He is grateful for a second chance. And he is doing well with it – at least for now.
Yes, he screwed up before – royally. He knew it. “I had burned bridges”
No, it wasn’t the addiction. No, that wasn’t it.
“It was the anger.”
“I had issues with anger. I wasn’t behaving professionally. I wasn’t accountable, no consequences, no rules.”
… they can be fiercely insubordinate to those in authority, seeing rules and regulations as unnecessarily confining. Crafters will not usually go against regulations openly, but will simply ignore them. More than anything, Crafters want to be free to do their own thing, and they are proud of their ability to do it with an artist’s skill. Please Understand Me II
He had been an A-list actor, starting in a small part in Body Heat, he starred in Diner, Rumble Fish, Angel Heart, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Barfly, and Year of the Dragon, And his 9 ½ Weeks, with the steamy Kim Basinger as a co-star is a cult movie classic. But he was difficult to work with.
“Working with Mickey is a nightmare. He is very dangerous on the set because you never know what he is going to do.”
He was out of control, he hated Hollywood and its phoniness.
Then, Mickey couldn’t find a movie script that was up to his standards, so he went back to boxing. During his boxing career, Rourke suffered a number of injuries, including a broken nose, toe, ribs, a split tongue, and a compressed cheekbone. He also suffered from short term memory loss. He needed plastic surgery. He was a mess.
He didn’t regret his decision though, “I needed the discipline. I didn’t know what to do when I got in the morning. I didn’t know what to do in the afternoon. … I was burning the candle at both ends.”
When he retired from boxing, he couldn’t get many acting jobs – he had burned his bridges, and he was broke. He wasn’t a handsome, ‘James Dean’-like, actor anymore. Hollywood wasn’t calling.
Mickey felt ashamed, “It was tough, you would go into a 7/11 store, and some guys would say ‘I know you; didn’t you use to be Mickey Rourke’” Mickey said to the interviewer, “Can you imagine walking to work.”
He kept at it, he cleaned up his act, eventually. So when he got the script of the Wrestler, he asked if he could rewrite his lines, and he did. The Wrestler earned him a British Academy award, a Golden Globe award, and an Oscar nomination as Best Actor.
Now he is acting again, he is grateful. “Not everybody gets a second chance, I am grateful.” But he “could blow it in a heart beat. I am a kind of person I always have to watch myself.”