Mickey Rourke: “You can be less than mediocre & be a f-cking movie star”


Time for some classic Mickey Rourke! I’ve been looking forward to reading any interview with him during the Iron Man 2 promotional tour, just because he’s such a great interview. By the way, these are photos of Mickey walking two of his puppies last weekend. What’s with the belly-shirt, Mickey? No, I jest. If the man wants to wear a belly shirt, God bless. Now, on to the interview – Mickey sat down for a short piece with Parade, and he actually says my favorite quote of the week: “I’d just as soon do a big-budget movie as an independent one. Sometimes the independent movies can get a little too arty-farty. You watch the IFC Channel and you want to throw up.” THANK YOU. Someone needed to say it. Not every independent film is great, and sometimes I just think “No studio would touch this script for a reason – because this sh-t blows.” Here’s more from Mickey:

Mickey Rourke has gone from the bottom to the top, scoring an Oscar nomination for his comeback role in the tiny-budgeted The Wrestler. Now, he’s got a juicy role in the summer blockbuster Iron Man 2. So does that mean that the fiercely outspoken actor who once quit his failing showbiz career to become a boxer has mellowed out? You be the judge.

Mickey says, “I’d just as soon do a big-budget movie as an independent one. Sometimes the independent movies can get a little too arty-farty. You watch the IFC Channel and you want to throw up. You don’t always have to take things so serious, you know. It’s like, this is a nice departure for people to just forget about all their s—.”

No wonder he didn’t feel guilty about accepting a few perks.
“I’d just come off working on The Wrestler, which had no budget and I didn’t even have a chair to sit in. I remember the first day on Iron Man 2 I said, ‘Can I have a cappuccino,’ and they said, ‘Which kind would you like?'”

Star is just a four-letter word.
“You can be less than mediocre and be a f—ing movie star. I have respect for very few actors and actresses. Some of them get a lot of acclaim but just because their movie made $200 million at the box office; they still suck. I got no respect for them and I used to let them know it. It was important for me to put that aside and go, ‘You know what? This is a business. If you kiss the right ass and you get lucky on a movie or two, you could last 10 years.’ So, now, I just keep my mouth shut and pet my chihuahuas.”

[From Parade]

I wonder who he’s talking about? Hm…? Probably all of them, you know? I was going to name-check people like Tom Cruise or Julia Roberts, but Mickey probably hates the overwhelming majority of Hollywood, and that’s a long list.

Someone he wasn’t referring to, however, was his Passion Play costar Megan Fox. Mickey also spoke to Extra recently, and he told them how much he enjoyed working with Megan: “I just worked on a smaller movie with Megan Fox. Creatively, it was a lot of fun. She was great to work with — and to look at. It was nice working with someone who has a reputation for being beautiful, but who really did her homework. She was challenging to work with. People are going to have a different perception of her.” She was “challenging”? As in, it was a “challenge” to get her to shut up about her “schizophrenia”? Or was it a challenge to get her into bed? Hm?



Mickey Rourke in NYC on May 1, 2010. Mickey at the ‘Iron Man 2’ premiere in LA on April 26, 2010. Credit: Bauer-Griffin.

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51 Responses to “Mickey Rourke: “You can be less than mediocre & be a f-cking movie star””

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  1. meme says:

    Mickey’s absolutely 100% correct. Pretty soon there won’t be any real actors.

  2. Catherine says:

    Well, be honest. Is he wrong in saying that? There are some pretty lame mega-stars in the industry. I agree with him there.

  3. lilred says:

    “Working with Megan Fox was challenging”. No kidding, I would find it challenging just to be in the same room as Megan Fox for any length of time.

  4. simplicity says:

    Love Mickey from Angel Heart forward to the Wrestler, and more so for his self-honesty, and in depth therapy.

    Mickey keeps it real.

  5. Sigh. says:

    God knows I think this man is batsh!t crazy, but he must’ve been very lucid when he made this statement and ITA.

    Clooney said something to the like in a European mag; superstars (including himself) are just lucky bastards. Very few are hard-working geniuses, gushing with talent. It’s just mostly LUCK (And I say luck, surgery/photochop, and a crack team of handlers).

    But I’m one of those people that think WRITERS create award-winning roles, just as much as the actors who ultimately get all of the praise.

  6. JulieNewmar says:

    Cute wife beater and low rise jeans Mickey… *dry heaves quietly*

  7. lrm says:

    I’d love to hear who he does respect, for actors and actresses…that would be more telling. b/c i agree, most are very lame.
    let’s assume he gives props to meryl and jack, and maybe angelica huston, for starters. old-school folks probably get a bit of respect from Mickey, don’t you think? He’s so right though….so few are good, and the second tier are folks who are good some of the time, like hanks, depp, winslett, blanchett, but are not amazing every time.
    Hmmm…and I wonder if he finds RDJ lame?
    Who could? He rocks!!! Love RDJ.

  8. Persistent Cat says:

    Was he ever married? Because if so, it’s a fitting shirt. Otherwise it’s just a girlfriend-beater in his case. Not to be Debbie Downer but I just can’t get past that.

