Mickey Rourke Reveals the Fate of His Character in Iron Man 2
03.19.10 by BJSprecher
Actor Mickey Rourke has been one of the least vocal promoters of director Jon Favreau's sequel to Iron Man. Whether it's because he is still unsure of himself after his long hiatus from the limelight or just busy with other projects is unclear, but his Iron Man 2 interviews can be counted on one hand. Even in the series of ET visits to the set of Iron Man 2, Rourke is the only one who doesn't speak in the clip in which he is featured.
Somehow, Total Film magazine managed to get Rourke to break his silence on the subject of the movie and his role as Ivan Vanko, aka Whiplash, in an interview for its May issue. Rourke said that part of what attracted him to star in Iron Man 2 was the brilliant casting of the first movie.
I normally don't really care for that type of film but I saw the first one and they very much took a chance by having someone like Robert Downey Jr.—who's not your conventional action hero—play the role. I thought that was pretty bold and it paid off because Robert brought a quirky, unpredictable sense of humor to it. He didn't make it stereotypical like Spider-Man, like Batman and all that sh*t.
Rourke added that working with a director who is also an actor was another big draw for him.
It's always interesting when you get an actor who's directing. That made it even more intriguing for me. I told Favreau that I didn't want to play a one-dimensional bad guy. So if I could bring a certain level of humility to the guy and a sense of humor, maybe even a few sympathetic moments, instead of being one-dimensional bad motherf***er. 'Cos that would have bored the sh*t out of me. Favreau … though it over and said, "Yes, we could make that work."
An actor truly dedicated to his craft, Rourke secretly travelled to Russia to visit an authentic Russian prison and meet with inmates to gain as much insight as possible for his role.
I was playing a Russian scientist who's been incarcerated for many years so I wanted to go over and see the facilities in Russia and the Russian criminal society. The inmates were fine and one guy came to my hotel after getting out after 12 years. He showed me these tattoos… They tattoo cats on their fingers or necks and the smaller the kitty-cat the more powerful the prisoner. Favreau didn't know I was there but after he went to bat for me I wanted to bring as much backstory as I could to the table.
Rourke said that the finality of his character's story arc will preclude him from appearing in any of the other Marvel Studios movies. But, then again, maybe not.
Well, the only thing I can tell you is that they had decided to kill me and we did film it with Gwyneth Paltrow. And then they came to New Mexico and re-shot it and now it's left up in the air...
Iron Man 2 also stars Don Cheadle as War Machine, Sam Rockwell as Justin Hammer, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow.