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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
"Occupy" Protesters Return To Park; Feds Willing To Join Penn State Investigation; Interview With Mickey Rourke
Aired November 15, 2011 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Tonight, battle lines. Is this Lower Manhattan or Tahrir Square? Occupy Wall Street, what happens now?
Plus, the Penn State sex scandal. I'll talk to the newspaper that first reported the allegations eight months ago.
And my exclusive interview with one of Penn State's most famous graduates, football legend, Rosey Grier.
Also, the most dangerous man in Hollywood, Mickey Rourke.
MICKEY ROURKE, ACTOR: The director was a turd, and the material was not good.
MORGAN (on-camera): Say what you really think. Get off the fence.
(voice-over) His life on the edge.
ROURKE: I could plan (ph) it all in heartbeat.
MORGAN: And tonight, for the first time, he fires back at ex- wife Carre Otis and the explosive charges in her new book.
ROURKE: It probably is kind of like a little bit of sour grapes, you know, chasing a buck and delusional kind of narcissistic, self- centered point of view.
Mickey Rourke, no holds barred. This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN (on-camera): Good evening. We begin tonight with Occupy Wall Street. Thousands of protesters are flooding Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan tonight after a New York Supreme Court judge gave them the green light to return, but, he ruled they can't bring tents, backpacks, and sleeping gear into the park where they've been living for nearly two months.
Tonight, one of the police officers says it's the biggest, loudest crowd he's seen since the protests began. Poppy Harlow is at the park in Lower Manhattan for us tonight. Poppy, what is the mood down there? It must be a rather surreal atmosphere, isn't it?
POPPY HARLOW, CNNMONEY.COM: It's absolutely surreal. I've lived here, Piers, for ten years. I've never seen anything like this in Manhattan. Most of us haven't. I say the mood is too cold (ph). There's a galvanizing element. That is certain. I hear that across the board from protesters. There are also a lot of outstanding questions.
What just came down from the New York state Supreme Court is a ruling that will make it much more difficult for the protesters to camp out here, to live here as they had planned to do. They are allowed, the court says, by their first amendment rights to demonstrate in this park, however, the court stopped short of allowing them to camp out here saying their first amendment protection do no allow them to bring in tarps, and tents, and generators, that they had basically to live here.
I should note, Thursday would mark the two-month anniversary, Piers, of this movement. It still will. The question is what is going to be the future of this park? But as one protester put it to me tonight, he said, this movement is so much bigger than this one park. And I think that is absolutely true. It is not only across this country. It is, indeed, global at this point.
MORGAN: Poppy, there have been two issues, really, I think in the last 24 hours. One has been the manner in which the protesters were evicted in the first place where the police heavy handed, and secondly, the apparent suppression of the media down there. What can you tell me about both those things?
HARLOW: I wish I could tell you more about how the police evicted protesters from here, but I can't, because our cameras and most journalists' cameras were not allowed in here for hours and hours. I came down here at two o'clock in the morning. This was during the eviction. This entire park was barricaded, Piers.
Two blocks away from the park was as close as we could get. I asked hour after hour to the NYPD why we were not allowed in, is this a safety issue? I was never given an answer. I still have not been given an answer. So, by the time, three hours later, we made it through the police barricades. We were finally let through by a police officer.
And we came to the park. They were sweeping it clean. They were just finishing up the cleaning of this park. The last I saw of the protesters were a handful of protesters that had their hands tied behind their back and were being loaded on to NYPD buses. So, the reality of this situation as we were reporting it and following throughout the night is that we were not allowed to film this eviction.
I was told from some protesters that the police were nice to them in terms of shooing them out of the park. Other protesters, they banded together and stayed in the middle of the park, and some even told me they chained themselves together, they were removed forcefully. There was one protester who told me some chemical substance was released in the air.
No idea, no way to verify whether or not that was tear gas or what it was, but I think there was a level of escalation as the evening went on. And by the time our cameras got in this park, all the protesters were out.
MORGAN: Poppy, I would imagine that Mayor Bloomberg's primary motivation was to take the sting and heat out of these protests after two months. Has it actually had that effect or has it had the opposite effect? Has it galvanized them to, perhaps, be even more protesting down there in bigger numbers?
