Hollywood, unsurprisingly, is full of divas, prima donnas, and secret squabbles. It’s well known that Denzel Washington and Quentin Tarantino feuded for years, and don’t get us started on Vin Diesel and The Rock. One celebrity scrap that you might not know about though is Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke.
So why didn’t the two get along? Well according to Rourke it all began on the set of the thriller movie Angel Heart when he schooled De Niro on something. “I took him to school,” Rourke told the Italian chat show Non-è la D’Urso. “Before that, no other actor took him to school.”
Rourke didn’t elaborate on what “schooled” meant specifically but after that apparently De Niro apparently refused to talk to him. “About five minutes later, [De Niro] comes over he said, ‘I think it’s better if we don’t talk because of characters in the movie. It’s better if we don’t say hello, talk or anything,’” Rourke explained. “It hurt my feelings a little bit ’cause I looked up to him.”
“I don’t look up to him no more; I look through him,” Rourke continued. “I came up from the shit. He doesn’t know that life. I lived that fucking life, so every time I look him in the face, I look right through his asshole.”
Rourke claims that the feud got so bad De Niro refused to work with him, even years later, on the Netflix movie The Irishman. “[Martin] Scorsese, great director, he wanted to meet me for a movie with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Chris Walken, and Robert De Niro,” Rourke said. “The casting person told my manager that Robert De Niro said he refused to work with me in a movie.”
De Niro’s representatives however denied that this ever happened. “According to ‘The Irishman’ producers, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, and casting director Ellen Lewis, Mickey Rourke was never asked to be in ‘The Irishman,” They wrote in a statement, per Page Six. “Nor was he ever even thought of, discussed or considered to be in the movie.”