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Mickey Rourke Confirms He'll Play Rugby Icon Gareth Thomas, Who Happens to Be Gay


In July I mentioned that Mickey Rourke had met with gay rugby legend Gareth Thomas in hopes of playing the athlete in a biopic. Rourke discussed it on Alan Carr's UK talk show Chatty Man last night.

Transcript via Bleeding Cool: Thomas

Carr: Is it true you’re about to play a gay rugby player?

Rourke: You’re not supposed to say that, okay? Here’s the deal. When I met the rugby player, Gareth Thomas, this is one thing that he and I talked about. This is something that’s really important. We’re doing a movie about a man who plays rugby who is gay.

Carr: Oh, I see. Sorry, I shouldn’t be so homophobic.

Rourke: That’s the point though.

Carr: Labels.

Rourke: Abso-fucking-lutely. I read the story. it’s one of the tougest, hardest sports in the world to play. They play with no pads. They play… it’s a really brutal sport. To be a man who plays rugby who is gay and to live with that secret for the amount of years that Gareth had, to perform at the high level that he performed at, it takes a lot of courage.

Carr: Are you going to learn the Welsh?

Rourke: I have no choice.

Back in July, Wales on Sunday reported:

"The actor got in touch with the Crusaders star after reading about his life story and deciding he was 'the perfect model' for a film, the player’s management have revealed. The managers of both The Wrestler star and the Bridgend-born 35-year-old are now trying to thrash out a deal to get a movie of the life of Wales’ most-capped international onto the big screen. The pair met for the first time last week at the filming of Jonathan Ross’ last BBC chat show, where Rourke was a guest. A spokesman for Thomas’ management company told Wales on Sunday: 'Mickey Rourke is a big rugby fan and was flying to New York from London recently when he read an article about Gareth and thought he would be the perfect model for a film.  Mickey contacted Gareth directly via a mutual friend in rugby league to express his interest and invited Gareth to watch the Jonathan Ross show and to meet him for dinner afterwards.' Oscar-nominated actor Rourke, 57 – who is a trained boxer – is believed to have been keen to do a film about rugby for some time. But before discovering Thomas’ story he was not sure about how to find an angle for the project."

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  1. Makes total sense to me. Gareth may have to stick his head in a meat-grinder to make sure they look a little more alike.

    This movie just dropped down a few thousand notches on my must-see list.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 27, 2010 8:53:41 AM

  2. Mickey Rourke? Look the guy is a talented actor but he's now kinda ugly (and too old) to play Gareth Thomas. No way!

    Posted by: apernettt | Dec 27, 2010 9:02:40 AM

  3. Mickey's evidently tumbled to the fact that the quickest way to an Oscar is to play gay.
    It also means that one of the ugliest creatures walking the planet will be playing one of the most beautiful creatures walking the planet.

    That's $13.00 I'll be saving.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Dec 27, 2010 9:03:05 AM

  4. and yes, I'm shallow and superficial, maybe Vin Diesel? LOL, that's not oscar-baiting. Anyway, the guy who lands the role must be a stud, rough and beautifully strong and brutal. Rugby by itself is very brutal.

    Posted by: apernettt | Dec 27, 2010 9:07:04 AM

  5. Seriously? The producers didn't talk to anyone else?

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 27, 2010 9:09:49 AM

  6. How is this going to work?

    Mickey Rourkw was born in 1952.
    Gareth Thomas was born in 1974.

    Posted by: SteveC | Dec 27, 2010 9:22:40 AM

  7. Jason Statham

    Vinnie Jones

    Arnold Vosloo

    Yeah it is short and sweet but that is your list because you need the accent period...Hollywood always fucks up the selection process!

    Posted by: True Words | Dec 27, 2010 9:25:54 AM

  8. Rourke sounds terrible. Complaining about "gay rugby player"? Really? Is he going to try and act like he'd play the rugby player if he was straight? That's why the story is remarkable. Get off the high horse.

