24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

« Previous | 24 Frames Home | Next »

What happened to Mickey Rourke?

March 22, 2011 | 12:38 pm

Rourke
It wasn't that long ago that Mickey Rourke was the toast of award season. Everywhere you went in the winter of 2009 the "Wrestler" star was there, offering his comeback story to all who cared to listen, basking in his Oscar nomination, talking about the dark days when his dogs were the only friends he had. O Loki, sweet Loki.

The actor also had an impressive role to show off, and he and his representatives made the most of it, landing a gamut of new parts. Rourke seemed on his way to a versatile second shot at his career, the kind that harked back to the time when he bowled us over with movies such as "Barfly" and "Angel Heart." We'd soon be living in a new age of Mickey.

But two years later the Rourke comeback has hit some serious speed bumps. His big commercial play, as the villain Whiplash in "Iron Man 2," was tepidly received. He was barely noticed amid all the other '80s comebacks in "The Expendables" last summer. And his quirky indie project "Passion Play" (Rourke plays a washed-up trumpet player opposite Megan Fox's angel) is going into very limited release this summer making it unlikely to land atop too many box-office charts.

When Rourke didn't get the lead role in "Taken 2" last week, it highlighted an obvious question: What happened to Mickey?

It's not always easy to turn award-season goodwill into a fruitful new career. The paychecks can be too attractive, and quality movies are generally hard to come by even for an Oscar nominee. When you want to continue the indie theme it can be hard to know when the scripts you're looking at will turn into "The Wrestler" and when they'll turn into, well, "Passion Play."

Still, consider Richard Jenkins, another actor who was toiling in obscurity before he was nominated for an Oscar the same year as Rourke. Jenkins savvily turned his acclaim for "The Visitor" into great supporting parts in broad fare including "Dear John" and "Hall Pass" while taking on more ambitious character pieces in movies such as "Let Me In."

The 58-year-old Rourke still has a few new movies on the docket. But at this point few of them are likely to blow away Oscar voters or even a large number of fans. (He plays King Hyperion in an upcoming "Clash of the Titans"-style movie called "Immortals" and is set to star in distributor-less indies such as "The Blind Bastards Club" about a "group of blind people who live on the edge.") There's probably still another comeback left in Rourke. The only problem is you have to wait years before you can have one.

-- Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Mickey Rourke in "The Informers." Credit: Juan Angel Urruzola / Senator Entertainment


 
Comments () | Archives (30)

The comments to this entry are closed.

He was in Iron man 2 which was a hit,he was the best thing in it! also he should entertain us with Immortals shortly this year.

Bring on sin city 2

As a film critic I try not to criticize an actor's appearance. It often isn't fair, and it can feel petty. But Rourke's face is limiting, whether one can blame plastic surgery or his time inside the ring. He'll always have the talent, but with a unique mug the roles suited for him may be limited.

So it's been ONE year since he played the villain in the movie that started the summer movie season (Iron Man 2) and was part of an all-star cast action movie that opened at #1.... and suddenly it's "What happened to Mickey Rourke?" Because the third of his movies since The Wrestler was a critical and commercial bomb? Sometimes the LA Times reads more like Perez Hilton in its inability to grasp how Hollywood works.

And no mention of Richard Jenkins in the hilarious Step Brothers? He didn't even have many comedic lines but his frustration over his idiot sons stole a lot of scenes.

The man is a working actor, is that not enough in this town?

Why the surprise? Addicts will always be an up and down experience.
The list is long Charlie, Robert, Mel, Lindsay....the list is long and predictable!

Really? Slow day in the LAT newsroom? This is the most ridiculous post I've seen. Rourke wasn't tepidly received in Iron Man 2 - the MOVIE was. He was the most interesting part of it...As for Expendables, you mean the ensemble movie not being all about "him" in a supporting role where his character didn't even appear in action scenes "wasn't noticed" is a cause for alarm?

Embarrassing Mr. Zelchick. Come on.

Maybe revive Bobby 'Boogie' Shaftel in Diner 2? I think one or two of those real life guys are still alive. (I'm pretty sure Boogie is)

LA Times Critiques read like gossip columns.

Recently I was thinking the same thing about Mickey..my concern is that he will get to play well written screen plays that brings out the best in him..
With the way he looks with hair on his face, gold and gawdy accessories really turns me off. I love his real look, a clean face that can express himself, without taudry looking clothes.
I'd like to see him without the masks for behind them is power. My best wishes to him and hopefully his making great money and is happy. Miss you Mickey.

