Mickey Rourke on Megan Fox: 'probably the best young actress I've ever worked with'

passion-play-fox-rourkeImage Credit: Lorey SebastianMickey Rourke and Megan Fox make a striking screen couple in writer/director Mitch Glazer’s Passion Play, the just-wrapped romance about a troubled trumpet player and a winged beauty who rescue each other from dire circumstances. The candid actor checked in from the snowy New Mexico set to discuss his costars and a lesson he learned from Alec Baldwin.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: The one paragraph synopsis for this film is a doozy, what with the beautiful circus freak with wings. What about the project caught your attention?
MICKEY ROURKE:
We talked about it, oh god, more than 10 years ago. [Writer/director] Mitch Glazer and I went to high school together, and his mother was my English teacher for two years. She was my favorite teacher, and I followed Mitch’s career as a journalist, so we’ve kind of kept in touch over the years.

You play Nate, a down-and-out trumpet player. What sets him on his downward spiral?

He’s got a line in the movie, “I’ve messed up most of my life. I’ve only had two things: my music and my dope, but in the end it’s always been my dope.” And I think the fact that he meets somebody that he has feelings for, who’s different like he is, gives him purpose.

Well, she’s different in a very unique way.
She has wings, so she was sort of an oddity trapped in a carnival act. She’s been a prisoner her whole life, and she has no understanding of trust. She’s very vulnerable and delicate.

That’s a very different side to Megan Fox than the one she’s displayed publicly and in her previous films.
I didn’t know too much about her, except what I read. And I think the pleasant surprise was this girl who’s a world-class beauty turned out to be probably the best young actress I’ve ever worked with. I don’t know if a lot of her films have showcased her acting ability more than, say, being action-oriented, but she really stepped up the plate with this one and was very consistent and professional, beyond her years. At 23, I couldn’t do half of what she’s doing.

The redemptive element of this film, combined with the love of a beautiful woman reminds me, at least a little bit, of The Wrestler. Is that something that resonates with you?
Well, The Wrestler was quite tough. There wasn’t much chemistry there. Uh, that’s a whole other conversation. With Megan and I, there’s a lot of chemistry and a lot of respect. We’re both comfortable with each other. As far as the redemption is concerned, it’s almost fate. It’s not so much that my character is seeking redemption, it’s almost like it falls in my lap by accident. And I try and hold on to it as much as I can.

Bill Murray plays the mobster who has it in for Nate, but when most people think of Bill Murray, they don’t immediately picture a menacing gangster. What was it like working with him in this type of role?
Bill came aboard after another actor pulled out, and I think his unpredictability was a very interesting choice on Mitch’s part. It made me scratch my head in the beginning, but I kind of like the fact that Mitch went against the grain and didn’t use a Hollywood stereotype. Less is more. Bill Murray isn’t your typical scary, spooky guy, and there’s something very unnerving about a guy with a sort of off-the-wall sense of delivery. It’s very unexpected. Some of your worst gangsters are guys who were very low-key.

It’s been about a year since the excitement surrounding your role in The Wrestler. What’s changed for you since then? Has life sped up or slowed down?
Things have sped up. After The Wrestler, I realized I was going to get a second chance to work again after throwing everything away. It’s been a nice ride. I think the lesson I learned was I have to do movies that I respect, with people that I respect, and not for a payday. You know, I was watching this bio on Alec Baldwin the other night, and he did this one movie, The Cooler, and he mentioned how after he did that movie he started to like acting again. I think a lot of us go through a period of time where we don’t. We don’t like it any more, because of whatever reasons — the politics, the game, or just the choices that we’ve made ourselves for monetary reasons or what have you. And I think after The Wrestler, I realized I’ve got to go to work and work with people that I respect. That’s what it’s all about with me now.

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  • Stephen

    I like Mickey Rourke… But somewhere, Evan Rachel Wood must be slowly dying…. Best Young Actress Ever??? Not so much…

    • Steven

      So true, this feels like a real slap in the face to Evan.

      • niki

        Uh, have you seen Evan Rachel Wood in True Blood?? She’s utterly horrible.

      • Ceballos

        Yeah it does – it’s kind of a shame that he somehow managed to kinda/sorta dis both Evan Rachel Wood AND Marisa Tomei in the same interview because I think “The Wrestler” is amazing.

      • laurie

        Maybe she is a mute in this movie. Otherwise I dont see how she could do a 180 from completely annoying. Evan rules.

