Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Being Mickey Rourke - The Earthly Marv


Did I say that?
Mickey Rourke, actor, 56



On his lean years: I called up a guy who used to hang with me and asked where I might get me some construction work. He brushed me off and said he didn't have time for my shit (2006)

On actors: I don't like actors, I just don't like them. I met Warren Beatty one time and I thought: "This is one of the creepiest puke-asses I've ever met in my life" (1994)


On Keira Knightley: She's a real lady. She's not one of these Hollywood c**ts (2005)

On George Bush: More power to him. Screw all them people who don't like him (2006)

His poetry: Like an actor with amnesia, or a director without a penis, you make me cry/Like an orphaned baboon, chained to the dyke sales lady at Bloomingdales in New York City at Christmas time (1994)



On his early days in Hollywood: I was bouncing at a transvestite nightclub... and back then all the transvestites were on this shit called Angel Dust, so you'd hit them over the head with a baseball bat but they'd keep on coming (2007)

On 9 1/2 weeks: Making the movie was not particularly considerate to my wife's needs (1989)

On all talk about his plastic surgery: Hollywood's a town built on envy so I don't give a f*** what they say (2007)

Attending the trial of Mob boss John Gotti: I'm just here supporting a friend (1992)

Asked if he was mellowing: I'll never be mellow, OK? I'd rather be dead than mellow. You might as well take me out the back and shoot me in the back of the head before I'm going to be mellow (2005)

On talent: There are a whole bunch of guys who are movie stars today who couldn't hold Eric Roberts's goddamn jockstrap (2004)

On looking in the mirror: What I see is a stranger (2007)


Receiving his best actor Bafta for The Wrestler: I want to thank my publicist, Paula Woods, for having the hardest job in showbiz - telling me ... what to eat, how to dress, what to f*** (2009)

On his skills: You take Alec Baldwin and Daniel Day-Lewis and Kevin Costner and put me in something [with them] and I'll eat their assholes (1994

[On what he wants in a woman] It's like when I buy a horse. I don't want a thick neck and short legs.

“[1994] I thought my talent would transcend my outspokenness. I was wrong. I'm willing to give them 100 per cent this time. I just want a second chance at Hollywood.”

“I lost the house, the wife, the credibility, the entourage. I lost my soul. I was alone ... I'm sort of OK with it now, but the first time I'm in there, pushing a f***ing cart, getting my supper. I used to go to the 24-hour place in gay town, so no one would recognize me. The only thing I could afford was a shrink, so that's where my money went. Three times a week for the first two years. The year after that, twice a week and now I'm down to once a week. I've only missed two appointments in six years.”

“You get desensitized to pain and for three and a half years I developed these symptoms of brain damage - you forget what you did the night before. You have to get out when the doctors tell you to; otherwise you're on queer street for the rest of your life. One doctor said to me before a big fight, "our neurological report doesn't look too good" I was like four fights away from a big, big fight and he said, "Mickey, how much are they paying you? Look at your tests - you won't be able to count the money."



“I've talked to my priest a lot. I used to have to call him or the shrink when there was an explosion, because I was really good at not talking to anybody until there was an explosion. My priest is this cool Italian from New York. We go down to his basement and he opens the wine. We smoke a cigarette and I have my confession. He sends me upstairs to do my Hail Marys. I mean, I'm no Holy Joe, but I have a strong belief. If I wasn't Catholic I would have blown my brains out. I would pray to God. I would say, "Please, can you send me just a little bit of daylight?" He talked me out of it and we started meeting. His name is Father Pete and he lives in New York. Father Pete put me back on the right track.”


[On his earlier success] I didn't have a childhood, really, because I worked my whole life and . . . other reasons. So when I had some success, I went ballistic. That was my childhood, and the party kept going on. I didn't get off my motorcycle for 10 years.

(On his film Spun (2002)) I didn't care for the material and I wasn't real interested in the cast. But two years ago I put myself in the hands of an agent, David Unger at ICM, and he said,
"Do the movie". So I did.

[In 2003, on The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984)] It was the most fun I've ever had on a movie. It was one of the happiest times in my life. I was living in New York, and I really enjoyed acting at the time. [Pauses] Also, it's funny because that was also the time when I went downhill.

“I always thought I'd accomplish something special. Like robbing a bank.”

[On Nicole Kidman's refusal to work with him] If I was Nicole Kidman, I wouldn't want to work with me, either. She'd have to stand up to the plate and get exposed. She wouldn't have known what hit her. I was flat broke at the time. In the Cut (2003) would have been my first big part in a comeback. But it was my fault to put myself in a position where someone like her could dictate whether I worked or not.


