Smell of Smoke

With Wrestler star Mickey Rourke talking these days about how his career went plop into the toilet in the ’90s, I found this Entertainment Weekly piece I filed from the ’92 Cannes Film Festival interesting. It was just a few days after the L.A. riots when I came across a Rourke quote about those he felt were responsible. A few hours later I ran into Spike Lee at a party, showed him the clipping, and he grabbed my tape recorder and said what he said.

Late May 1992 EW clipping
  • Midwest Doug

    This is unbelievable.
    Are you telling me that EW used to do real reporting?

  • great scott

    Quentin Tarentino, Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, Mickey Rourke, Clint Eastwood. Has anyone ever had so many fueds with his or her peers than Sheldon “Militant Midget” Lee? And notice how Mr. I-See-Racism- In-Every-Fucking-Thing hurls bigoted insults like “redneck” and “cracker” and gets away with it. I hope Obama wins so maybe this moron will finally “shut his face”.

  • frankbooth

    Uh oh. I can already see a potential downside of an Obama presidency.
    “Would you guys just shut about racism? Obama’s being elected proves that it no longer exists! The matter is settled.”
    (This isn’t necessarily aimed at great scott, who seems to be talking specifically about Lee.)

  • p.Vice

    The blood of Mickey Rourke’s reputation falls on those who instigated this article.

  • Majorian99

    Well Mickey’s comments here are embaressing and quite frankly crazy — so I fully understand Spike Lee’s reaction although some of his language is — well off-putting and undermines his basic point.
    But there’s been a lot of discussion on this site about certain actors personal politics and my view on this is the following:
    Yes, I’m a leftie — but there are many conservatives that I intellectually respect and enjoy great friendships with. I think debate and respectful discourse should always be something to promote. For example, I strongly disagree with John Voight and Mickey Rourke (or James Woods or Kurt Russel for that matters) on politcal matters. But I admire their acting to a very large degree and if I was in a position hire them for projects I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to hire them.
    Discrimination in regard to politics is, in my view, a sign of stupidity and scary demonstration of intellectual limitation on behalf of the discriminating party…
    I final example — one of the writers I admire the most is Evelyn Waugh — his wit, humor, insight and genius-level writing ability — and the major points and arguments the permeates his literary output I actually agree with. Which surprises me to no end. Since Evelyn Waugh was a staunch conservative and very passionate in his Catholic belief. Things that are very far from my convictions… So go figure…

  • JaySmack

    Spike’s right, Rourke is an f-ing idiot.
    A good actor, but an f-ing idiot.

  • Howlingman

    Spike is Spike; someone (as Stephen King of all people put it) who “sees everything in terms of his race” and cannot filter that out of anything he’s critical of. It’s been his biggest failure as a filmmaker (while nabbing him the publicity and headlines he so craves). Is it any coincidence that his biggest hits as of late have been Inside Man and The 25th Hour? Miracle at St. Anna tanked, and I’m hard-pressed to recal l anything since Do The Right Thing that captured lightning in a bottle.
    That said, his documentary work has really shone. Because he’s such a polemist, that outrage works tremendously well in films like 4 Little Girls and When The Levees Broke.

  • Majorian99

    Howlingman, I agree…

  • DavidF

    Does Spike Lee ever go a few rounds with people he hates, or his entire MO dissing them in the press?
    Sure, Rourke is a crazy mofo, but what would you pay to watch Lee duke it out with him or Eastwood instead of merely exchanging Entertainment Weekly quotes?

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