HARLOW: I think that's an outstanding question to be absolutely fair. Yes, what the protesters down here told me all day and all night is that it has galvanized the movement. A lot of what you're seeing down here are supporters of the movement who've been watching it, who have come down to support it. I think time will, Piers.
We have to see if they do have this in them for the long haul, but they do believe this has energized. We invigorated the movement.
MORGAN: Poppy Harlow, thank you very much.
Now, we're going to bring in John Timoney, a retired Miami police chief. He's also the former commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Force, former deputy commissioner of the New York police department, and he's been in law enforcement for more than 40 years. John Timoney, what is your reaction to what's been going on in this park for the last 24 hours?
CHIEF JOHN TIMONEY, (RET.), MIAMI POLICE: Well, it was predictable that, eventually, this would come to a head. Clearly, the mayor was concerned regarding public safety, the health and welfare of the surrounding area, but also, of the people who are inhabiting the park. And so, you know, as this dragged on, it really did become a public health issue.
And those people in the park need to be taken out so that the authorities could go in and clean up the park. And they were given an opportunity when the police arrived last night, and some people availed themselves of the opportunity to get up, pick up their gear and leave. Others didn't and chose to be arrested.
MORGAN: I want to play just a clip from Mayor Bloomberg today explaining his decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, NEW YORK CITY: No right is absolute. And with every right comes responsibility. The First Amendment gives every New Yorker the right to speak out, but it does not give anyone the right to sleep in a park or otherwise take it over to the exclusion of others. Nor does it permit anyone in our society to live outside the law. (END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That's Mayor Bloomberg today. And obviously, the courts have agreed with him.
MORGAN: I'm concluding, there are all social issues there involving people that live near the park, having to put up with these protests and so on. And yet, at the same time, the protests are legitimate and they have a right to do this. In your experience, is this going to be sustainable now? Do you think having cleared the park once --
MORGAN: -- the New York Police Department is going to keep some kind of control over this?
TIMONEY: Well, that remains to be seen, you know? This wouldn't be the first time -- New York City's had a long history going back to the 1880s in Thompson Square Park where decade after decade police and inhabitants of the park have clashed over a variety of issues. Most recently, in the late 1980s regarding housing in the east village.
Here, the issue is different. It's a nationwide protest. It looks like the message isn't clear. Although, I think there's a consensus that it has to do with Wall Street greed and the pains that the country's been going through for the last two years vis-a-vis the economy.
However, as this has dragged on, not just in New York City but in Oakland and Philadelphia and others where other elements have joined the protests, not with the best of intentions, with agendas, there have been documented cases of criminal activity. Over the weekend in Philadelphia, a young woman was raped.
New York has been documented with case after case of assaults. There have been issues with people recently released from Rikers Island being directed to or suggested that they go down to the park. You know, you get fed there and a whole host of things. And so, it's become much more complicated than the original protests which started off with, I think, overall general public support 60 days ago.
Now, there's -- I think a pretty decent amount of public antipathy towards the protests right now because it seems like that they've gone beyond reasonable and once it starts getting into the area of public health but also criminal activity, there's a problem.
This is not the vast majority of protesters, but there's a certain segment within the people, the denizens of the park that have come in with their own agenda including assaulting fellow protesters and things of that nature.
MORGAN: Police chiefs all over America who have faced their own protests in their own cities looking at what the New York Police Department did last night. I mean, from an operational sense, I get the feeling it was a pretty successful mission. I think, in and out very quickly, cleaned the park, job done.
TIMONEY: Yes. If you look about a week and a half ago, in Oakland, as the police announced their intentions, the mayor first announced her intentions, the police followed suit. And as they moved to clear the plaza in front of city hall, they were met with missiles (ph), bottles, all sorts of objects. And that turned into a pretty ugly eviction process, if you will, only to be restored by the mayor, by the way, the next day, which didn't make any sense at all.
In any event, last night the New York City Police Department used, you know, used the time where the least amount of people would be in the park, one o'clock in the morning. You don't want to call it a surprise attack, but certainly, it was a surprise visit, if you will, which minimized, really did minimize resistance, and ultimately, you know, minimized any injuries to officers or protesters.
