20 FEBRUARY 2009 Mickey Rourke's portrayal of washed up wrestler Randy 'the Ram' Robinson in The Wrestler has been dubbed the performance of his career. Speaking on British TV this week, the Oscar hopeful has revealed it was also the most painful.
"There were moments when it was too close to home," reveals the actor to Jonathan Ross on the presenter's February 20 show. "It's the hardest movie I ever had to make… too many (parallels) to be comfortable."
The actor, who's up for the best actor Academy Award on Sunday, also tells how he had to eat seven times a day to put on weight for the role.
"I had to spend seven months putting on 28lbs… I thought, 'It's going to be fun', but I hated it," he says. "I ended up with three MRIs in two months. My legs couldn't carry the weight."
On the show Mickey, who wears a wrestling mask for part of the time, also speaks of his years in the wilderness. "It was an accumulation of mistakes. You go out there, think you can rise above the s**t, but you fall into it," he explains. "There were no rules… I didn't know you had to sell yourself. I wasn't educated enough to understand it, to play the game."
And the Oscar? "After my drought it would mean everything," he admits.