Mickey Rourke arrives for the 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards at Cipriani Wall Street in New York on December 2, 2008. (UPI Photo/Laura Cavanaugh) | License Photo
NEW YORK, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. actor Mickey Rourke says he briefly hesitated to star in "The Wrestler" because he didn't like the script and wasn't a fan of pro wrestling.
Rourke, who has worked on-screen only occasionally in recent years, has been garnering rave reviews for his portrayal of a has-been wrestler in Darren Aronofsky's latest big-screen drama.
Asked what he thought of Robert Siegel's "Wrestler" screenplay when he first read it, Rourke told UPI in New York Sunday: "I didn't really care for the script, but I wanted to work with Darren and I kind of thought that whoever wrote the script hadn't spent as much time as I had around these kind of people and he wouldn't have spoken the way the dude was speaking (in the screenplay) and so Darren let me rewrite all my part and he put the periods in and crossed the t's. So once we made that change I was OK with it."
As a former professional boxer, Rourke said he also had some reservations about being in a movie about what he perceived as the "pre-arranged and pre-choreographed" world of pro wrestling.
He said that as he trained for the film, however, he developed an appreciation for what real-life pro wrestlers do to prepare for the ring.
"I kept getting hurt. I think I had three MRIs in two months because I wasn't landing right," the actor said. "These guys take several years to learn how to land and I think after I started getting hurt doing it, I started to realize these guys are really suffering and I kind of gained a respect for their sport."