I guess you either like Mickey Rourke, or you don’t. I am a huge fan of his early work– Diner, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Rumblefish and Barfly. Rourke had an intensity and edge that wasn’t an act or a persona, you felt it was really him. He made people uncomfortable and still does– only in a different way now. But somewhere along the way, we lost Mickey– or he lost us. He got squirrelly, and his face started morphing faster than Jiffy Pop over a campfire– and he started hanging out with the likes of Dennis Rodman and Jean Claude Van Damme– what’s that all about? I hope the old “birds of a feather” saying isn’t always true for your sake, brother.
Christopher Walken interviews Rourke (the crazy leading the crazy) for Interview magazine. Lots of good nuggets to mine–
MR: I was so nervous working with you. I think you had already won your Academy Award forThe Deer Hunter .
CW: Just, like, a month before we started shooting. I was probably really obnoxious at the time.
MR: Well, you were actors’ royalty, brother. I mean, you were someone we all looked up to.
CW: No, I was probably a pain in the ass.
MR: Well, you were always, like, this strange being from another place.
CW: You know, we did that movie, Heaven’s Gate, and at the time nobody knew it was going to become this problem. Everybody was just having a terrific time. You and I have a scene in the movie. It’s at night. We go from the stable to Isabelle Huppert’s character’s house. We’re walking in the dark, and we pass some strange antiques stores. And I remember during the take, you said to me, “What’s that?” And I said, “It’s a flying saucer.” If you see the movie, and you listen very carefully, they forgot to take that out.
MR: There was something about outer space with you. You and I had dinner one night at the Outlaw Inn in Kalispell, Montana, and you said to me, “What do you think happened to all the dinosaurs?” I said, “I don’t know.” And you said, “I think they grew wings and flew away to another planet.” I always remind you of that, and you never fess up to it-that that’s the conversation we had.
CW: But you did remind me of it. There is a scene like that in Homeboy.
MR: That’s why I wrote it. Because I thought, Wow, here I’m having this one chance to have dinner with one of my favorite actors in the world, and he’s talking about dinosaurs in outer space.
MR: I remember many, many years ago, I was at your house. We were with that guy, Lenny, and he was looking for a bottle of wine or something, and he looked in your cabinet, and he found your Academy Award mixed in with the booze.
CW: Well, I’ve got this little room now where I keep all sorts of those things. But I remember, yes, I had just had all this gravel put down, and we were -standing outside, and you said to me, “Good gravel.”
CW: You know, there are maybe a couple of people in my life who I wouldn’t mind hitting with a folding chair.
CW: Is that fun?
MR: Well, yeah, but sometimes you don’t get hit with the flat part of the chair. You get hit with the blunt part. And you get hurt.
CW: People make mistakes.