Footnotes: Mickey Rourke’s Messed-Up Face


In his heyday, Mickey Rourke hated the idea of being a heartthrob. He doesn’t have to worry about that anymore. After a stint as a professional boxer, Rourke’s once-pretty face looks like it’s been beat on with a meat cleaver. He says he’s never been to a plastic surgeon, but needed surgeries to repair damage done in the ring. Ironically, it is Mickey’s weathered face (along with exceptional acting, of course) that helped his character in The Wrestler feel authentic — and also lifted him from straight-to-video purgatory to Golden Globe winner and now Oscar contender. Read our footnotes to get the skinny on Mickey Rourke’s, um, disheveled appearance.

1. Forehead:
Rourke slashed his own forehead with a razor to get the crowd pumped by the sight of blood while filming The Wrestler. “Wrestlers call it gigging,” he explained to EW while showing off his scar.

2. Brain:
During his EW interview, Rourke teared up about not only the impetuous behavior that helped sink his career in the ’90s but also the physical abuse he suffered as a child before his father abandoned him at the age of six. (“When you’re 5, 6, 7, you can’t fight back,” Rourke told magazine. “And I never got over what happened.”) Rourke now has a psychiatrist, goes to therapy two days a week and attends church regularly.

3. Nose:
Rourke had cartilage taken from behind his ear to help repair his nose, which took a pounding in the ring. He’s had a total of six nose operations. A-ha! This helps explain why he looks deformed.

Rourke’s cheekbone was shattered during a boxing match. Ahh, now it’s all coming together. …

5. Left shoulder:
“CarrĂ© forever” is tattooed on Rourke’s left shoulder. CarrĂ© Otis is his former wife, a model he met while filming 1990’s Wild Orchid. (Remember the uproar over their “unsimulated sex scene”?) In 1994, Rourke was arrested for spousal abuse. The charges were dropped after the couple attempted to reconcile, but their marriage ended in 1998.

6. Arms:
Rourke is receiving intravenous treatment for mineral deficiencies.

7. Left forearm:
Rourke has an IRA symbol tattooed on his forearm.

8. Belly:
Rourke has a pumped up body in The Wrestler, but has appeared bloated at times over the last decade. Could this be due to a combination of prescription medication and drinking (he was charged with a DUI last year)? Or is it just his diet? According to EW: Rourke accepted $200 a week from a friend so that he could eat when he was without work. “Two hundred bucks will last you at McDonald’s,” he told the magazine.

9. Cigarette:
Rourke smokes Marlboro Reds.

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