    Posted by: BlValley | Dec 27, 2010 9:29:32 AM

  9. LMFAO

    Posted by: Name: | Dec 27, 2010 9:31:15 AM

  10. Ugh! You've gotta be kinding.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Dec 27, 2010 9:31:21 AM

  11. Couldn't care less if whoever plays him is good looking, but they can't be that artifically fucked up an make a believable movie.

    Posted by: Mark | Dec 27, 2010 9:34:44 AM

  12. I'm thinking Christian Bale, skinhead and about a hundred pounds beefier. I'm sure Rourke can do it, with and without additional plastic surgeries to approximate Gareth's age and beauty. But I'm also thinking that the attractive and underrated Bale will pull in the numbers that will make the movie a winner at the box office as well as an Oscar bait. Rourke as Gareth Thomas doesn't address the needs of the movie's largest target demographic, which is the non-sports fans gays and straight women who, single or despite being married, are still waiting for Mr. Right.

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | Dec 27, 2010 9:35:01 AM

  13. Sounds ridiculous and Rourke's spotty grasp on what constitutes homophobia does nothing to reassure me.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Dec 27, 2010 9:36:39 AM

  14. This will never happen.
    What film producer is going to invest in any 57 year old actor playing an athlete who is 35 years old now, let alone however young he is supposed to be in the movie? If this is the sort of role Rourke thinks he is suited for, then that's the end of his comeback.
    Too bad.

    Posted by: Abie | Dec 27, 2010 9:38:57 AM

  15. As I have said elsewhere, this is right up there with that scene in "Mommie Dearest" (and as what happened in real life), when Joan Crawford decides that she can take over her daughter's role on a soap opera, not to mention Norma Desmond thinking she can play Salome.

    Brace yourself for a Warholian camp spectacle that will make your eyes bleed.

    Posted by: Rick S. | Dec 27, 2010 9:48:24 AM

  16. I thought, historically, Mickey Rourke was well known to be homophobic. Now he seems to not want to discuss that the real-life character he'll be playing is gay. That's kinda the point of doing the movie, no?

    Posted by: David in Houston | Dec 27, 2010 9:49:44 AM

  17. @David in Houston: Money can help overcome a whole lot of homophobia (and not just in acting), especially if an actor can spin it to talk about the "challenges" and hope that people call him brave.

    Even with The Wrestler a huge critical success, Rourke creeps the hell out of most people and it didn't exactly restore his career. I can't even look at him. If I somehow end up seeing this movie, I will most decidedly avert my gaze at anything remotely sexual involving him.

    Posted by: Paul R | Dec 27, 2010 10:09:08 AM

  18. here is a shocker, have Gareth play gareth

    use 1/2 the $ for rourke to hire acting coaches for gareth

    Posted by: | Dec 27, 2010 10:18:17 AM

  19. Ick. IckIckIck.

    Posted by: Brent Z | Dec 27, 2010 10:30:27 AM

  20. WTF?

    Posted by: Roseann | Dec 27, 2010 10:34:52 AM

  21. Terrible choice on many counts.

    Mickey Rourke couldn't carry Gareth Thomas' jockstrap.

    Posted by: Todd | Dec 27, 2010 10:37:49 AM

  22. With Mickey Rourke as the lead, I would not want to see the movie.

    Posted by: Carlton Nettleton | Dec 27, 2010 10:50:35 AM

  23. ugggh...WHHHYY Mickey?? he is so gross, and not just because he is old.

    Posted by: Alexandre | Dec 27, 2010 10:58:30 AM

  24. Somebody is yanking somebody's chain.

    Vin Diesel would be a far better pick for a well known mainstream actor, at least as far as looks are concerned. But even he isn't as good looking as Gareth Thomas.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 27, 2010 11:22:11 AM

  25. Oh Mickey,
    You're not fine,
    Playing Gareth hurts my mind,
    Hey Mickey,
    Hey Mickey...

    Posted by: BobC562 | Dec 27, 2010 11:37:22 AM

  26. 1 2 3 »

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