Mickey Rourke has been telling anyone who will listen that he’s going to play Gareth Thomas, an openly gay Welsh rugby player who in 2009 became the only openly-gay male active in pro sports, in a biopic. This always seemed a little ridiculous considering Mickey Rourke is about to turn 60 and Gareth Thomas is 37. Last year, Rourke was telling people he was going to have his front teeth removed for the part, and now, according to reports, he’s had plastic surgery on his eyes (around his eyes, I assume). Surgery for a part seems drastic (EAT YOUR HEART OUT, DAY-LEWIS!), but keep in mind it’s Mickey Rourke, whose face looks like it’s made of clay, for whom getting face surgery is about as drastic as Lady Gaga buying new sunglasses.
The Hollywood actor is looking lean and mean and has dropped two stone as he continues to transform his body, having already had work done on his eyes.
Producer Colin Vaines has contracted trainer and stunt co-ordinator Nick McKinless, who also happens to be a pretty good rugby player, to work with Mickey on engineering his body so that he could pass muster on the rugby pitch.
Is he a witch doctor? Because I don’t know how else that’s going to work. Just get Andy Serkis and put him in his little suit. He could play Gareth Thomas as a super-intelligent kangaroo if you wanted him to.
‘When Mickey’s committed, as he is with this, he can do anything. The age isn’t a problem,’ Vaines said.
Rourke, who won a best actor Bafta and was Oscar-nominated for his role in The Wrestler, wants to explore the psychology of how Thomas — currently in Celebrity Big Brother — was able to hide his sexuality as he played the most macho of sports.
‘It’s a film about a man who played rugby, who was so aggressive when he played — and he happened to be gay.’
Mickey said. ‘It took a lot of courage to be in his world and do that.’ [Dailymail via ThePlaylist]
As a guy who’s played a lot of rugby myself, I can tell you that it’s far and away one of the gayest sports. It’s basically keep away, and if someone drops the ball, we all stop and put our heads up each other’s butts. I think that the secret to hiding your sexuality in that environment would be that whenever you scrum down, you have to try real hard not to cornhole anyone. Or if you do, try to look like you didn’t enjoy it that much.
Either way, my favorite gay rugby movie is always going to be Cum Scrum 6. The acting in that was just tremendous.