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Mickey Rourke Talks About Training For “The Wrestler”

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Alfonso Castillo of Newsday.com has just posted some highlights from a roundtable discussion he took part in with “The Wrestler” star Mickey Rourke. Here are some highlights:

On whether he tried to achieve the look of a certain wrestler:

“Yeah, like Lex Luger. And then when we Googled him, we were surprised to see how he ended up.”

On meeting Roddy Piper at a screening:

“He went on to pay us like highest compliments that we could wish for. And actually he got a little emotional about it. And it was kind of like, it was hard holding this guy and hearing him and talking back to him and understanding where he’s been – the journey that he’s been on and all the others that were like him. Because when your time has come and gone and that’s the only thing you know, you can’t go and be a godd— bus boy somewhere. You just can’t do it. And the options aren’t a lot. And it’s not very pretty.”

On what wrestlers he became close with during the movie:

“Mainly, Dwayne Johnson’s uncle. His name is Afa. He was one of the Wild Samoans back in the 80s. And I talked to The Rock the other day I told him, ‘We’re sending you [the movie] and we want to hear what you have to say, too.’ And I didn’t know it was his uncle. All the Samoans say they’re related to each other. I thought when Afa’s going on about his ‘nephew,’ ‘Yeah, every Samoan is related to Dwayne Johnson.’ And they are related. And when he spoke very fondly of him, it was like, ‘Wow.’

On learning to wrestle:

“We had choreographed the wrestling matches pretty basically [with moves] that any half-assed athlete could do. And then what started to happen after about like two and a half months was, one of the guys was very gymnastically inclined. He, like, got bored and started doing these f—ing moves. And I thought, ‘Wow. Man, I want to do that.’ So I’d go in on Sundays with him alone and do it and not tell Darren. And so what I said was, ‘I want to nail three or four f—ing moves that nobody could do.’ And I got so hurt. I had three MRI’s in two months. I’ve never flipped over in my life – like done back flip and a scissors into the ring. And I couldn’t do it. Weeks would go by and I couldn’t do it. And then you finally… If you work hard enough at anything in your life, you’re going to f—ing do it.”

Rourke also talks about similarities between his life and that of his character in “The Wrestler,” and his intense training regimen to look transform into a pro wrestler.

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