At last week’s Golden Globes ceremony, Mickey Rourke took home Best Actor and sealed his place as the definitive comeback king. Ironically enough, the film that secured his gong is about a former 80s superstar who’s trying to reclaim his glory days — albeit in the ring as opposed to on screen. From director Darren Aronofsky, The Wrestler is a punishing and emotional picture with real resonance, which the critics are hailing as one of the year’s best.
RT sat down with Rourke and Aronofsky to find out more about the film, how Rourke pushed himself to play the hard-luck fighter, and why the film is deserving of its astonishing 98% Tomatometer.
For those who aren’t quite so inclined to enjoy a spot of video, here are some of the highlights.
It’s a very hard role to cast because we always knew it was an older wrestler. Someone who could do that physicality, as well as the emotional sensitivity of the role, it was a hard combination. I’ve been a big fan since I saw him in Angel Heart in the theatres years ago. There was a tough guy who could sob like no-one else.
Darren was very smart — he would challenge me. I’d do a take and I thought it was damn good and Darren would go, ‘Give me another one.’ I’d say, ‘Didn’t we just get it, bro?’ And he’d go, ‘Bring it.’ And I did, I brought it.
The Wrestler is out now.