Posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
Mickey Rourke wants to play Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas, noted not only for being a badass on the pitch, but for being the first openly gay male player in a major team sport. OK, so far so good. We heard from the actor not long ago on his approach to the film — he says he’ll learn Welsh for the role — though he didn’t engage the question of how he’ll accurately portray a guy who is twenty years his junior.
We still don’t know the answer to that question, but now thanks to Mr. Thomas’ agent, Emanuele Palladino, we’re hearing that Rourke might knock out his own front teeth in order to play the athlete. Uh, whut?
Mr. Palladino told Wales on Sunday,
Mickey wants to film everything in Wales, although it is early days. He really wants to throw himself into Welsh and rugby and really learn as quickly as he can… He is going to get rid of his two front teeth and stuff – he will be taking them out… Mickey intends to get as close to the character as he can, as he thinks it is a great story.
Still no talk about playing a living, active figure who is twenty years younger. Good thing Mickey Rourke doesn’t have access to a time machine, as he might just use it. And if films have taught us anything, that could be a total disaster.
(Note that no matter what the agent says, I won’t actually believe that Rourke is removing his teeth for the role until I see a photo of him without his front choppers. If he does this, however, the dramatic weight-manipulation tactics of Christian Bale and Robert De Niro will certainly be sidelined as far as ‘intense preparations’ go. It would also top the probably apocryphal story of Dustin Hoffman wanting to have a tooth pulled to prepare for Marathon Man.)
EDIT: Or, as some have mentioned, Rourke has already lost some teeth thanks to his boxing career, so the quote might in fact be very literal — he can just take his teeth out — and I played right into it.