Rourke shapes up for Thomas biopic

Press Association24 January 2012

Mickey Rourke has apparently had surgery on his eyes so that he could look more like rugby star Gareth Thomas.

The Oscar-nominated Wrestler actor has also already lost two stone after hiring personal trainer Nick McKinless - who got Ralph Fiennes fighting fit for Coriolanus - to help him get into shape to portray the gay former Wales player in a forthcoming biopic, reported the Daily Mail.

Producer Colin Vaines said that the 22-year age difference between Mickey and Gareth doesn't matter: "When Mickey's committed, as he is with this, he can do anything. The age isn't a problem."

Mickey, who has spoken to Celebrity Big Brother contestant Gareth about the portrayal, is interested in exploring the psychology of how the rugby player hid his sexuality in the macho sport.

"It's a film about a man who played rugby, who was so aggressive when he played - and he happened to be gay. It took a lot of courage to be in his world and do that," the actor said.

Production on the movie, directed by Antony Hoffman, will begin in September.

"I'm thinking of Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull meeting Lindsay Anderson's This Sporting Life, where sport was used as a backdrop to explore an inner torment," Colin continued.

"Gareth said to Mickey that he always had to be more macho on the field, because he was carrying a secret," he added.

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