Mickey Rourke

BATD ON Jan 16, 2009 AT 12:53 pm

Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke, Hollywood’s very own hot-tempered, heavy-weight head-case, has become a sizzling centre-piece as the film world’s comeback kid. His latest appearance in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler saw him win his first Golden Globe for Best Actor at the 66th Annual Academy Awards.

Flitting between boxing and acting as his chosen career, Rourke has finally settled on the screen. He trained as a boxer from an early age in Miami, before getting into the Actor’s Studio, learning the skills of method acting. He became a pin-up star in the 80′s with roles such as Harry Angel in Angel Heart, The Motorcycle Boy in Rumble Fish and John in the infamous 9 ½ Weeks, the erotic drama in which two people engage in an affair based purely on sex, without knowing anything about each other, for nine and a half weeks.

Rourke is famed for his bad-boy status during the 80′s, a lifestyle fuelled by a super ego, women and money. Arrested in 1994 for beating up his then wife Carré Otis, she dropped the charges against him and they reconciled, but not before he beat up her dealer when caught selling Carré heroin.

Mickey Rourke

Mickey Rourke

He lost everything, and is the first to admit it: “You can’t put the blame on anybody, you have to take a look in the mirror.” His ability to look at himself critically came when quitting the acting world in 1991, to go back to boxing. It took him 15 years to make it back to the film set. During his time in the ring he incurred a lot of injuries (including a split tongue and a crushed cheekbone) that required four bouts of reconstructive surgery. Forced to quit the ring for neurological reasons, despite being a success and earning an impressive amount of money from it, Rourke started seeing a therapist, which he openly talks about: “We started working together when I decided I needed some help.”

The Wrestler

The Wrestler

Rourke’s first major part after his fall from grace came in the form of Marv, the extremely tough killing machine who is bound to avenge his lover’s murder in Sin City.  His real comeback however, has been The Wrestler. Playing the role of Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, a once-famous-now-desperate wrestler, who, at the peak of his career was performing at Madison Square Garden, is by the end of it wrestling for pennies in high-school gyms. Being forced to face up to the fate he created for himself; living in a slummy trailer and abandoned by a daughter he disappointed too many times, The Wrestler tracks the life of a star who has fallen, and how he desperately tries to form a relationship with another person.

This film has been seen as the defining moment of Rourke’s career, his second chance, returning to praise from the film industry and its audience. And his recent award looks set to be the first of many.

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