A couple weeks back I discovered a conversation with Mickey Rourke in the archives of Alec Baldwin’s podcast Here’s The Thing. The conversation is stark and testosterone driven and centres on Rourke’s rise to the top. Mickey Rourke was an actor that had uncharacteristic charisma, a young man who moved to the beat of his own drum. It got me to thinking of this quote I captured from Bob Dylan’s Chronicles:
“To get my brain into something else for a minute, I’d gone back to the local movie theater, this time to see Homeboy starring Mickey Rourke, who played a shy and awkward cowboy boxer named Johnny Walker. Christopher Walken was in it, too. Everybody in the movie was pretty good, but Mickey’s acting was at the upper end. He could break your heart with a look. The movie traveled to the moon every time he came on screen. Nobody could hold a candle to him. He was just there, didn’t have to say hello or good-bye. Just seeing him act gave me the inspiration to cut the last two songs for the album."
A few years ago I came across a movie from the late eighties that made my spine tingle. Written and directed by the great Alan Parker, Angel Heart is a neo-noir detective caper set in 1950s New Orleans, a darkly woven thriller that drags you in head first. A biblical tale of temptation and desire, it examines the age-old story of dancing with the devil. There is a carnal undertone to the film that seeps into your pores, the subtext laced with the black-magic of voodoo and witchcraft.
To watch Rourke inhabit this gristly narrative is to understand what once made him untouchable. You simply can’t take your eyes off of him, he’s a man-possessed. The film also features a racy romantic interlude with the inimitable Lisa Bonet. Her youth and innocence radiates and the chemistry between these two beautiful personalities is positively electric.