Mickey Rourke has redeemed himself. Taking on the title role in Darren Aronofsky’s drama The Wrestler has proven to be the jolt he needed to put his acting career—and his life—back on track. He has recently received a Golden Globe nomination for the said role, and continues to rake in more nominations and award-related buzz. The critical acclaim he has been receiving appears to stem from the fact that he finds a number of parallels between himself and his character, who happens to be a former star past his prime.
“I think my face tells a million stories now and a lot of them don’t have happy endings,” he explains in a recent interview. “But life is on an upswing. I’m grateful for the second chance, or am I on my third or fourth chance? But I am working hard every day. I really fell back in love again with acting on this film, and that is a great feeling. These guys are not wrestling anymore and they have to figure out how best to live a life when they can no longer do what they love, and some of them have a very hard time letting it go. I related to that.”
Rourke also believes that his director practically saved his life. “I was a screw-up, and I am really, really lucky that Darren Aronofsky liked Angel Heart so much and that he took a chance on me and thought I was right for this,” he said.
Moving smoothly along after his current success, Rourke’s next project is the film 13, a rehash of the award-winning French thriller 13 Tzameti. Ray Winstone, Jason Statham, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Ray Liotta co-star. “We’re a bunch of badasses,” he said. “It is going to be a very fun movie. It’s an action-thriller about one guy who assumes the identity of a dead man, and in doing so, he gets wrapped up in the dead guy’s dangerous, violent life. This group gambles with actual human lives….There’s a lot of testosterone on that set. More so than in [The Wrestler], even.”