  9. meme says:

    @simplicity – you must see Mickey in Diner, Pope of Greenwich Village (Charlie, they took my thumb!) and
    9 1/2 Weeks. Classic Mickey.

  10. Melissa says:

    “So, now, I just keep my mouth shut and pet my chihuahuas. ” Hahaha..love him.

  11. Beck says:

    I am surprised he made the comment about big budget movies. He was on David Letterman earlier this week. Every time David asked him a question about Iron Man, he would roll his eyes before he answered the question. He was also on JKL. Jimmy asked him why he hated Iron Man.

    I still can’t believe the change in his looks. 9 1/2 weeks was on one of the movie channels this past week. Man, he was hot in that movie. What a shame.

  12. Cindy says:

    “You can be less than mediocre and be a f—ing movie star.”

    Ain’t that the truth, not enough Meryl Streeps in Hollywood and too many jennifer anistons, jessica biels, jennifer garners, katherine heigls, adam sandlers, ben afflecks, mark whalbers, ahton kutchers and the list goes on and on…..

  13. lol says:

    yep, he looks terrible but I agree with him. The BIG movie stars today are not very good actors. Let me name a few. WILL SMITH, TOM CRUISE, BRAD PITT.

  14. carrie says:

    Pitt was great in Seven,12 Monkeys, Fight Club,Kalifornia, Babel!
    Cruise was great in Magnolia, Tropic Thunders,Born in the 4th July!
    Will Smith was great in….Ali(after ,i don’t see LOL)

  15. I Choose Me says:

    “So, now, I just keep my mouth shut and pet my chihuahuas.” This made me laugh, hard. I am so stealing that. I had two mixed breed chihuahaus. Someone stole them from my yard last week. I came home from work and they were gone. Now I’m sad again. 🙁

  16. lol says:

    Carrie, It’s my opinion that Pitt was mediocre at best in those films. It’s sad when People look to Pitt for good acting.

  17. Trillion says:

    Pitt and Cruise can be great in the right situation, I will begrudgingly admit. When they’re caricatures. (Pitt in Inglorious and Cruise in Tropic Thunder)

  18. Dawn says:

    I got so much love Mickey. He had me at Angel Heart.

    Megan Fox : It was both

  19. Kelaa Khaa says:

    I agree with Mickey and his dogs are so cute! He was great in Wild Orchid but he wasn’t very nice to Carre Otis, which is too bad.

  20. jc126 says:

    I think his comments are right on. He seems interesting and smart, it’s a shame about all the plastic surgery.
    At least he’s working again. I love it when people make comebacks.

  21. Solveig says:

    Can’t agree more when he says that most HW stars are just untalented lucky bastards.
    As for Cruise, I think he is one of the few good actors around, so bad he’s nuts and so hard to forget his weird real life’s actions and words when I see him on screen.
    The other good actor is RDJ, but probably I’m too fond of him to be objective.

  22. canadianchick says:

    I heart Mickey though his face looks like a boxer’s face. He was good on Leno, and I admire anýone who likes dogs. I’m going to rent 9 1/2 weeks, I can’t believe I still haven’t seen that.

    @I choose me-I’m so sorry to hear about your pooches. People can be such a-holes.

  23. Chico says:

    @Cindy. I’m w/you. All those rom-com queens are SO over-exposed and under-talented. Plus, they’re all second-hand copies of Julia/Sandra/Meg. I don’t get their appeal and why these actresses keep getting roles. I think that the stars these days are more interested in being seen in the tabloids and making money than being good at their craft. They’re all just shallow fame addicts.

  24. MingMing says:

    Mickey is right!

  25. Cruisin Through says:

    Love love love Mickey!

    He does need to exercise some self control and he seems to be better at it now. Verbalizing every thought you have with a microphone in front of you is never a good idea.

    And I really don’t think he’s a wife beater. Carre was a hard core heroin addict. When interviewed years later, he said that her dealer beat her and Carre was too f’ed up to know what happened which is why she dropped the charges. I think that is probably true. There was also an incident right after that where he walked into a bar and beat a known dealer up so bad that he put him in the hospital. While I’m not advocating that, it tends to lend credibility to his story. He’s far from perfect but he was absolutely besotted with her. I can see him being controlling, but I don’t think he hit her.

  26. freckles says:

    He’s so dead on in everything he says here (except maybe the Megan Fox stuff, but what do I know? I’ve never met her). And I loved him in Iron Man, soooo I now love him in general.

  27. beardreader says:

    What a sexy hunk of man!
    He reminds me of a dirty Uncle.

  28. ViktoryGin says:

    Preaching to the choir, Mickey.

    What I like most about his comments is that he has realized when to just let sleeping dogs lie, because incessantly complaining about it will never change the fact that that’s just the way things are.

  29. C says:

    “”because incessantly complaining about it will never change the fact that that’s just the way things are””

    And who are you, a movie exec?

  30. Bee says:

    @Choose me I’m so sorry about your dogs. I hope you find them. Good luck!

