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Mickey Rourke discusses his darker side at the 'Iron Man 2' premiere

April 26, 2010 | 11:35 pm

After capturing the hearts of audiences (and the Academy) for his moving role in "The Wrestler," Mickey Rourke shows a darker side in his new role in "Iron Man 2." As Tony Stark's nemesis, Rourke is Ivan Vanko, a tattooed Russian physicist determined to overpower Robert Downey Jr.'s character.

"It's been OK," he said of the dramatic change in characters. "You know, I wanted to do a different kind of movie after 'The Wrestler,' and this was definitely different -- way different -- so it was a lot of fun to do this."

To prepare for the role, Rourke told us he actually spent time in Russia.

"I was in Russia on other business and it just happened to come at the right time, so I was able to go there and visit the prison," he said. He brought back what he learned there and "laid it out" for director Jon Favreau, who allowed the actor to the freedom to "roll with it."

The result? A totally maniacal character that Rourke made all his own.

-- Amy Kaufman

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