By Nathan Kamal | 7 seconds ago
2022 is an odd period of time to call Tom Cruise “irrelevant” considering he has a movie in theaters that is both critically and commercially successful. It’s particularly strange to hear it from Mickey Rourke of all people. However, that’s exactly what happened when Mickey Rourke recently appeared on Piers Morgan Uncensored (per Variety). According to Rourke, the immense revenues from Top Gun: Maverick means nothing (at least to him) because Tom Cruise has been “doing the same part for 35 years.” While the tone of Mickey Rourke’s breakdown of Tom Cruise’s recent career has a certain sour grape element, it’s fair to say that it might just have the slightest point.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, Mickey Rourke goes on to claim that he himself is not interested in the kind of massive audience success that Tom Cruise has had. Instead, Mickey Rourke is interested in the kind of acting popularized by Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Ray Winstone in their 1970s heyday. That makes a lot of sense considering Mickey Rourke is 69 years old and was probably smitten with these actors as a young man. He goes on to say that these actors were committed to trying to “stretch as actors.”
While Tom Cruise and Mickey Rourke are at vastly different points in their respective careers, they actually started around the same time. Mickey Rourke first came to prominence in the Barry Levinson comedy dinner 1982, while Tom Cruise had his own breakout role in 1983 A risky venture. Over the next two decades, they would both see success. While Mickey Rourke became increasingly known for intense erotic thrillers like 9 ½ weeks and investigations of filthy, filthy underworlds like the Charles Bukowski biopic BarflyTom Cruise became an action star in the Mission: Impossible franchise and an increasing number of science fiction films such as minority report and oblivion.
What Mickey Rourke is perhaps alluding to in his conversation with Piers Morgan is the undeniable trend in Tom Cruise’s career away from more demanding roles. In the 1980s and 1990s, Tom Cruise worked with virtually every major director in Hollywood, often in roles that played with his top gun image as a cocky, brash loner. Movies like Stanley Kubrick’s eyes wide closedNeil Jordans Interview with the vampireand Paul Thomas Anderson magnolia have all been re-evaluated as films in the years since, with Tom Cruise often praising. But back then, they didn’t have nearly the same impact on pop culture that movies did Impossible Mission. Unsurprisingly, Tom Cruise ended up focusing on the “challenging stunts” portion of his career rather than challenging acting.
On the other hand, Mickey Rourke is far better known for direct-to-DVD (and stream) action movies than he is for challenging acting. His next role will be that of controversial director Roman Polanski The palace. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise was recently awarded an honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.