Entertainment behind the scenes
Rourke’s Venice success shows we love a comeback
If we are honest, most of us would admit that we derive a certain pleasure from seeing someone famous fall from their perch, be it with a critical flop, a personal problem or a bout of odd behaviour in public.
How refreshing, then, to see the world-weary entertainment press genuinely rejoicing in Mickey Rourke’s comeback in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler”, which won the Golden Lion for best film at the Venice festival over the weekend. There were no snide asides among reporters as we waited in a hotel lounge by the Adriatic Sea to interview the 51-year-old. Noone complained about where they would rather be or how their head was still reeling from the night before (it was mid-morning).
No, instead there was broad agreement that Rourke had pulled it off. For most of the last 15 years the actor and former boxer has been a peripheral figure, a Hollywood outcast with a reputation for bad behaviour on set and off it. Now he is being universally lauded for an honest and touching performance as a washed up wrestler whose personal problems and professional decline poignantly reflect Rourke’s own life.
And to cap it all, he gave candid answers, with the odd expletive thrown in, suggesting that for the first time in a while he is happy where he is. He told us he believed it was the best film he’d ever made, and indicated that, as a team player from now on, there is plenty more to come.