Mickey Rourke is working overtime to prepare himself for his upcoming biopic about out gay former rugby star Gareth Thomas.
Rourke reportedly had surgery on his eyes to look more like Thomas and has hired the personal trainer who got Ralph Fiennes buffed to play Coriolanus.
Rourke physically transformed himself for his Oscar-nominated role in “The Wrestler.”
Rourke has said he’s interested in exploring the psychology of how the rugby player hid his sexuality in the macho sport.
“It’s a film about a man who played rugby, who was so aggressive when he played – and he happened to be gay. It took a lot of courage to be in his world and do that,” the actor said.
Producer Colin Vaines told the UK’s Daily Mail that the 22-year age difference between Mickey and Gareth doesn't matter: “When Mickey's committed, as he is with this, he can do anything. The age isn't a problem.”
“I'm thinking of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Raging Bull’ meeting Lindsay Anderson’s ‘This Sporting Life,’ where sport was used as a backdrop to explore an inner torment,” Vaines said.
Production on the movie, directed by Antony Hoffman, is set to begin in September.