One reason that Mickey Rourke's performance in The Wrestler is so affecting is that it's the first role to fully exploit the gruesomeness of Rourke's real-life appearance. As Randy "the Ram" Robinson, Rourke is puffed up and salon-tanned, as manufactured as the twists and turns in the Ram's wrestling matches. But to see Rourke's face in The Wrestler as the Ram remembers his eighties triumphs is to be reminded of the beautiful guy Rourke once was in that same decade. Directors didn't always know what to do with him then — just as few directors until Darren Aronofsky have known what to do with that face these days. Check out Vulture's slideshow of Mickey Rourke's face through the ages, after the jump.
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