Mickey Rourke really might win the Oscar

It struck me yesterday as I was reading about Mickey Rourke’s BAFTA acceptance speech for Best Actor (The Wrestler) that he really, seriously might win the Oscar two weeks from now. Before last night, I don’t think I really regarded it as a real possibility – I thought Sean Penn was one of the safest bets in all of the categories. But as everything gets turned upside-down in the home-stretch of Oscar campaigns (Meryl Streep might win!), it’s worth giving Rourke another look.

Mickey Rourke hasn’t run the best Oscar campaign. There have been rumors about Rourke with his Wrestler co-star Evan Rachel Wood, who plays his daughter in the film, and could technically be his grand-daughter in real life. Wood claims there’s nothing going on, but neither she nor Rourke have the best track records in love. The Academy does not care for Best Actor nominees to seduce their on-screen daughters. That’s a big no-no.

But on the other side, Rourke came in an underdog, and if he wins, he’ll still be an underdog. Hollywood loves an underdog, especially an actor who humbly thanks his own dogs in acceptance speeches because his dogs are the loves of his life. His nomination is also a comeback – twenty years ago he was the hottest young actor, billed as the next Robert DeNiro or the next Marlon Brando. He was even worshipped by many of his fellow Best Actor nominees, Sean Penn and Brad Pitt. A comeback plus underdog status? We might have a winner.

Mickey Rourke won another round in his comeback when he picked up a leading actor prize at Britain’s BAFTA film awards on Sunday night for his performance in “The Wrestler.”

He hasn’t entirely abandoned his bad-boy ways — he swore during his acceptance speech and puffed on a cigarette when he strolled up the red carpet outside London’s Royal Opera House before the ceremony.

But he acknowledged that the award was part of his emerging “out of the darkness.”

He has already won a Golden Globe and is a contender for an Oscar for his portrayal of a down-and-out wrestler struggling to stay in the limelight while fighting his own personal demons.

The role has strong echoes with Rourke’s own tumultuous life, which saw him go from one of Hollywood’s brightest talents to the butt of comedians’ jokes.

Rourke appeared emotional as he recounted his troubled years at a post-awards news conference.

“I lost everybody’s trust. I had some things I had to change …I didn’t handle myself like a professional,” he said, holding his BAFTA trophy in one hand and a half-drunk bottle of champagne in the other.

“After 13 years of therapy, after losing everything, I needed to put the pieces back together to be okay with the change of being accountable,” Rourke said.

“The armor that I wore much, the strength, the physical, the — my mentality became a weakness and I am okay with the change.”

From Reuters

So far Rourke has won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA award, while Sean Penn took home the SAG award and the Critics Choice. That’s about as even a split as I’ve seen since Halle Berry “stole” the Oscar from Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge) and Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom) in 2002. Call me crazy, but I think Mickey Rourke really might pull it out in the end.

Here’s Mickey Rourke’s BAFTA acceptance speech:

Mickey Rourke is shown with Marion Cotillard at the BAFTA press room and red carpet on 2/8/09. Credit: WENN

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30 Responses to “Mickey Rourke really might win the Oscar”

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  1. meme says:

    And he should because Mickey is NEVER going to get a role like this again. Some actors never get roles like that period.

  2. Sauronsarmy says:

    I just want him to win so I can hear his acceptance speech. That crap is going to be out of control.

  3. Ash says:

    I loved his speech. Weird to see a quick glance at Gemma Arterton. She is a great actress, loved her in Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

  4. geronimo says:

    He really could do it. And the award for best acceptance speech. Can he swear at the Os or is it just the non-American awards shows that allow a f*k or ten to slip through?

  5. geronimo says:

    Also loved that dedication at the end to another fine hell-raiser.

  6. Ash says:

    I concur.

  7. Chiara says:

    In the LA scene of so many carefully crafted images to sell to the masses, along comes Mickey, one of the bad boy’s of the 80’s who broke, went through years of alienation, to finally reach to a therapist and priest and deal with his deep seated issues of pain and shame. Awaken, our everyman hero.

    The Wrestler was beautifully acted, well written … Rourke is magical, his acceptance speech was both, “funny and truthful.”

    He’s keeping his commitments, he’s back in and has commitments for two new films.

    Welcome back Mickey … and he’s definitely a challenge to Sean. I knew it as soon as I saw the film.

  8. drm says:

    Wonderful speech so good to see him back. Remember him in 9.5 weeks?? Anyone else old enough?? 🙂 PHWOAR! But I like this version of Mickey Rourke as much…or maybe even more.

