy with muliple layers he just doesnt get it. He has to be in sin city 2. He says he was so mad about not getting a chance all those years but he would consider NOT doing a movie like sin city 2? He is an idiot.

    • not really, did you read his reasons why he wouldn’t do it ? he says he would PREFER NOT TO, but if they desperately need him then he would. and i don’t think sin city is what brought him back, i think the wrestler was what did it, at least that’s the one i remember alot of people knowing him for.

  9. It would be a very boring world indeed if everyone were the same.

    • Agreed Chris. Variety is the spice of life.

  10. Refreshing to actually hear an actor being honest. “It’s a piece of crap. If you don’t believe me, call up Jason [Statham] and Ray [Winstone].” Now that’s honesty. No sucking up, no ass-kissing, just his honest opinion. I’ll take his honesty/integrity/hard knocks ethic over richkid/easy-street/pandering/wannabe bs anyday.

    • I know there’s not meant to be profanity, but the bar was set by using the word ‘crap’ which means bs anyway, and I don’t feel I need to sneak my way around it by putting the letters in the wrong order (as some commenters do). That would just be another form of dishonesty, would it not?

    • I agree

      • Thanks Yeti. It got edited down to ‘bs’ anyway.

  11. Sounds like he’ll do it if they pay him a lot of money. That’s gratitude now a days I guess. But, didn’t he die in the first one any way?

  12. Rourke was an actor that became a star super fast and thought(like alot of actors) his sh!# didn’t stink and that he could play by his own rules. As a consequence Hollywood chewed him up… I think it’s great that he had enough heart, determination, and humility to pick himself up and try again and make it. Crazy props Mickey

  13. Awe Rourke, you used to be beautiful. -Save your money on 11-11-11 it was boring as hell.