A Second Chance at Stardom

I first discovered Mickey Rourke in Body Heat. Rourke was this skinny little guy who absolutely stole every scene he was in… and although there weren’t that many, Rourke made an impact. He was an actor to watch.

Mickey Rourke appeared in a few other films [getting excellent reviews] before I saw him again. This time the film was Rumble Fish. Rourke was again impressive as the ultra cool Motorcycle Boy.

The next few years saw him in Year of the Dragon, [playing an older cop fighting Chinese gangs], the controversial Nine 1/2 Weeks, and the even more controversial Angel Heart. Rourke was starring in big movies and earning rave reviews. Barfly with Frank Stallone was another well received role.

But then things seemed to go downhill… Johnny Handsome directed by Walter Hill didn’t really work… and neither did Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Wild Orchid or White Sands. Rourke‘s personal life seemed to be out of control as well. Reports of drug and alcohol abuse as well as abuse of his love, Carrie Otis began to make more headlines than his movies.

And almost as quickly as Rourke‘s star had risen, it sank. Sure, he still worked, but usually in straight to video features. Most people counted Rourke out. He’d had his shot and blew it.

Then in 2000, Rourke co-starred in Get Carter with Sly Stallone. Sly wanted Rourke for the role and Rourke brought his “A” game. The following year, Sean Penn was directing The Pledge and he had a role for his friend Mickey, who again turned in an excellent job. Reports began to come out that Rourke had given up his bad boy ways. High profile parts in both Once Upon A Time in Mexico and Man on Fire paved the way for his starring role in Sin City.

Man, Rourke was perfect for the part of Marv. Fans and critics alike sat up and took notice. He received some of the best reviews of his career. Suddenly Rourke began to get better scripts and the opportunity to work with A list actors and directors again. Rourke was back and getting a second chance at stardom.

And if you read THIS INTERVIEW you’ll see that he knows how fortunate he is.