  31. g says:

    So good in Bukowski’s ‘barfly’-so was faye dunaway too by th way.

  32. Ann says:

    I agree with him. But honestly, Rourke isn’t that good of an actor himself.

  33. ViktoryGin says:


    Pray tell, why did you respond to my post?

    That many movie stars are questionable actors is virtually indisputable, as evidenced by the fact that no one on this post has argued to the contrary.

    If you want to bitch, come with something more substantial than a weak rhetorical question.

    Good day.

  34. NunyaBiz says:

    @ VictoryGin:
    Right On~

  35. CathyT says:

    For as much as actors love to talk about their craft, film acting is just dressing up and saying lines that someone else wrote in front of a camera. Some lucky actors just naturally have charisma, sorry, *talent.*

  36. omondieu says:

    Hmm, I wonder if Megan Fox is among the actors he respects, or if he was just being polite?…

  37. Persistent Cat says:

    Who gives a shit if Mickey Rourke respects them or not? He’s a washed up actor with a bad face lift who popped up on the radar again because he fit the part for a movie.

    It’s funny he used the word movie star and not the word actor. Some just have the right charisma at the right time and it works. Will Ferrell isn’t a great actor but he’s funny as hell and gives it his all. Same with Chris Rock. So I’ll go see their movies because I’m going to be entertained.

  38. Toby says:

    I SO agree! Can you say

    Jude Law
    Cameron Diaz
    Keanu Reeves
    Julia Roberts
    Natalie Portman

    I have no idea why these people keep getting jubs

  39. Chico says:

    I wouldn’t say Pitt or Cruise can be considered “bad actors.” Both have secured multiple Oscar nominations. Both have done a variety of unique characters in many decent films. I wouldn’t call either of them the greatest actors ever, but bad, is a little over-the-top.

  40. ann says:

    Barfly was a terrific movie.
    Don’t like the romcom movies some of the actresses play.

  41. I Choose Me says:

    @canadianchic and bee. Thanks guys. The good news is that a neighbour found one of them. His name is Gizmo. He ran away from whoever took him and was trying to find his way back. He saw him recognized he was mine and gave him back to me yesterday. My good Samaritan neighbour is also helping me make inquiries. Here’s hoping I get the other one back as well.

  42. Isa says:

    Wow, don’t bottle up your feelings there, sparky.

    I want to pet his dogs and love them and raise them as my own.

  43. C says:

    Geez defensive much?
    I was sort of kidding. I just tend to think complaining and speaking out on something is the only way things can change..
    If he wants to incessantly complain about it, more power to him. Change doesn’t happen by being compliant and just accepting, “that that’s just the way things are.”

  44. Aussie Mama says:

    I love The Rourke, he rocks, no matter what. He’s real, yeah he’s gone bananas with surgery, who cares his head, but I love what he has to say and he’s always wonderful in all his movies.

  45. Aussie Mama says:

    Beardreader….so true.
    I find his yummy.

  46. g says:

    like mickey. His main prob was trying to convince his detracters he was irish true blue an not a jumped up highly paid movie star. working class irish kids hav to always pay lip service to their irish integrity whethr they be from US-Aust wherever. this screwed with mickeys head too much thru-out th 80’s into 90’s me thinks. might b wrong but there said it. I know th irish.

  47. ViktoryGin says:

    @ C

    Okay, when you address someone on a threa and don’t actually attempt to engage them beyond a sarcastic quip, it is reasonable that they would become defensive.

    Anyway, I see what you’re saying; but Hollywood is predicated on lack of substance and visual illusion. It has been since its inception, and we as filmgoers are compliant. One actor is not going to change that. You see how many people complain about the female body image in Hollywood to seemingly no avail.

    Furthermore, I made a commment about his decision to keep his mouth shut in response to his saying he used to tell people that they were shit actors to their faces. While I applaud him for speaking the truth, it’s really stupid to ostracize yourself from your peers if you still want a career amongst them. He may think poorly of their skills, but he still has to contend with them for parts. Some battles are just not worth fighting.

  48. Kim says:

    Actually you can be horrendoues with absolutely no talent and still be a …ing star: case in point: Kristin Stewart (and all the Twilight actors for that matter), Lindsay Lohan, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Katie Holmes, Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Lopez…. The list of famous people with no talent is VERY long. Sadly, much longer than the list of those with talent.

  49. Lady D says:

    Choose me….So glad to hear you have one doggy back. Heartbreaking to lose pets, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  50. C says:

    Victory Gin,

    Thanks for trying to understand my sarcasm, even though it came off rather vague .

    After thinking more about it, complaining obviously doesn’t work. In fact, it cost him roles. It just sucks that business has to be that way.

    Maybe if enough movie stars like him complained, there could be a change; but that’s never going to happen because too many of them are there for reasons other than having actual talent.

    Nepotism, semi good looks, kissing the right ass etc.. or a combination of these things is why they are movie stars.

  51. Lia says:

    I was never a fan of his before, but he rocked in Iron Man 2!! I don’t think anyone has played a villain better than his in this movie.