By Mike Bruno
December 18, 2008 at 07:21 PM EST

Though it would’ve been hard to predict just a year ago, Mickey Rourke is having a moment. Critics are heaping praise on the actor for his role as a broken-down professional wrestler in the Darren Aronofsky-directed drama The Wrestler (EW’s Owen Gleiberman says the role depicts Rourke as at once a tabloid curiosity and a “great actor”), and earlier this month, he received a Best Actor Golden Globes nod. EW caught up with Rourke on the red carpet for The Wrestler premiere, where the Sin City Star commented on that parallel between his own life and that of his character, an aging former star. “I think my face tells a million stories now and a lot

of them don’t have happy endings,” he said. “But life is on an upswing. I’m

grateful for the second chance, or am I on my third or fourth chance?

But I am working hard every day. I really fell back in love again with

acting on this film, and that is a great feeling. These guys are not

wrestling anymore and they have to figure out how best to live a life

when they can no longer do what they love, and some of them have a very

hard time letting it go. I related to that.”

Rourke says he hasn’t heard anything about Sin City 2, but he did talk a bit about his upcoming movie 13, the remake of the award-winning French thriller 13 Tzameti, which also stars Ray Winstone, Jason Statham, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, and Ray Liotta. “We’re a bunch of badasses,” he said. “It is going to be a very fun movie. It’s an action-thriller

about one guy who assumes the identity of a dead man, and in doing so, he

gets wrapped up in the dead guy’s dangerous, violent life. This group

gambles with actual human lives….There’s a lot of

testosterone on that set. More so than in [The Wrestler], even.”

With critics singing his praises again, Rourke says he’s looking forward reclaiming his status as an in-demand actor.” I was a screw-up, and I am really, really lucky that

Darren Aronofsky liked Angel Heart so much and that he took a chance on

me and thought I was right for this,” he said. “It is also

just exciting to do work that people appreciate. In the end, that’s why

we do this job and why we make movies. Or maybe it means the [Globes’ creator-organizer Hollywood] Foreign Press just liked to see me get the crap beaten out of me. Or maybe they

liked my bare ass. I show it a couple of times.”

–Reporting by Carrie Bell

More Mickey Rourke and The Wrestler:

Review: ‘The Wrestler’

‘The Wrestler’ trailer: What do you think?

Mickey Rourke’s comeback

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