Tough Darts

Sports writer Pat Jordan‘s interview piece on Wrestler star Mickey Rourke in today’s N.Y. Times Magazine starts out fairly rough. In terms of his interview “performance”, he calls Rourke likable but clumsy, lost in his rap, emotionally insincere. In short Jordan isn’t buying the shpiel, which sets him apart from others who’ve written generally flattering profiles of Mickey-the-Comeback-Kid. A departure from the script.

“You meet Mickey, you can’t help liking him,” Jordan begins. “He rescues abused dogs! He cries a lot: over his stepfather’s supposed abuse; the loss of his brother to cancer and his dogs to old age; the failure of his marriage to the actress Carre Otis. He admits he destroyed his own career, because, as he puts it: “I was arrogant…I wasn’t smart enough or educated enough” to deal with stardom.

“He is candid about the people he has crossed paths with: Nicole Kidman is “an ice cube”; Michael Cimino, the director of Heaven’s Gate, “is crazy” and “nuts”; and the producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. is “a liar.”

“So what if he cries at the same moment in the same story in every interview? So what if his candor sometimes sounds like the bad dialogue from one of his many bad movies (“I have no one to go to to fix the broken pieces in myself”) or that his self-deprecation seems culled from the stock stories of so many fading actors (“I was in 7-Eleven, and this guy says, ‘Didn’t you used to be a movie star?’”)? So what if he seems disingenuous, at best, when he says he can’t remember that critics nominated him one of the world’s worst actors in 1991 (“I probably would have voted with them”) or even making a terrible movie that went straight to video, Exit in Red, in 1996 — despite the fact that the love interest in that movie was then his wife?

“Mickey Rourke is, after all, an actor. The roles he has played and the life he has lived have so blurred one into another in his mind’s eye that even he doesn’t seem to know when he’s acting or when he’s being real. He has spent his entire adult life playing not fictional characters but an idealized delusional fantasy of himself.”

I don’t know if this piece is going to do much for Rourke’s Best Actor chances. I suspect that the die is cast on Rourke being nominated (i.e., it’ll happen) and this or that article isn’t going to change things in this regard.

16 thoughts on “Tough Darts

  1. Pat Jordan wrote an epically hilarious piece on Deadspin earlier this year about his attempts to interview dunderhead ex-baseball player, serial steroid abuser Jose Canseco. Brilliant. It doesn’t surprise me he didn’t fall for the Mick’s resurrection act.

  2. I met Mickey Rourke at a tanning salon (of all places) after that movie SPUN came out. I complemented him on his monologue that ended the movie and he was incredibly touched and told me not to ‘give in to the assholes, kid’ over my own pursuits. It all felt very genuine to me.

  3. I suspect Pat Jordan hasn’t met enough people like Mickey Rourke to appreciate them. Most of them are probably homeless or shitfaced in an American Legion. Still, I kind of wish the turning point of this interview had been Mickey boxing with this guy’s head.

  4. “He has spent his entire adult life playing not fictional characters but an idealized delusional fantasy of himself.”

    So that would make him the male Angelina Jolie?

  5. Which comeback are we on at this point for Rourke? I thought he already had his “big comeback” with the trio of Once Upon A Time in Mexico, Man on Fire and Sin City.

    Seems that Jordan remembered too and wasn’t buying into Rourke’s publicists storyline on this.

  6. Tell me Wells, for I am really trying to understand in this paraghraph, why is it that only the Samuel Goldwyn Jr. name is in bold and all others are not:

    “He is candid about the people he has crossed paths with: Nicole Kidman is “an ice cube”; Michael Cimino, the director of Heaven’s Gate, “is crazy” and “nuts”; and the producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr. is “a liar.”"

    What the logic in play here?

  7. Something stinks about this interview, even if Rourke is the lying gasbag it makes him out to be. Why call the stepfather, and why bring him in as the REAL authority on the life and hard times of Mickey Rourke, especially when Rourke makes it clear that they do not get along? Why would his word then be any more trustworthy?

  8. What about Mickey’s comeback in Domino?

    Although my favorite Mickey Rourke story is the night a bunch of us got drunk and I called up Tarantino’s office phone number and left a message claiming to be Rourke telling Tarantino that he needs to shut his trap about giving him a Travolta comeback cause Mickey Rourke never left the building and he never made any crappy films with talking babies. At the end Mickey Rourke suggested that Tarantino ought to spend his time planning to a comeback for Eric Robert. “have you seen the crap he’s been making?”

  9. Corey3rd, that does sound damn funny…if you can do a good Rourke. But then, just being REALLY shitfaced might do that for yeah, eh?

  10. What a truly mean spirited article. The snide asides about Rourke’s reactions designed to push the reader towards disbelieving that the guy has issues that aren’t in his head. The implication that Rourke is defecating all over the press and potential fans.

    The icing is the utterly pretentious inclusion of a smack at Rourke for daring to like Palin. As if this were some cardinal sin. (I wouldn’t go to an In-N-Out that she managed, much less vote for her, but still).

    Well written to be sure, but totally devoid of anything beyond self aggrandizing from the author.

  11. The icing is the utterly pretentious inclusion of a smack at Rourke for daring to like Palin. As if this were some cardinal sin. (I wouldn’t go to an In-N-Out that she managed, much less vote for her, but still).

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