Mickey Rourke Claims Feud With Robert De Niro Kept Him From Being In The Irishman

Robert De Niro as de-aged Frank Sheeran in The Irishman
(Image credit: (Netflix))

Did you know Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke have had an over 30-year feud? Rourke has no issue spilling all the details, citing its beginnings on the set of 1987’s Angel Heart. Back then, De Niro allegedly told him “I think it’s better if we don’t talk” on the set of the thriller. The so-called beef has carried over into their current careers, and Rourke now claims De Niro barred him from a chance to work with Martin Scorsese on his upcoming big-budget Netflix film, The Irishman. In Rourke’s words:

Marty Scorsese wanted to meet me for a movie with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro. The casting person told my manager that Robert De Niro said he refused to work with me in a movie.

Mickey Rourke told all on Italian television show, Live – Non è la D’Urso (via Independent), sharing his disappointment in the missed oppurtunity. He said he was “upset” about it, especially since he “needed the money” and a gig on The Irishman would have been a good break for him. However, when producers Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and casting director Ellen Lewis, of the upcoming Scorsese film were contacted on the matter, here’s how they replied (via IndieWire):

Mickey Rourke was never asked to be in The Irishman nor was he ever even thought of, discussed or considered to be in the movie.

So either Mickey Rourke is flaming fake fire or three members of Scorsese’s The Irishman have their facts wrong. On Live – Non è la D’Urso, the Iron Man 2 actor also talked about how he used to look up to Robert De Niro in the ‘80s on a pedestal the likes of Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are on before their bad blood. Now, he thinks differently. Here’s what he said:

Now I don’t look up to him no more; I look through him… I came up from the shit. He doesn’t know that life. I lived that fucking life, so every time I look him in the face I look right through his asshole.

Those are bold words from Mickey Rourke! If he really did have a shot at The Irishman, he has reason to be disappointed. The exciting release is Martin Scorsese’s first film in three years, and will star Robert De Niro as hitman Frank Sheeran, Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa, Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino and an all-star supporting cast including Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale and Anna Paquin.

The Irishman will center on De Niro’s mob hitman from the ages of 24 to 80 (thanks to some incredible de-aging technology). It’s reportedly the most expensive Scorsese film to date and the longest, running at 3 hours and 30 minutes.

The Irishman will premiere in theaters on November 1 before heading to Netflix on November 27.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.