I must confess that (for me, at least) there is something very attractive about Mickey Rourke.

It surely is not his face, which is almost difficult to look at, the mangled product of too much boxing and plastic surgery.
Perhaps it is his brokenness. Rourke is an extermely gifted man who has been completely broken by life, and yet, by facing the pain, seems to have gained a certain peace, wisdom and self-acceptance.

In this weekend’s NYTimes magazine, the director Barry Levinson (with whom Rourke worked in Diner) captures Rourke beautifully, and in powerful Gospel terms:
“It’s often hard for actors to accept their own strengths. There’s a tendency toward self-destructive behavior in very talented people. Look at Brando, look at Orson Welles or Montgomery Clift. They were brilliant and self-destructive. It’s a mystery why that is. But it is also true for Mickey. Some actors lose their way and they never put it together again. But by playing a guy in “The Wrestler” who is no longer what he was, Mickey has been reborn.”
PS Another interesting article here on how the French have always idolized Rourke, ala Jerry Lewis.