    • andy

      How is he dissing anyone? He never said he didn’t like Evan Rachel Wood’s acting, and no idea how “Ceballos” thinks this is a dis toward Marisa Tomei.

    • Nick T

      Even when I’m reading his words, it still sounds like Marv to me!

    • Gabby

      I think Mickey is just trying to come out swinging on Megan’s behalf because he knows she has a lot of public perception to battle against. I think he loves both Megan and Evan and there’s room to compliment one actress without it automatically being construed as a diss against another. No one needs convincing that Wood is a talented actress.

      • Gabby

        Wait. I just read the next portion of the interview:

        “The redemptive element of this film, combined with the love of a beautiful woman reminds me, at least a little bit, of The Wrestler. Is that something that resonates with you?

        Well, The Wrestler was quite tough. There wasn’t much chemistry there. Uh, that’s a whole other conversation. With Megan and I, there’s a lot of chemistry and a lot of respect. We’re both comfortable with each other.”

        Yeah, that was definitely a snipe, at least at Marisa Tomei…which is pretty ungracious of him to say the least. LOL, no matter what he does Fox can’t escape being pitted against other actresses.

      • Gabby

        Correction: *no matter what SHE does*

        Sorry!

  • bhm1304

    Apparently this interviewer forgot about “Mad Dog and Glory” when referring to Bill Murray in which he played a gangster. Doesn’t anyone do research anymore? How do people get credentials to be writers if they can’t do the work required?

    • test

      I agree! Thank you.

  • UGH

    Milk shot through my nose when I read this headline.

  • Adrian

    Yeah, he’s just trying to get into her pants.

    • Justin

      That’s exactly what I thought!!

      • Von Raschke’s Claw

        Megan Fox is the best ever!

    • Annatree

      I was thinking the same thing. Or that he wasn’t really rating her “acting”?on camera

  • john

    looking at megan fox last two flims, jennifer body and transfomers 2 she needs to move away from playing a sexy ,eye candy bimbo roles and move to serious roles to test her acting range. the problem with her acting is that she tries too hard to be sexy for the character she is playing and her voice sounds whinny.if she can change that she’ll be a decent actress.

    • test

      I agree! Love Megan!

  • harry

    Mickey Rourke!!!!

  • crispy

    Oh, Mickey. Getting a bj in the back of your trailer is not “working with.” They meant how is she on the set.

    • jb

      crispy wins.

    • dustin

      lay off my boy Mickey you virgin nerd boy

      • dustin

        yeea snowflake. uz bout ta git inta a str8 up war wit sum og psycho commentors, beotch!Better typ in a rebutta st8mint biffo i bust on dat ass. FO REAL.

  • spelling police

    Hey – it’s “monetary”, not “monitary”. Because you earn money, not moni.

  • Wevq

    Of course she is, Mickey, of course she is.

  • jb

    if sandra bullock can be nominated for an Oscar and a Razzie in the same year, then anything’s possible…maybe megan just needed the right role.

    • m

      OMG!! AN OSCAR AND A RAZZIE!!! OMG OMG OMG I CANT TAKE IT!!! ITS SO CRAZYYYYYY

  • skiiboski

    5 out of 5 doctor’s agree -Mickey’s brain damage is worse than we thought.

  • vincey

    “Wasn’t much chemistry”…is that a dis on Marisa Tomei?

    • Desmond’s constant

      vincey, I thought the very same thing. I would hope that he’d have enough class that he wouldn’t dis her. But then again, he’s obviously lost it if this hyperbolic quote is any indication.

      • Cleo

        I don’t think he meant that there wasn’t chemistry between them, but the relationship in The Wrestler with Rourke and Tomei’s characters is strained. Because she can’t be with “clients” and how she resists him. I think in this movie he has more of a chemistry with Fox’s character…imo.

  • LD

    Rourke’s always talked about what a great actor he is even when he was young, now he couldn’t do half of what Fox can. Lost all respect for ya mick, your’re full of it.

  • Mothra

    C’mon, now, she MUST be a great actress having to ACT like she’s ATTRACTED TO or in LOVE with Mickey Rourke! He’s a great actor but looks less and less human-like as time goes by….

    • Gabby

      Lol, true. Isn’t she going to play the love interest of Josh Brolin in an upcoming film as well?

      They really like using her to fulfill the young-hot-women attracted-to-men-who-could-technically-be-her-father fantasy.

  • cindy

    have faith in the fox mud monkeys ,have faith!!!!!

    • nashy

      Ld youre a knob mickey s the best actor ever one day you will grow up and realize

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