INT: Mickey Rourke
If any actor ever deserved the middle name F*ckin, its Mickey Rourke. Why? Because hes Mickey F*ckin Rourke, thats why. Youll never hear people talk about Angela F*ckin Lansbury or Elijah F*ckin Wood, because those people, while certainly talented, simply dont kick nearly as much ass as our beloved Mickey. Its all the guy knows how to do.
also happens to be one of the most candid people youll ever come across.
He steadfastly refuses to pull any punches, especially when talking about
the early missteps that helped to derail a once-promising career. Banished to
the Where are they now? file after a series of mediocre films and some
erratic behavior, he was given a second chance when filmmaker Robert Rodriguez
tapped him to play the bad guy in ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO.
Then came his landmark performance as the heartbroken thug Marv in
This week he teams up with Tony Scott again (Rourke was in Scotts underrated MAN ON FIRE) for DOMINO, a story based on the life of model-turned-bounty hunter Domino Harvey. M ickey stopped by the Four Seasons last week about DOMINO. He also gave a few hints about the SIN CITY 2. Check it out.
What did you think when you first saw the Domino script?
I didnt like it. I didnt like it because well, I had a choice. Guy Ritchie had offered me REVOLVER at the same time that this thing came around, but yet Tony Scott kinda gave me a job at a time when it was hard for me to get work. Id had a relationship with Tony. I liked REVOLVER because it was a little out there and interesting and Im a big fan of Guy Ritchie. Then the (Domino) material came in and it was written Ed was written as just a macho, one-dimensional, kind of stereotypical bounty hunter kind of guy, and I thought, F*ck. I dont even have to f*ckin read the script to do this thing, you know? And it wasnt very challenging and it wasnt a role that I felt like I could I felt like anybody could f*ckin do it. I still wasnt in a place where I could pick and choose what I wanted to do.
I was just more or less lucky to get a job at this point still. I talked to Tony and I said, Look, Id like to do the movie. It aint about the money or nothin like that. Its the fact that this character, I dont think its very well-written. I think its very one-dimensional. I said, You dont need me to do it. Go hire joblo or whatever. And Tony said, No man, I want you to do it. What dont you like about it? I said, Well, whoever wrote it looks like he never left the f*ckin tennis court or met guys like this. And Tony heard what I had to say and he said, Well, what do you want to do different? I said, Well, he wouldnt do this, or Itd be more interesting if he didnt have the answers for that. I find that the whole bounty hunter thing, people go, Did you do research?
Bounty hunters these days, everythings so sophisticated with computers and surveillance. It doesnt have to be a one-man army kind of guy going in and kicking a door down, because these days youre facing gangs, with all the different kind of sophistication and firepower that the guys have. Youve got to be able to match that with intelligence and it was more or less like, maybe (Ed) doesnt have all the answers and maybe hes a little vulnerable. Maybe hes a little tired, a little out of his element at this point in his life. Maybe hes uncertain. And I wanted to do more of that than make him like the stereotypical kind of guy who walks through bullets.
I dont like making those kinds of movies, because it just doesnt bite me in the ass the right way. So Tony brought in this Vietnamese kid, Vincent, that worked with him on the baseball movie (The Fan) and over a two-month period, Tony, me and Vincent worked right up until the day of shooting on re-writing the character, re-writing the dialogue and what his relationship would be Domino, and especially what my relationship would be with Choco, with Edgar Ramirez.
Had you met guys like this before getting involved with the film?
Yeah. You meet these guys everywhere at tattoo parlors, bike shows, the fights, football games, wherever the f*ck pumping iron down at Golds. Thats the thing about bounty hunters it could be an out-of-work fireman or it could be a guy whos a retired football player. A guy whos an ex-cop. A guy whos an ex-bad guy. A dentist. There was a little Jewish guy on the set who was the technical advisor. You wouldnt think that this guy was a bounty hunter in a million years, but hes very tactical with his mind. Hes very prepared with his surveillance, with his tactical team. Theres a guy whos good with hand-to-hand combat, a guy whos good with surveillance, a guy whos good with tracking, a guy whos good with computers, a guy whos good with giving direction, a guy whos good with talking people down. What I wasnt knowledgeable about was how they work as a unit.
People say to me, How do you like doing action movies? I dont like action movies. I dont look at this as an action movie. I look at this as more of a dramatic film Im pretty positive that I wouldnt have done this film if it wasnt with Tony, because it would have turned into that very easily.
In Domino, your character is sort of a father figure to Keira Knightleys character. What was your relationship like on-set?
Sort of like a big brother, really. Keiras like this great looking f*ckin beauty. Thank God I didnt look at her that way, you know? I looked at her more as a friend, which was perfect for that. I saw BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM and the Pirate movie and I liked her beauty and grace and it was a breath of fresh air to see her step up to the plate and get outside of herself and make it personal and see the rage in her and the fear. I think shes tremendous I dont like actresses at all, but I really liked her. She turned me the corner on that.
It will probably be a long time before I work with somebody again that I feel that way about. But hey, really good actresses dont grow on trees, especially in this town. And I dont look at her as some fluff thats on a magazine cover. Shes somebody with a lot of integrity thats very well-read. I dont see her as some sort of ambitious starlet. Shes a woman that really wants to be as fine as she can be, with self-respect and integrity. I admire that in people and ladies especially.
You received a lot of critical acclaim for your performance in Sin City. Did you view that as a sort of redemption?
When they offered me Sin City and I heard who the rest of the cast was, I was the first one to report to work. And I remember when I was reading through the material and going, All right, because there were a lot of movie stars who were working after me, and I said to Rodriguez, Those motherf*ckers better be able to walk on water, because Im gonna bring it. Im getting an opportunity after 14 years, you bet your ass Im gonna bring it. It was fun.
Have you read any of the other Marv stories from the Sin City series, and are you looking ahead toward the sequel?
Im looking ahead, because I think what theyre gonna do is theyre gonna take because they want to stay very true to Frank Millers interpretation, but I think what theyre gonna do this time is take liberty artistic liberty for the sake of pacing and through-line so I think if Rodriguez and Frank Miller can stand to be in the same room with each other, theyll pound something out.
Are we at the beginning of a Mickey Rourke renaissance?
Well look, Im not gonna get no more chances. This is it for me. So if I f*ck this up, I might as well jump off this f*ckin balcony. People say to me, Whats the best movie youve made? And I say, Hey motherf*cker, I aint made it yet. The last time when I almost had a career, I self-destructed before I even got going. Im not gonna make that mistake this time. Those 14 years were long and painful and shameful and disgraceful and f*ckin lonely and miserable. Can you imagine talking to somebody and going, Is anything going on today? for 14 years? Its like being in purgatory. It is purgatory. And I put myself there. I realized that I had some things broken inside of me that I had to fix and repair and change to move forward.
But I had to lose everything and I mean everything the last time around. I do not want to go back there. Every day is an effort for me, because you know, Marv lives inside of me. I gotta keep the bastard quiet, otherwise he wants to raise hell and go apeshit. Im so fortunate to get another chance. Im so grateful that I can even sit and talk to guys like you. Before I was so arrogant and angry and selfish about everything. I forgot where I came from. And I raced right back to that hell where I once was, where you try so hard to get out of it. And this time around I dont believe in luck. I worked very hard to change and I had to seek out people to give me some knowledge to do that. And it wasnt easy.
Questions? Comments? Manifestos? Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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