Sunday, November 30, 2008

Rourke's drift

Mickey Rourke's wobbly comeback trail is the focus of a good profile in The New York Times; the author, Pat Jordan, lets us know that the actor's stories may have a familiar ring to them as he works the interview circuit hustling The Wrestler, catches him out in a few lies, and tries to make sense of Rourke's unfathomable choices. (Whatever the truth of his boxing career, it destroyed his soft good looks, which are only barely discernible under what looks to be scar tissue and fumbled reconstructive surgery. He's the "before" of Johnny Handsome, permanently, and it's painful to look at him.) On the other hand, it's hard to blame him for turning down a few plum movies, as Jordan does: I can see him in 48 Hrs., Pulp Fiction, Platoon, and Tombstone, but Rain Man? The Silence of the Lambs? Beverly Hills Cop? Top Gun? Even if these scripts started out more his speed I can't picture him comfortably cast in any of them. This kind of can-you-believe-this-guy-turned-that-down incredulity is a staple of profiles of hardluck actors like Rourke; in his case, I think he has enough to answer for without reeling in the ones that got away.

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