[On his boxing career] I was fighting guys 15 years younger than me. . . . But I won 10 of 12 fights and had two draws.

“Who do I share the good things happening to me with? My dogs, I guess.”

“For 12 years I was alone, I had lost everything. The three people closest to me - my brother, my grandmother and my ex-wife - were no longer there. I had no real friends. I saw a few girls, Russian strippers mostly, but I wasn't looking for a girlfriend. My wife's name [Carré Otis] was tattooed on my arm. She was the love of my life.”


[On Sean Penn and his performance in Milk (2008/I)] Thought he did an average pretend acting like he was gay. Besides, he's one of the most homophobic people I know.


“You know the song, "I Fought the Law and the Law Won"? Well, I fought the system and it kicked the living shit out of me!”

[On his acting comeback with The Wrestler (2008)] I didn't think I'd come back to this level ever again. I hoped I would but I thought too much time had gone by.

“I heard someone say Hollywood's a celebration of mediocrity, which rings pretty true to me.”


“I really only want to work with material that has integrity, and with actors and directors that I respect. You know, people like [error], Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino - there's a shortlist.”

[On fears he may miss out on an Oscar for The Wrestler (2008)] It's voted for by people from the movie business and in the past I've hacked them all off. I was good at that. It came easy to me. I stupidly said acting wasn't a job for a real man. I threatened producers, raged at directors, forgot my agent's name. I really burned my bridges. And a lot of people have long memories.

[On his early days in Hollywood] I was bouncing at a transvestite nightclub... and back then all the transvestites were on this sh*t called Angel Dust, so you'd hit them over the head with a baseball bat but they'd keep on coming.


[Receiving his Best Actor Bafta for The Wrestler (2008)] I want to thank my publicist, Paula Woods, for having the hardest job in showbiz - telling me ... what to eat, how to dress, what to f***.

“Actors should shut up about politics, because they tend to be ill-informed finger-pointers who just cozy up to some flavor-of-the-month liberal, you know?”

[On Wrestling] It was a sport I looked down on as fake and theatrical. My half brothers used to go and watch it all the time and think it was real, but I couldn't stand the f..king sport. I had a terrible disdain for it.


[How doing The Wrestler (2008) changed his attitude to wrestling] I have a lot of respect for a sport I was ignorant about. I take my hat off to those guys, I really do.

[On his training regime for The Wrestler (2008)] In six months I went from 195lbs to 230. This was solid muscle. I hired a trainer from the Israeli army and he was very strict. We trained twice a day with heavy weights, and my eating habits became super-high protein, low carbs and, let's say, a lot of vitamins.

[On the death of his beloved 17-year-old dog Loki] Loki is deeply missed but with me in spirit. I feel very blessed that she fell asleep peacefully in my arms.


[On his wild 80s partying] My mansion in Beverly Hills was like something from Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) - Elvis on acid. The neighbors were moving in and out almost monthly.

[On his decision to do The Wrestler (2008)] When I read the story and then met Darren Aronofsky
I knew he was going to make me go to some dark places and it would be painful emotionally and physically. But I'm so glad I did it because it is the best work I've done in the best film of my career.

[On working with Anthony Hopkins in Desperate Hours (1990)] I learned a lot watching Tony in action. I mean, here's a guy who's been one of the great actors for years and he's still got the enthusiasm of a kid. He keeps trying to sustain a higher and higher level. You can't tell from looking at him, but try moving him. The guy's strong; he's built like a fire hydrant.


[On hanging out with real-life gangster John Gotti] We were watching a soccer game one time during the World Cup, and Italy and Ireland were playing. I said, "John" - because he, you know, liked to gamble - I said, "I'll take Ireland." And Italy was favored up the *ss, right? But Ireland ended up winning the f**king game. And before that I said to John, "What do you want to bet? Ten grand? Whatever? Whatever you want to do." He says, "No, no. I'm never going to take your money. Let's bet watches." Right? I'll tell you something. His friends came over three weeks later and brought me the most beautiful f**king watch I've ever seen. Autographed, "To Mick, All the best. JG."


“I'm Irish and French.”

[On Killshot (2008)] I think that movie is the best work I've done for 15 years.

[On making Barfly (1987)] The director ['Barbet Schroeder' (qv}] was kind of an a**hole, but the project was very interesting. 'Charlie Bukowski' was on the set. I liked Charlie. Charlie was cool with me. I was never a Bukowski fanatic or anything. I did enjoy reading a few of his books, but, you know, it wasn't like he was Tennessee Williams to me.