I know I'm going to sound nasty and shallow, but just look at his face. He can't have just any role. Like some poster has already written, his face is limiting. The Wrestler was probably a fluke. He may have a few good roles down the road, but it won't be every year.

He did a fantastic job in Iron Man and was terrific, albeit not enough time on screen, in The Expendables. And, we'll get to see him again at the movies this summer. All in all, things seem to be ok for him.

What happened to Mickey Rourke?

Anabolic steroids happened to Mickey Rourke. `Roid Rage is what happened to Mickey and those around him. It made Mickey a raging a**hole to everyone and turned producers off. What happened to his face wasn't plastic surgery, it was bone and lip deformation from over-use of steroids. Look at Arnold's jaw and brow line. Look at Vin Diesel's lips and jaw line. Look at the before-and-after pictures of Carrot Top's face. When these guys undergo the knife, it's to repair the horror that they see in the mirror.

He became the toast of Etsy (the one that used to be for handmade items) when he wore one artists work to an awards show.

Everyone talks about plastic surgery, but does that include Botox and Retin-A? His look seems to be more about having his wrinkles burned off than surgery, or at least 50/50...

Mickey Rourke matches talent, passion and charisma to Marlon Brando, and he is still interesting and captivating to watch, unlike De Niro, Pacino, etc. He has real talent, able to blow any other actor out of the water.

THE STORY reads like we should feel sorry about his comeback when he is back and makes more money on a movie then most of us make in a lifetime. He is working,,period.

"What happened to Mickey?" He's a working actor again. 99% of the Screen Actors Guild should be so lucky.

wow. slow news day, la times?

I don't understand the point of this article at all. Rourke, who has had an amazing career is now nearly 60 years old. How many guys his age are still hot commodities in the film business? On top of that, Rourke made the mistake of being a prize fighter for a couple of years and having too many plastic surgeries to repair the resulting damage. Still, he came back and got an Academy Award. What else do you want? The guy is a terrific actor, but roles for his type that are decent are few and far between. Still, he's working and involved in his career. I'd say that's quite an achievement. Cut the guy some slack.

Don't bury Rourke just yet. His career will probably outlast the LA Times.

He didn't get an academy award but he should have. Non of the actors do top role after top role. There just aren't that many good scripts around. Glad he is working again. One of the best actors in Hollywood. There's alaways next year.

Rourke was the best thing in "Iron Man 2" and "The Expendables", both number one films from last year. I'll wait to actually see "Passion Play" before I make any judgement. He's currently working on bringing a film about Gareth Thomas, first big-time "out" gay athelete, to the screen. "The Immortals" is coming out this year and it will be way beyond "Clash of the Titans" since the director is the genius Tarsem Singh ("The Fall" was a masterpiece). Rourke is in the same class as Brando, as far as acting and being able to offer a special kind of voo doo in his performance, and I'm grateful that he's back on the screen. It's ridiculous to count him out. Sure, his appearance will limit the number of great parts he can get - he does NOT look like Everyman - but Rourke is unique and to be valued all the more for that.

Rourke was the best thing in "Iron Man 2" and "The Expendables", both number one films from last year. I'll wait to actually see "Passion Play" before I make any judgement. He's currently working on bringing a film about Gareth Thomas, first big-time "out" gay athelete, to the screen. "The Immortals" is coming out this year and it will be way beyond "Clash of the Titans" since the director is the genius Tarsem Singh ("The Fall" was a masterpiece). Rourke is in the same class as Brando, as far as acting and being able to offer a special kind of voo doo in his performance, and I'm grateful that he's back on the screen. It's ridiculous to count him out. Sure, his appearance will limit the number of great parts he can get - he does NOT look like Everyman - but Rourke is unique and to be valued all the more for that.

Jeesh Mr. Zeitchik,
MUST be a slow day at the office!
I think Mickey is finer than ever - look at the depth his face and eyes now portray - he's a survivor. Look at how he captures and develops his characaters - isn't that what a real actor is all about? It's not the length of time spent on the screen, the fame, the Oscars but instead the way they immerse themselves into the characters they've chosen to play. As others have said - he's a working actor - that in itself is incredible in this industry!
I loved him in Iron Man and the Expendables - 'n I continue to look forward to seeing Mickey in whatever work he chooses to do...

 
1 2 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Video







Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: