Rourke Shines Again at Venice Film Festival

Ex-heartthrob stars in The Wrestler , which nabs Golden Lion
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2008 4:35 PM CDT
Actor Mickey Rourke arrives for the premiere of the movie ' The wrestler ' at the 65th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sept. 5, 2008.    (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
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(Newser) – Former Hollywood bad boy Mickey Rourke returned to the spotlight yesterday when his latest low-budget film, The Wrestler, won top honors at the Venice film festival. Critics gushed over his performance as an aging wrestler who comes to terms with his failing body and flagging friendships.

“It’s OK for me now at this point in my life to play ball, to be a team player,” the 51-year-old actor told Reuters. “A guy like me changes hard, I didn’t want to change, but I had to change.” Largely out of the public eye in recent years, Rourke is best known for the 1980s hits 9-1/2 Weeks and Angel Heart.