Back in 1987, Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke co-starred together in the psychological horror Angel Heart, based on the novel Falling Angel. Rourke played Harry Angel, a New York PI hired by De Niro’s Louis Cyphre to solve the disappearance of a man called Johnny Favorite. It’s alleged during filming that the two stars seriously fell out and they’ve not buried the hatchet since.
De Niro, who stars in Dirty Grandpa on Channel 4 this evening, embraced his method acting and reportedly wouldn’t talk to Rourke on set at all. His reasoning was because of the complex relationship between their two characters, telling his co-star: “I think it’s better if we don’t talk.”
Angel Heart was the first and last time the two actors worked on a film together, with public feuding being on-going over 30 years later.
When his former co-star was set to make the gangster epic The Irishman, The Wrestler actor claimed he blocked his casting.
Rourke said at the time on Italian TV: “Marty Scorsese, great director, he wanted to meet me for a movie with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Chris Walken and Robert De Niro/ The casting person told my manager that Robert De Niro said he refused to work with me in a movie.”
The actor said he “needed the money” and added: “Now I don’t look up to him no more; I look through him. I came up from the s***. He doesn’t know that life. I lived that f***ing life, so every time I look him in the face I look right through his a******.”
At the time, Rourke wrote: “Hey Robert De Niro, that’s right I am talking to you, you big f***ing crybaby. A friend of mine just recently told me that a few months back you’re quoted as saying to newspapers ‘Mickey Rourke’s a liar he talks all kind of s***.’ Listen Mr Tough Guy in the movies, you’re the 1st person that ever called me a liar and it was in a newspaper. Let me tell you something, you punk a**, when I see you I swear to God on my Grandmother, on my brother and all my dogs, I gonna embarrass you severely 100%. Mickey Rourke ‘as God is my witness.'”