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I don’t care what Tom Cruise says about therapy.
– Mickey Rourke
I started out fighting before I was acting, actually, then got hurt and got into the acting.
It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a movie. It was one of the happiest times in my life. I was living in New York, and I really enjoyed acting at the time. Also, it’s funny because that was also the time when I went downhill.
I grew up in a gym in Miami, the one where Muhammad Ali trained. I had 142 amateur fights and lost three.
As time goes by and you’re getting older and stuff like that – getting older sucks. You know, I hear all this crap about, ‘Oh, you can age with dignity.’ Really?
Hollywood’s famous for putting you in a box.
I come from a violent background. So I became hard. I realised that I had made myself that way to deal with a feeling of abandonment and shame.
Sometimes, when a man is alone, that’s all you got is your dog.
I always knew I’d accomplish something very special – like robbing a bank perhaps.
I love the first Godfather movie, part one. And two.
To me, everything’s competition.
I don’t mind getting punched in the nose by a guy standing in front of me. It’s getting stabbed in the back that I can’t handle.
Bounty hunters these days – because everything is so sophisticated with computers and surveillance, it doesn’t have to be a one-man-army-type guy who goes in and kicks a door down.
You want to earn respect in your old age. You want to walk into a restaurant and have people say: ‘There’s Mickey Rourke. He was great in ‘The Wrestler.’ You don’t want them jumping out of windows.
When you’re young, working in a warehouse or selling hot dogs, you look at work – at acting – as something precious. It gets you out of the stink.
People are always afraid of the truth.
You know, back in acting school they always teach you, ‘Make bold choices and look for activities that are interesting.’
You can be mediocre, the way most actors are, and you can still be a top movie star, even if your movies are boring and predictable. All you have to do is know how to sell yourself, let yourself be manufactured.
I didn’t have a childhood, really, because I worked my whole life and… other reasons. So when I had some success, I went ballistic. That was my childhood, and the party kept going on.
Some of your worst gangsters are guys who were very low-key.
A lot of those who let you down are those who seemed the closest to you.
All I am hoping for is to be able to work – I think my best work is still ahead of me – I think all that I have been through in the last several years have only made me a better, more interesting actor.
I had a lot of anger inside me and that came out at times that were not particularly advantageous to me career-wise.
People need medicine and they need therapists.
I trained like an animal, but the thing is focus and concentration. When the bell rings it’s like when the little red light goes on over the camera. And I can usually nail my lines on the first or second take because I’m right there.
A lot of the stuff I am now seeing is edgy, raw kinda material.
I still work out most days. When I do it, I go full blast five or six days a week, two to three hours a day. I enjoy it. It’s therapeutic for me.
Comeback is a good word, man.
I had a bonding problem when I went off and boxed for five years. I was over in Europe and Asia fighting because I wanted to do something different; I was tired of acting. But the thing is, when I was done doing that, I couldn’t get a job.
I was very immature when I was young, and for me there was no balance. Everything was just all or nothing.