  9. Tess says:

    Can’t say anything more complimentary about him than that he’s absolutely, unabashedly, authentic.

    Glad he’s back. Hope he wins.

  10. Mindy says:

    I’m just glad that the two who have campaigned the hardest for Oscars (who just happen to be the most overated and undeserving nominees) Brad & Angie, have no chance of winning. Can you really call what they do “acting”.?

  11. Kaiser says:

    G – The way the speech police are doing it these days, the Oscars will probably be on a five-second delay, and if “f–k” is uttered, it will be bleeped or cut out.

  12. Ron says:

    hmmmmm I think Mickey did an great job with the Wrestler and is definitely worthy. However, Sean Penn still gets my vote. I think it’s amazing when I watch a film and I don’t see the actor there I see the character–and that was Sean in Milk–he was Harvey Milk. Sean is a good actor but not my favorite by any means–but this was a stellar performance. Award the best actor not the best story.

  13. maxi says:


  14. morgs says:

    He was amazing in The Wrestler. Amazing. In my head though, he will always be the hotness that is 9 1/2 weeks. Back in the day, I would’ve let him feed me out of the fridge any day of the week. Grrrrrrr.

  15. César says:

    Amazing speech. Definitely, this is my favorite.

  16. Camille says:

    I hope he wins and not Sean Penn.

    And I hope Meryl beats Kate too.

  17. Ned says:

    He gave an outstanding performance that was by far the best this year.

    He should win because he is the best, not just because he is so real and authentic and doesn’t and never played the Hollywood PR game.

  18. Orangejulius says:

    Sure do remember 9.5 weeks. It’s hard to believe this is the same person. Glad to see him back.

  19. saffron says:

    He was gorgeous back in the day. I haven’t seen this film, yet.

  20. Ned says:

    The Academy does not care for Best Actor nominees to seduce their on-screen daughters

    Given her track records, how about – she seduced him?

    How does Hollywood feel about fame and gold diggers who sleap with older actors to get ahead?

    Oh I forgot, it’s completely legit for a women to be a gold/fame digger in Hollywood.
    Let’s blame it all on the guy.

  21. meme says:

    sigh, yeah, mickey was so pretty back in the day.

  22. Gina Newman says:

    I say, “Go Mickey, Go!”
    I just saw The Wrestler this weekend and I thought his performance was great! After seeing the picture, I cared about Randy The Ram and I cared about Mickey Rourke.

    I also saw Milk which was also good but not as stirring as The Wrestler.

  23. CB Rawks says:

    Isn’t the Bafta a nifty looking award? I would hang that on my wall. 🙂

    Love Mickey, so happy for him.

  24. Codzilla says:

    I’m routing for Mickey all the way. I might actually watch that snooze fest of an awards show just to see him (hopefully) get the prize.

    And just as an aside, the whole notion of an “Oscar campaign” is nauseating. The award should go the best performance, not the contenders who kiss the most ass.

  25. Codzilla says:

    I mean “rooting” — ARG! Cannot type today.

  26. Baholicious says:

    He did bare-knuckle boxing too didn’t he? That explains his poor hands…

  27. MT says:

    Codzilla, that was mu thoughts exactly!!!

    and I was also considering watching that bore just to see him and hoping he would get it.
    That would be a great moment.

    “I’m routing for Mickey all the way. I might actually watch that snooze fest of an awards show just to see him (hopefully) get the prize.”

  28. snappyfish says:

    He was brilliant in The Wrestler. I also saw Milk and where Penn did a very good job the movie didn’t grip you the way the The Wrestler does.

    He should win, and he was great looking in 9 1/2 weeks and also some movie where he breaks out of jail and holds a family hostage. Really pretty boy.

    I love that he thanks his dogs. You got to love anyone who does that!!

  29. Payton says:

    Mickey still has charisma & talent, and doesn’t pretend to be perfect like everyone else in Hollywood. He was incredibly sexy when he was younger (9 1/2 weeks, and Wild Orchid to name a few), but his arrogance was too much for most people. His humbleness & gratefulness is genuine, and I hope he wins an Oscar. Mickey isn’t just an underdog, but a phenomonal actor whose time has finally come.

  30. pookynut says:

    Mickey is a great actor. He was great in Barfly. I loved his acting in Sin City. He was the best part of the movie in my opinion. It’s very telling that he dedicated his award to Richard Harris – another over the top actor who took a lot of chances.