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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. perfect casting because gareth is a hot young sexy man and mickey looks like last weeks meatloaf.

    Posted by: psgoodguy | Dec 27, 2010 12:04:39 PM

  2. In related news, Joan Rivers will be playing Britney Spears in her up-coming biopic.

    I mean... Mickey is a great actor and I love how he stood up to the casual homophobia from the interviewer. That said.. he's just WAY too old to play Gareth and... he's American. And just doesn't look the part at all.

    I mean, learn Welsh.. great... how are you going to get the body of a Rugby player 25 years younger than you are?

    Posted by: Jasun | Dec 27, 2010 12:16:04 PM

  3. I didn't know digital special effects were that advanced yet! Wow!

    Posted by: anon | Dec 27, 2010 12:27:03 PM

  4. Isn't Mickey Rourke a fairly vocal homophobe? What casting director missed that part?

    Posted by: TomSkylark | Dec 27, 2010 12:31:02 PM

  5. ok first off, you guys are all crazy. rourke is not hot, but gareth is maybe a quarter peg more hot and thats about it. second, jason statham is a WAY more obvious pick then vin diesel.

    Posted by: mld | Dec 27, 2010 12:35:22 PM

  6. Wow MLD, you must really think Gareth T is ROUGH!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 27, 2010 12:58:35 PM

  7. Mickey Rourke is an okay actor who got a good break with the wrestler. Not sure why he is getting this opportunity.

    I'd much rather give the role to a better actor. And one who is also better looking.

    Posted by: Joe | Dec 27, 2010 1:14:30 PM

  8. Sorry, but there seems to be a typo in the headline:

    That should read:


    I know this....

    Posted by: AllBeefPatty | Dec 27, 2010 1:38:48 PM

  9. Someone has a lousy agent...

    Posted by: BobN | Dec 27, 2010 1:55:14 PM

  10. I'm really surprised that Mickey Rourke will be playing Gareth - Who made that casting decision? This is very odd.

    Posted by: Ty | Dec 27, 2010 1:58:19 PM

  11. Worst.casting. decision. ever.

    Waaayyyy too old for role, is someone spoofing about this?

    Posted by: Sean R | Dec 27, 2010 2:06:31 PM

  12. ~~~~~~BARFS~~~~~~~~~ cough.......thinks about it again....~~~~~~~~~~~BARF~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Posted by: shannon | Dec 27, 2010 3:02:22 PM

  13. You all know that Alan Carr, the talk show host in question, is a big gay too, right? Just saying.

    Posted by: Harrison | Dec 27, 2010 3:49:45 PM

  14. Kind of funny that he objected to the interviewer's question as homophobic. Last I heard, he was tossing around the word "faggot" like there was no tomorrow and justifying it by saying he had gay friends and it's no big deal.

    He's a little too old and fucked up looking to play Gareth, but other than that he'd probably do a great job.

    Posted by: Bruno | Dec 27, 2010 4:04:45 PM

  15. Reeeeedikyouluss!

    Tom Hardy, maybe...

    Posted by: lewlew | Dec 27, 2010 4:40:58 PM

  16. Gareth Thomas is a god.
    Mickey Rourke is a troll.
    Casting director is an idiot.

    Posted by: Ray Randell | Dec 28, 2010 12:37:58 AM

  17. Nooooooooo no no no no. No. This will not happen. One of the worst casting ideas ever.

    Posted by: Derek Pearce | Dec 28, 2010 4:15:00 AM

  18. Love Rourke. But if it hasn't been already said, is Mr. Statham not available. Rourke is already too old to play this guy.

    Posted by: B- | Dec 28, 2010 4:27:55 AM

  19. Alan Carr - who is an out comedian and presenter, and has been ever since he hit the big time - seemed quite taken aback by Mickey Rourke correcting him. Way to misunderstand your audience, Mickey.

    Posted by: Scottieboy | Dec 28, 2010 8:36:24 AM

  20. This really bothers me. I hate to sound shallow (I really do), but he is just far too unattractive and old to play this role.

    Also shallow sounding, but part of Gareth's appeal and notoriety if you will is that he is a masculine and very attractive man that came out of the closet: you lose that sex appeal and half the story is gone.

    He would be FAR better suited to be the producer, and to be a very loud vocal advocate for the film. Think Ron Howard or Tom Hanks: how many movies are they known for producing without ever actually appearing in the movie? How well known was Oprah's involvement in Precious without ever being in the movie? Mickey could put some of his money up, and he could be even more well known for a finely crafted and groundbreaking movie, rather than starring in it and making it a bomb.

    Or hell, be the producer and add the role of a RETIRED rugby player that comes out of the closet after Gareth, or helps him on the side come to terms with being out of the closet, or helping him come out of the closet. Movies make up stuff all the time in biographies.

    I really wish there was a way to tell Mickey that we appreciate the sentiment, but there are better ways that he can have success with this movie OTHER than starring in it himself.

    My pic for Gareth would be Jason Statham. As long as the other Rugby players in the movie are not so super tall, he could pull it off (trick of camerawork as he is short).

    Posted by: Justin | Dec 28, 2010 10:11:13 AM

  21. Rourke has a FREAK EGO.

    Posted by: SteveDenver | Dec 30, 2010 12:41:20 AM

  22. Jason Statham - Yes
    Daniel Craig - Yes
    Christian Bale - Yes
    Sam Worthington- Maybe
    Andy Whitfield - Maybe
    Mickey Rourke - Oh Hell No!

    Posted by: KevMusic | Dec 30, 2010 4:09:24 AM


    Posted by: Prince Gaysia | Dec 30, 2010 9:32:51 AM

  24. This can't be true and if it is the casting Director needs to be fired. Mickey is a freaking mess....

    Posted by: wslandry | Jan 4, 2011 10:58:29 AM

  25. I like the Jason Stratham idea.

    Posted by: Danny | Jan 4, 2011 6:53:29 PM

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