MORGAN: Chief Timoney, thank you very much.
TIMONEY: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: When we come back, the Penn State sex scandal and why did it take so long. This explosive story to come to light, and, what happens now?
MORGAN: Stunning developments tonight in the Penn State sex scandal. Federal officials now say they're ready to join the investigation if they're asked. The assistant coach who said he witnessed Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the shower reportedly e-mailed a former classmate saying he stopped the incident. That's according to (INAUDIBLE).
And "The New York Times" says that up to ten more victims have now come forward. It's a shocking story and one that's hard for most of us to even comprehend. Now, I'm going to turn to a man who has some unique insights into the culture of Penn State. Rosey Grier is a football legend there and went on to a career with the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams.
He's an actor, a minister, and the man who subdued Sirhan Sirhan of the assassination of Robert Kennedy. And Rosey Grier joins me now. Rosey, thank you very much for coming in. Obviously, everyone connected with Penn State must be going through all sort of emotions at the moment. Very, very, very grim time for Penn State and for everyone involve with football there.
ROSEY GRIER, FMR. PENN STATE FOOTBALL LEGEND: Actually, I think it's time for people to realize that it's time for all of us to fall on our knees and pray, because there are so many things going on in our society today. If ever there was a time for men and women everywhere to begin to pray and to thank God for us being here, but also to protect ourselves, protect our children and protect each other, this is the time for that. I mean, if ever there was a need for men and women everywhere in the world to turn away from their own sins and turn to the power of Almighty God, you'd see a change in our society and a change in the world.
MORGAN: When were you at Penn State?
GRIER: I was there in 1951. Joe Paterno was just beginning his second year as a coach, and he came from Brown University. He's a coach there. He came as (INAUDIBLE).
MORGAN: Tell me about Joe.
GRIER: Joe was a good coach. He was an excellent coach. He's an excellent man. I've admired him over the years. I just think that this time that what happened is that when you try to protect something that man makes, man try to protect his own creation. But God protects all of us from ourselves, and I think that's what happened.
When you have a big organization like this, that's bringing in lots of money to the universities, this stopping and causing all the scholarship and all these things that come in, they have a tendency to protect. And this way, they did the wrong thing.
MORGAN: But there's protection and there's protection. And, what has stunned people is that somebody like Joe Paterno, a legend, a man who stood for all the good things --
MORGAN: -- about America, about sport, about everything. That he would have allowed this kind of thing to go unreported to the police seems unfathomable to people.
GRIER: Yes. I think it was a surprise to me because I think that, honestly, he made a mistake. I think that it should have been exposed right away. They would not have this problem today. You cannot hide the truth. The truth will step forward when you least expect it. And that's what happened today is that now we realize all of these things that have been going on and no one was checking on.
And if you pass the buck to someone else, someone has to take it. Someone had to do something about it. And I think, this time, that when it was exposed, it exploded on the public so quickly that no one could do anything about it.
MORGAN: It's a tragedy, obviously, for Joe Paterno. Not how he wanted to end his time there. But I have to say, I don't have sympathy for him right now. My sympathy rests entirely with the families of these young boys and the boys themselves, many of whom now would have grown up with the terrible scars of the abuse that they suffered.
GRIER: Yes. You know, the thing that I'm so much concerned about is that to re-expose these young people to the same thing. That's why I say it's time to pray, because prayer will change a lot of our situations, and I think we need to realize -- and I keep saying that, because people don't understand that the power of prayer does change things.
And you cannot let things go on, unless, you are willing to face it and stand up and say, that's wrong. This is right. And the only thing is right when we turn all our cares over to the Father.
MORGAN: What would you say to Joe Paterno now? Have you spoken to him?
GRIER: I have not spoken to him.
MORGAN: What would you say if you got the chance?
GRIER: I'd just say I pray that the Lord will bless you and the Lord will keep you and the Lord will bless all of those people that are around you and help you all stand strong and learn that God does forgive wrong things. He does that. That's why Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. We've all sinned and come short to the glory of God. All of us have.
MORGAN: Rosey Grier, thank you very much.
GRIER: Thank you.
