Movie Break – “The Wrestler”

Remember Mickey Rourke, the actor in ’80s movies like “Diner,” “Rumble Fish” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village?” He was always the gritty, tough guy and used to look like this.
Then came a lot of bad movies, an arrest for spousal abuse and a DUI. I wouldn’t be much of a blogger if I didn’t post a mug shot or two.
Mickey left acting, tried his luck at boxing and essentially fell off the planet – until now. He’s back with a vengeance, starring in “The Wrestler,” which opens in limited release on December 17th. I went to a screening today and all I can say is: Go see this movie! It’s R-rated and not for the squeamish (I hid my eyes during the really gory parts), but it’s amazing.
Mickey plays Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a washed-up pro wrestler who tries to get his life together, even as he can’t give up the thrill of the show. Check out The Ram’s hair.
Marisa Tomei is great as the stripper with the heart of gold (lots of pole dancing, guys), and Evan Rachel Wood is very touching as The Ram’s estranged daughter. I can’t recommend the movie highly enough, but beware: It’s not “Rocky” and you won’t leave the theater feeling uplifted. You may leave humming the theme song though. Bruce Springsteen wrote the music that plays over the closing credits.
After the screening, there was a reception for the director and the cast members. I talked to Marisa Tomei, who was very chatty.
No, I didn’t ask her if she was a Yankee fan. I was more interested in how she could dance around naked in front of a zillion cameramen. She told me she downed a few shots of tequila before they shot the scene. Not a bad plan, I guess.
I also talked to 21-year-old Evan Rachel Wood, who is rumored to be dating 52-year-old Mickey Rourke following her breakup with Marilyn Manson. Seriously. Who dates Marilyn Manson? Who dates Mickey Rourke?
Yep, that’s what Mickey looked like at the party today – sunglasses, jewelry, lots of “repair work” on his face. I asked him if he did all his own stunts for the movie and he said he did, winding up in the hospital a few times. He also had to gain 35 pounds of muscle for the role. He claimed he did it by working out at the gym, but there’s a scene where he injects steroids right into his gluteous maximus. Maybe The Giambino taught him how to do it.
Today’s screening was part of the lead-up to the Santa Barbara Film Festival at the end of next month. I volunteered to participate in the trailer that will be shown before each film during the festival. I was asked to name my favorite movie genre, favorite movie in that genre and favorite line from the movie. My answers? No surprise. Favorite genre? Baseball movies. Favorite baseball movie? “Pride of the Yankees.” Favorite line from the movie? Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man” speech, naturally.
Here I am on the set trying to deliver the line. I was nervous and kept screwing it up. If only I’d had a couple of shots of tequila.
Here’s the trailer for “The Wrestler.” Check it out.


  1. levelboss

    i was reading about the Golden Globe nominees.. Mickey Rourke got a nod for Best Actor.. thx for the review, Jane; i think i might check it out (and no! not just for the Marissa Tomei stripping parts)

    but i gotta say.. Marissa Tomei is SO beautiful.. not to gush or anything, but it’s more than just the physical beauty.. Jane, can you call her up and give her my number pls? i’m a nice guy who’s a database programmer and loves the Yankees.. i can cook too! 🙂 you gotta be my eharmony, Jane!

  2. Jane Heller

    I wish I could fix you up with Marisa Tomei, levelboss, but we didn’t swap business cards. 🙂 Actually, now that you mention it, I should start a dating service just for baseball fans. Great idea!


    “the stripper with the heart of gold (lots of pole dancing, guys),”

    Enuf said, my favorite genre, just reserved on NetFlix.

    Mark/Baseball Hot Corner

  4. mlbmark

    Love the post and thanks for the heads-up. Looking forward to seeing your film festival trailer “hitch”, too!

    We at MLBAM “hooked up” with a while back, maybe 2003-04ish. Their sponsorship led to a lot of love. Who knows how many new baseball fans were created as a result of that deal.

    Back to main library on Fifth today for more of you know what. Thanks again.


  5. kozmo

    Good stuff, Jane. I’ll add to the string of Mickey Rourke mishaps his delving face-first into Botox. Now he looks like a Dick Tracy character–Dough Face. Too bad. He wasn’t bad in “Get Carter,” though it was a far cry from the movies you mentioned–“Diner” and “The Pope…” my favorites.

    How exciting that you got to talk movies and Yankees. Movie festivals are some of the greatest events on earth. I was at Ebertfest last April and it was a blast.

  6. Jane Heller

    Lol, Mark. If that’s your favorite movie genre, you’ll love this one, Marisa does A LOT of “dancing.”

    You’re welcome, Jonathon. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    I’m going to try and get a DVD of the festival trailer when they’re done shooting it, Mark. But if I’m truly bad in it, I’m going to burn it!

    “Dough face” is exactly what Mickey Rourke looks like now, kozmo. He’s great in the movie but his upper lip doesn’t move at all!

  7. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Jane …

    I always liked Mickey Rourke as an actor; and, of course, Marisa Tomei !!! … It looks like a cool movie … “The Wrestler” will have to be one of my “must-see” movies this winter, along with the movie “Frost/Nixon” !!! … “Enjoy the Film Festival” !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  8. Jane Heller

    Thanks, Jimmy. I’m going to another screening today – “Revolutionary Road” with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. (No party afterwards.) It’s supposed to be very depressing. Gee, can’t wait.

  9. PAUL

    As far as mugshots go, that one ain’t all that bad. The guy was always a good actor and he’s found something of another niche from the somewhat unkempt, partially sleazy leading man he was in the 80s. It was the foray into boxing that really screwed up his face. With his work in Sin City and now this film (which I wanna see), he’s reinvented himself.

  10. alexcoast2coastbball

    that movie looks really good Jane, and i think i’ve seen Marisa Tomei wearing a yankee hat somewhere. Nevermind, that was in that Adam Sandler movie… sorry haha

  11. Jane Heller

    He’s definitely reinvented himself, Paul. He said he’s got three movies coming out after this one. He’s “hot” in Hollywood again.

    I think I saw her wearing a Yankees cap too, Alex, and not in an Adam Sandler movie. I was at a game at the Stadium and they showed her on the scoreboard.

    “9 1/2 Weeks” was steamy all right, Julia. As for the booze, I’m not into bourbon. Yech. But tequila? I think I’ll go make a marguerita right now.



    Shame on you. Shame, shame, shame…

    You know why, too.

    el duque

    OK, I’ll tell you why.

    There is only ONE Mickey on a Yankee blog. Only ONE. OK, maybe two. But there is no room for a third.

  13. Jane Heller

    I’m not ashamed, duque. The Mick knows he’s my one and only. He just emailed me from Yankees Heaven. He sends regards.

  14. raysrenegade

    I agree so much with the movie genre. Baseball and movies go hand in hand in my views. I might not share the same taste in the choices…….mine go to the Costner factor.

    On my page I have two links to my favorite films, “Bull Durham”, where the Costner line that begins ” I believe” is still one of the best in movies period to me.
    And, to the film “For the Love of the Game” where Vince Scully proclaims that ” the cathedral that is Yankee Stadium belongs to a Chapel”. But you choice was my third, and I used to have a link to it with Gary cooper, but something happened to the video off Youtube.

    Always love your writing.

    Rays Renegade

  15. Jane Heller

    I’m with you on “Bull Durham,” renegade. In fact when I was asked about my favorite movie genre for that trailer, I gave them three examples: “Bull Durham, “Field of Dreams” and “Pride of the Yankees.” I need to go back and watch “For the Love of the Game” b/c I don’t remember it that well. Thanks for your nice words. They made my day.

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