Movies - TV
Mickey Rourke Went A Little Too Far With His Con Air Audition
By LEE ADAMS
"Con Air" came along at the glorious bombastic peak of '90s action movies, which gave us big, loud, testosterone-fueled blockbusters like "True Lies," "Bad Boys," and "Armageddon." However, production found it hard to cast main antagonist Cyrus "The Virus" Grissom and even had to witness a weird Mickey Rourke audition that went a little too far.
Director Simon West recalled that Rourke did a confrontational scene which he read with an assistant casting director. “Mickey Rourke was eyeball to eyeball, nose to nose with him, and then pulls out this 10-inch Bowie knife from behind him, which was totally real and incredibly sharp. And he held it under this poor guy's chin.”
West added, “I'm ashamed to say we did not intervene. We let him finish the scene. So it was a pretty powerful audition, that one.” Understandably, Mickey Rourke didn't get the gig, but he did manage to revive his career in movies like “Sin City” and “The Wrestler,” the latter of which eventually earned him an Oscar nomination.