Mickey Rourke Says His Rugby Movie Shoots in February

Briefly: Some actors can always be relied upon for brutal honesty. (Except when they can’t.) Take Mickey Rourke. One of the most entertaining interviews making the rounds today is a Vulture piece in which the actor calls out some of his recent work. (Passion Play? “Terrible. Another terrible movie.” How about 13, with Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson? “It’s so bad it can’t get out.”) He also seems to call into question the unvarnished truth of his previous comments when he called Megan Fox “the most talented actress I’ve worked with.”

But that’s just the fun stuff. Buried in there is also his statement that his biopic of famed rugby player Gareth Thomas will shoot this coming February. We’ve heard about this project a couple times over the past six months, and it still seems like something that is destined never to happen. The actor is 22 years older than his subject, after all. That distance can be minimized in some contexts, but not as easily when he’s got to be convincing on the very demanding rugby pitch. (He may just be playing a character heavily inspired by Gareth Thomas, however.) Mr. Rourke has said that he’ll learn the player’s native Welsh for the role, and it sounds like a project to watch. Hopefully eighteen months from now he won’t be casually dismissing it in an offhand interview.

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? Read More »

Since his ‘comeback’ in The Wrestler, Mickey Rourke‘s career has been an unusual one, to say the least. High-profile fare like Iron Man 2 and The Expendables has been balanced with duds like Killshot (filmed before The Wrestler) and Passion Play.

But one project on Rourke’s horizon sounds interesting — he says he’s set to play Gareth Thomas, the Welsh rugby player who made headlines not long ago when he came out of the closet, becoming what Sports Illustrated called in May 2010 “the only openly gay male athlete.” (At least in a major professional team sport.) Read More »