Mickey Rourke brands Tom Cruise 'irrelevant' and criticises his acting talent

Watch: Mickey Rourke criticises Tom Cruise's integrity as an actor

Mickey Rourke has called Tom Cruise "irrelevant" and implied his career is more about box office success than good acting.

The 69-year-old star of 9 1/2 Weeks, The Wrestler and The Expendables criticised Cruise for his recent movie Top Gun: Maverick, a sequel to his 1986 film classic Top Gun.

Rourke told Piers Morgan Uncensored: "That doesn't mean s*** to me. The guy's been doing the same effing part for 35 years. I got no respect for that."

Mickey Rourke has called Tom Cruise
Mickey Rourke has called Tom Cruise "irrelevant". (Piers Morgan Uncensored/TalkTV)

He went on: "I don't care about money and power. I care about, when I watch Al Pacino working, Chris Walken and De Niro's early work and Richard Harris's work and Ray Winstone’s work.

"That’s the kind of actor I want to be like… Brando back in the day. The kind of guys who tried to stretch as actors.”

Read more: Mickey Rourke revealed on The Masked Singer US

Asked if he thought Cruise was a good actor, he replied: “I think he's irrelevant, in my world.”

Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete
Tom Cruise plays Capt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in Top Gun: Maverick. (Paramount Pictures)

Rourke won the Best Actor Bafta and was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of an ageing wrestler in 2008 movie The Wrestler.

He said: "I am back in the wilderness after The Wrestler! But not really because what I learned to do, I wasn't gonna let anyone put me on the shelf because I've got enough ability and I've got more ability than most actors that are walking around, and if I could just behave myself, there's a lot of young up and coming directors that aren't afraid of how I used to be perceived.”

Mickey Rourke as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson in 2008's The Wrestler. (20th Century Fox)
Mickey Rourke as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson in 2008's The Wrestler. (20th Century Fox)

Rourke also opened up about meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2014.

He said: "That was really heart-breaking to go to and I was talking to all these little kids... and I looked over at Vladimir and I could see somebody that was genuinely concerned about where we were and someone who was empathetic and he was there for a sincere reason.”

Mickey Rourke on a visit to Russia  in 2009. (Getty Images)
Mickey Rourke on a visit to Russia in 2009. (Getty Images)

Rourke became emotional as he discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He said: “That’s the thing that blows my mind, because it's like two brother countries. And I don’t understand what he wants? Not only combatants are getting killed but old people are getting killed, young people are getting killed, schools are getting targeted, hospitals are getting targeted. All that is not right."

THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Mickey Rourke and host Nick Cannon in the
Mickey Rourke and host Nick Cannon on The Masked Singer. (FOX via Getty Images)

He went on: “I saw a guy, an image of a man who was looking at a hole, at a ditch, and he was looking for … I put myself in his position, he was looking for his brother and that kind of struck home with me and bothered me a lot.

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"And made me think [Putin] he's doing really terrible, bad things and I wish some kind of little bell would ring in his head or his heart and he'd wake up and just stop all this."

Watch: Mickey Rourke on The Masked Singer