Mickey Rourke On Hanging Out With Vladimir Putin, Found Him Empathetic

Mickey Rourke met Vladamir Putin and referred to the man as being "empathetic."

By Matthew Creith | Published

mickey rourke

Mickey Rourke was once a great actor. His talent and creative skills became legendary, with starring roles in hit film projects beginning in the early 1980s. With his star on the rise, Rourke pivoted his career by taking up another passion when he became a professional boxer. After retiring from boxing, Rourke invested in himself again and returned to acting with comeback roles in the early to mid-2000s that saw the New York native skyrocket to fame again. Recently, he’s made headlines for a series of off-color comments, which have found the actor in hot water. Now, it seems that Mickey Rourke has remarked about an interaction he once had with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

To visualize Vladimir Putin and Mickey Rourke in the same room as one another is startling, to say the least. As reported by Bounding Into Comics, Rourke has stated that he once met Putin in 2014 and found the Russian President to be quite “empathetic.” Holding back tears while speaking to Piers Morgan on his Fox News show, Piers Morgan Uncensored, Rourke reflected on his meeting with Putin and how conflicted he’s been with a man he thought wouldn’t be the same person invading Ukraine. According to Fox News, Rourke discussed a trip he took with Putin to St. Petersburg while visiting children who were suffering from cancer and noted the dictator was “somebody that was genuinely concerned about where we were and someone who was empathetic, and he was there for a sincere reason.” In the interview, he went on to say that Putin is responsible for many lives lost in Ukraine and that he can’t fathom how the same man would commit such atrocities.

Stating that a man like Vladimir Putin would show traits anywhere close to empathy is quite a statement, but for Mickey Rourke, it seems to all be part of his schtick these days. As Entertainment Weekly reports this week, Rourke has come under fire for statements he made about Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise, expressing his disappointment that Cruise doesn’t appear to be taking risks with his career. To Rourke, Cruise has made similar movies for the past few decades, with very few notable exceptions. This has led Cruise to be a box office star, but it doesn’t reflect the talents many actors like Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Marlon Brando showcase onscreen.

In the same interview with Piers Morgan discussing his past relationship with Vladimir Putin, Mickey Rourke continued his attacks on Tom Cruise by calling him “irrelevant.” It’s an interesting set of comments from an actor who has had several moments of ups and downs his entire career. Starting in the 1980s with roles in Diner, Rumble Fish, and 91/2 Weeks, Rourke was viewed by many critics as the heir to Marlon Brando’s suave and sophisticated approach to acting. Then some box office bombs took the actor out of the limelight, but he came roaring back with an Academy Award-nominated performance in Darren Aronofsky’s 2008 film, The Wrestler. Rourke went on to take a villainous role as Whiplash in Iron Man 2 before showing up on The Masked Singer in 2020. How the mighty have fallen.