Entertainment behind the scenes
“The Wrestler” star Mickey Rourke appeared to back off an earlier boast that he would enter the ring against pro wrestler Chris Jericho, when the two appeared together Tuesday night on the CNN interview show “Larry King Live.”
But World Wrestling Entertainment, the company presenting WrestleMania XXV in Houston on April 5, said on Wednesday that Rourke is still in talks to possibly join the bout.
If Rourke is planning to make an appearance, it would be hard to judge from his exchange with Jericho on “Larry King.” Jericho said that Rourke made “a mistake” on the red carpet at Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards when the actor announced he would take on Jericho at WrestleMania.
“If he got his wish and had a confrontation with me at WrestleMania, I think the ending of the Jericho-Rourke movie would not turn out very well for Mr. Rourke, as it did in ‘The Wrestler,’” Jericho said.
Rourke responded by appearing to back off his red carpet trash talk against Jericho, without mentioning the episode. ”Perhaps I did put my foot in my mouth,” he said.
When Larry King asked Rourke if he will wrestle Jericho, Rourke said no. ”It’s not my world, I was a professional fighter. Would I box him in a boxing ring or a bare-knuckle match? Yeah,” Rourke said. “Wrestling? That’s his world, that’s what this man does.”
That did not please Jericho, who told Rourke he had no respect for the actor. So will the two actually end up fighting in the ring?
The WWE is playing up the spat for all it’s worth, even without pledging that Rourke will show up at WrestleMania. ”You never know what’s going to happen at the 25th anniversary of WrestleMania,” said Robert Zimmerman, a spokesman for the company.
Actor Mickey Rourke has turned himself into one of Hollywood’s comeback kings with an Oscar-nominated performance in “The Wrestler.” Now, the actor is planning to take on opponents larger and tougher than movie critics — he wants to fight in World Wrestling Entertainment’s WrestleMania match in Houston on April 5.
Rourke made the announcement on the red carpet at the Screen Actors Guild awards on Sunday night. The news was reported by celebrity news outlets Access Hollywood and E! News. Rourke even fit in a bash against pro wrestler Chris Jericho, telling a reporter that he “better get in shape.”
Rourke was stuck in the Hollywood wilderness for years because of on-set troubles and run-ins with the law. He gave a salty acceptance speech when he won a best actor award for “The Wrestler” at the Golden Globes on Jan. 11, and it’s clear that being back in the limelight has not taken the edge off Rourke. The question is: how will he fare in the ring? He is, after all, just an actor.