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Mickey Rourke’s P.R. Nightmare

Mickey Rourke is enjoying a resurgence of his career with his Oscar-nominated performance in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler.” Rourke hasn’t been the talk of Hollywood since his late 80s turns in “9½ Weeks” and “Barfly.” Everything seems to be going his way, but why do I get the feeling that his starpower in Hollywood is already fading away?
While filming “The Wrestler,” Rourke and 21-year-old Evan Rachel Wood were fighting off rumors of a not-so-platonic relationship. Now there appears to be evidence that the rumors were true, as the two were spotted kissing at a SAG Awards afterparty. Rourke is 56, and plays her father in the film. 
This hookup must be giving his publicist endless nightmares. His acceptance speech at the Golden Globes surely can’t be classified as a publicist’s dream, either, and in fact lately it seems that each time he opens his mouth the world cringes. Offending the public is nothing new for some in Hollywood, but for a guy who’s had such a sudden ascension from Z-list to A-list, maybe not so smart.
Speaking on the red carpet at the SAG Awards, Rourke revealed that he’s all but set to take part in the upcoming Wrestlemania 25 event in Houston, Texas for the WWE. Rourke even took part in a verbal sparring match with wrestler Chris Jericho on Larry King on Tuesday night. This gimmick was a brilliant move for Vince McMahon, as his organization is facing dwindling ratings and viewership; landing a Best Actor nominee in a wrestling film is huge for him. But how can any good come from this stunt for Rourke? Apparently Rourke came to his senses, and on Wednesday decided to pull out of the Wrestlemania event (can Vince sue him for changing his mind?). Now if he could only pull out of Evan Rachel Wood, perhaps life could get back on track.
So when Rourke doesn’t win the Oscar next month, what’s next for the controversial actor? He’s currently filming an action film called “13,” alongside Jason Statham, Ray Liotta and 50 Cent. Later this year he begins work on two sequels for both “Iron Man” and “Sin City.” “Iron Man 2” is guaranteed to be a huge hit, but the release date is fifteen months away. This gives him a significant amount of time to reacquaint himself with the art of tarnishing his image. Do I want to see this happen? No, because I admire his body of work as an actor and am willing to look past his questionable behavior. I highly doubt that Hollywood is that forgiving, and I presume the media will have no problem relegating him to the Z-list as fast as his return to Hollywood’s elite.

Mark Stone is a freelance entertainment writer living in Kelowna, BC, Canada. He is the managing editor of DailyBrainCandy.com and author of "Behind the Screen: Hacking Hollywood."