[On losing the Best Actor Oscar to Sean Penn] It's bittersweet. I said to myself I'd rather have Loki [his pet dog who died] another two years than an Oscar and I told her that.

[On Marisa Tomei] She's a hell of a talent and was very brave for taking her clothes off all the time. I enjoyed looking at her!

[After losing the Best Actor Oscar to Sean Penn] I expect to be back at the Oscars in about two year’s time. I expect my script 'Wild Horses' to be picked up soon; I'll star in it, and then win the Oscar.

[On making The Wrestler (2008)] I got hurt more in the three months of wrestling than I did in 16 years of boxing.

[On making Body Heat (1981)] I remember doing the scenes with William Hurt, who was a pretty big movie star at the time. And I'm thinking: 'Well, if that's a movie star, I'm not going to have no problem in this town.' So, you know; the attitude. It was there from the start.


“I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking - look at what happened to you. I had blown everything, you know? I lost my credibility, my marriage, my money, my soul. I said to myself, you've got to change. And I realized that the acting was the only thing I had left.


[On meeting wrestling legend Roddy Piper at a screening of The Wrestler (2008)] He went on to pay us like highest compliments that we could wish for. And actually he got a little emotional about it. And it was kind of like, it was hard holding this guy and hearing him and talking back to him and understanding where he's been - the journey that he's been on and all the others that were like him. Because when your time has come and gone and that's the only thing you know, you can't go and be a goddamn bus boy somewhere. You just can't do it. And the options aren't a lot. And it's not very pretty.

[On his comeback with The Wrestler (2008)] The old me wasn't accountable or responsible for anything. There were no rules, and I didn't fear any consequences or repercussions of any kind. I don't want to go back to that dark place because this is my last chance, and I'm not going to get another.

[On his determination to make the most of his comeback] I'll never lose it all again. It was too much hard work to get it back and too lonely and too dark. I've worked too hard for it. It would be too hard to take.

“Cate Blanchett is an actress. Paris Hilton is not.”

[On his losing his brother Joe to cancer] The bravest person I ever met in my life was my brother. And I miss him terribly. I wonder where he is right now. I think about that a lot. I think about if I'm gonna see him again. I think about if he's with me...I think of him every night. He suffered. He didn't want to go.

“My mother gave me away to somebody else - who abused my brother and me for years. And if it goes on for years and years, you're better to take that person outside and put a bullet in the back of their head. Because you don't get over it. You don't get over the Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982) that goes on for a decade-plus.”

[On the last moments of his brother Joe's life] I was shaking. I went back in the bedroom and I put my arms around him and said, 'Hey, bro. I know how painful it is.' I told him how much I loved him and everything. And I said, 'If you gotta go somewhere right now,' I said, 'you go ahead and go there and I'll meet you there later on sometime.' I said, 'But if you gotta go now, that's okay, 'cause I'll be okay, you understand?' And he took these weird kind of breaths and died in my arms.

“As long as I can work with people I'm excited about working with, it will be okay. I just can't work for the paycheck.”

[On the Israeli trainer he worked with for The Wrestler (2008)] He was this Jewish kinda dude who couldn't work on Fridays. And I couldn't wait for that day to come along.”

“I wasn't in the {19)90s, I was sitting on the bench.”

“I read a lot of biographies from Montgomery Clift to Errol Flynn. And it's the same thing, where you take people who are tremendously famous, and over time the power or money doesn't fill the gaps, and the emptiness that comes along with the ride.”

“My grandmother always said: 'God has a plan for all of us.' I should have went along with his, not mine, my plan sucked!”


[On his Oscar nomination for The Wrestler (2008)] In the end, the Oscar should be about the acting. But there is a lot of grey, a lot of politics involved and a lot of interests. I did all I could do. Whatever happens happens. I want to keep moving forward. There are always things that happen as the years go by, but I can't complain. I'm still standing.


[During his acceptance speech at the 2009 Film Independent Spirit Awards] Eric Roberts is probably the best actor I ever worked with, and I don't know why in the last 15 years, ain't nobody give him a chance to show his s*** again, because whatever he did 15, 20 years ago should be forgiven, and I'm g**d*** serious about that. Eric Roberts is the f***in' man. And, like I got, he deserves a second chance. And I wish there would be one g**d*** filmmaker in this room that would let him fly because the man, he is something else.


PS: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!

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