Wednesday, December 17, 2008

New Springsteen Song in Darren Aronofsky's "The Wrestler"

I've already heard wonderful things about the new Darren Aronofsky film, The Wrestler from very discerning movie buffs, and they confirm that all the hubbub about Mickey Rourke's performance (yes, that Mickey Rourke), is the true Oscar-worthy performance that movie talking heads are saying. Can you really believe that the original person in line for the role was Nicholas Cage??

The best part of it, for both Aronofsky and the audience, is that Bruce Springsteen is, apparently, an old friend of Mickey Rourke and wanted to help him in any way, so he GAVE Aronofsky a song for the title track.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen earned a Golden Globe nomination on Thursday for Best Original Song for "The Wrestler," his song from the film of the same name - the latest step on what director Darren Aronofsky told Access Hollywood has been "a very surreal journey."
"Bruce just wanted to do it because he is a fan of Mickey [Rourke] and he wanted to help. He ended up writing us [the] song for free," Darren told Access at a junket for "The Wrestler" on Wednesday.

According to Darren, the process began when Mickey, who earned his own Globe nod for his starring role in the film, wrote the songwriter a letter that re-opened their relationship.

"They were friends back in the day," Darren explained. "They've been kind of on and off."

Bruce read the script and came up with a song, which he debuted for the director backstage after his summer performance at Giants Stadium.

"Mickey goes, 'You guys have some business to talk about, [I'll] see you later,'" Darren said. He left me alone with Bruce. And he grabbed his guitar and pointed to a seat - and I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, he is gonna play the song!' And I got stage fright for the first time in my life."

"I'm freezing up in front of the coolest guy in the world," he added. "But then we started talking and he was a really nice guy and he played the song. And I said, 'Why are you doing it? You know. What's the reason?' And he said, 'To be honest, I'm just a big fan of Mickey's and I'm been waiting for him to have an opportunity like this and I just want to help.'"Bruce's track surely didn't hurt the film on Thursday - the film earned three nominations at the Golden Globes, including Best Song, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for Rourke and Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Marisa Tomei.(Source)

Kind of like Aronofsky's films in general, "The Wrestler" is one of those sad and haunting songs that's simultaneously sparse and overflowing with emotion. I do have to note that I'm not super crazy about the opening and the "one-legged dog" metaphor necessarily, (uhh....no, Bruce, I have never seen a one-legged dog but I'll take your word for it), but those things are minimal because of the wallop the song packs overall.

Listen: The Wrestler title track-Bruce Springsteen

1 comment:

Mouse said...

I just saw a screener of the movie tonight. It was pretty terrific.

Rourke was actually who the film was written for, but Aronofsky couldn't get funding from the studio unless he cast a name. So Rourke was out, and Cage was in. But Cage saw that Aronofsky couldn't get the Rourke-version of the character out of his head and politely bowed-out, at which point enough founding was found to make a smaller budget version with Rourke in the leading role.