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January 12, 2009


Mickey Rourke at the Golden Globes

Mickey Rourke at the Golden Globes

It was a big night for Mickey Rourke. He got up on stage to collect his Best Actor Golden Globe, dressed in a satiny suit, sequined sash, and a chain wallet, and while he was up there, he talked about his long road back, got Darren Aronofsky to give him the finger on live tv, and thanked his agent, his co-stars, and his dogs (it was not, as Spout blog notes, an acceptance speech scripted by any publicist.)

He also restated his enduring love for Axl Rose, in what I'm guessing was Axl's first Golden Globes acknowledgment, for giving the movie the rights to use "Sweet Child o' Mine" at an affordable price. That single rights clearance sounds like it was one of the most important elements about the whole experience of making The Wrestler, as far as Mickey Rourke is concerned. In an interview about that song, Darren Aronofsky also talked about it like it was a defining event of the entire movie:

With "Sweet Child o' Mine", what happened was we were doing the scene in the bar. Mickey was miserable because he hates hair music. He loves Guns n' Roses but he hates a lot of hair music. I was like, "Mickey, these are the only songs we can use." There were like three or four songs that we could afford because it costs more money if the actors sing along. He said, "Why can’t we get 'Sweet Child o' Mine'?" I was like, "Go ahead, get in touch with Axl and try; but, the last time Axl gave a song to which anyone could sing along, it cost a million and a half dollars."

So as the day got closer and closer, it became a possibility because Mickey kept bothering Axl and begging Axl, "Please, let me have it." But you know you have to get the sign-off from everyone in Guns n' Roses. But Mickey’s friends with all of them, he knows all of them. The day for shooting comes and we don’t have the rights. Mickey said, "Just shoot it. I’ll get you the rights." I said, "I can’t, man. We’ll just have to do 'Round the Round.' " So I got him to do "Round the Round."

We got halfway through the day and then Axl called and said, "You can have 'Sweet Child o' Mine'." I was like, "Oh gosh, should we go tell Mickey that we got the song? Or just keep going because we can’t reshoot?” Because we were on such a low budget that we couldn’t go back and reshoot... In the end, creatively, I liked it the best; but, now that we had the rights to "Sweet Child o' Mine", I was like, "Oh great, we’ll use it for the final entrance because it’s such an important song for us on the film." Mickey used to come out to that when he was a boxer. Whenever he’d do anything athletic in the film, he’d be like, "Put up 'Sweet Child o' Mine' " and we’d blast it so that he was all pumped up when he did his move. For the crew it became our anthem and having it in the film was just a great thing that Axl added.

[video of his speech]

Note: In addition to all the former members of Guns n' Roses, Mickey Rourke is also friends with Bruce Springsteen and his main awards season competitor Sean Penn.

categories: Celebrities, Movies, Music
posted by amy at 2:58 PM | #

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