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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?

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?

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?

"Yeah."

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

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