In the ’80s, Mickey Rourke was a well-known actor, appearing in films like ‘Body Heat,’ ‘Diner,’ ‘Angel Heart,’ and ‘Barfly.’ However, he faced personal troubles, left Hollywood in the early ’90s, and became a boxer.
Although he returned to acting in later years, Rourke didn’t see it as the right decision to leave Hollywood, as he revealed to Esquire in a 2007 Q&A. When initially asked why he chose to stop pursuing a career in acting, Mickey replied:
“I don’t know. I just got fed up with, uh, with, uh…I don’t know what [An embarrassed laugh]. It’s a bit foggy to me, too. I just didn’t really — I wasn’t really — I didn’t have my head screwed on right, really. I can’t put it in a sentence why I left.”
The interviewer also wanted to know if the actor felt sorry about their decision to leave the entertainment industry. Rourke said in his response:
“Of course I do. Because, you know, when I decided to come back to work, the door wasn’t just closed. It was more or less like I had slammed the door on all my fingers and toes. This is a cliquey little f*ckin’ business, and you gotta keep your mouth shut. I didn’t play the game.”
After quitting boxing in 1994, Mickey returned to acting and took on supporting roles in various movies like ‘The Rainmaker,’ ‘Buffalo ’66,’ ‘Animal Factory,’ ‘Get Carter,’ ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico,’ ‘Man on Fire,’ and ‘Domino.’ In 2005, he made a comeback in mainstream Hollywood with a leading role in ‘Sin City,’ earning awards from different film associations.
His most notable role during this comeback was playing an aging wrestler, Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson, in the movie ‘The Wrestler.’ This performance earned him the Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination. Following this success, Rourke appeared in popular films like ‘Iron Man 2,’ ‘The Expendables,’ and ‘Immortals.’ Later, he focused more on independent and direct-to-video films.