MORGAN: So, who knew about the Penn State scandal and when did they know? My next guest is the editor of the paper that broke the story eight months ago. David Newhouse, editor, "Patriot News" joins me now.
David Newhouse, this has really gripped America now, the sheer, scale of it, the horrifying detail, the apparent mass cover-up in the name of what appears to be success at football and commercial greed. When you first got wind of this, did you ever imagine it would become as big as this become?
DAVID NEWHOUSE, EDITOR, PATRIOT NEWS: I think it was as big a shock to us in one sense as it has been to everyone. We spent about a year nailing down this story. Our reporter, Sara Gannon (ph), first heard about it shortly after the investigation began. But when we published the story in March of this year, we knew about two victims.
We knew about the most recent one, the first one to come forward. And also about the police investigation in 1998. I think it was a surprise -- well, we heard more recently through our sources, but it was a surprise when we heard that it had extended to eight victims. And, obviously, we're seeing now more come forward.
MORGAN: Watching Jerry Sandusky last night, I thought it was one of the most pathetic things that I've seen in a long time. You know, when you are asked, are you sexually attracted to young boys and it takes you 17 seconds to answer, you're basically hanging yourself, aren't you?
NEWHOUSE: Well, you know what was startling about watching that, I had the exact same reaction, Piers, to that moment. But what was startling is Jerry Sandusky wrote an autobiography in 2000 which was amazingly called "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story." And in it, short of the showering, he described every single thing that he said last night.
He talks a lot in that book about hugging kids, about loving to be around kids. He's very attached to the kids. He touches the kids. There's some chilling things in that book, and it's only when you put them together with the allegations that you can see that, perhaps, what he meant.
MORGAN: Well, I'd like to know what he means by horseplay with naked 10-year-old boys in showers. I mean, it's completely outrageous. That admission in itself to me is an open admission of guilt to not what he's been accused of. But I supposed the wider issue for Penn State is how much the greed element here of the commercialization of football, the amount of money that was swimming in to Penn State.
How much did that come into play and preventing people who were, otherwise, apparently, good people like Joe Paterno from going to the police about these terrible crimes?
NEWHOUSE: Well, our reporter, Sara Gannon (ph), did a story last Friday. It's actually still on our website, Pennlive, where she traced these allegations both through the grand jury testimony and her own sources back to 1995. And the terrifying thing is that there were countless opportunities to investigate this guy.
There were eyewitnesses twice, a boy came forward once. There were countless other adults who witnessed uncomfortable behavior. And basically, no one wanted to believe anything bad about this guy or just simply looked the other way.
MORGAN: Completely outrageous. David Newhouse, congratulations on some excellent journalism. Without your efforts, we may still not know about half of this stuff. So, I salute you for that.
NEWHOUSE: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming up, from the number one movie in the country, "Immortals," Mickey Rourke. For the first time ever, he reacts to explosive charges from his ex-wife, Carre Otis.
MORGAN: Mickey Rourke has done more in his life than most men could ever dream of, in fact, even have nightmares about. He's a Hollywood leading man starred in, "Diner" "9 1/2 Weeks," "The Wrestler," and "Immortals." And it's a three-year break. Between those, he became a professional boxer.
Mickey Rourke, a man of many and varied unusual talents. He joins me now. Mickey, how are you?
ROURKE: Five-year break.
MORGAN: A five-year break.
ROURKE: Yes. I'm really good.
MORGAN: I've always wondered, why would you -- in the middle of this dazzling film career, want to go and get beaten around the head?
ROURKE: The acting wasn't something I was having fun doing anymore or liked doing. And, I just saw too much -- at that time, I saw too much gray and the politics and the mediocrity of it just wasn't something I respected at the time.
MORGAN: You've always loved boxing, haven't you?
ROURKE: Yes. I started out fighting before I was acting, actually, then got hurt and got into the acting. But I had just done a film -- I had just -- I think I had done "Angel Heart." It was a tough film, but it had integrity and a really great director and actors in it. And then, I waited I think about a year or two or something like that for something that I could respect to do again and nothing came around.
And I bought a big house, you know, that whole number. And I had a big car and all that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) and a big entourage that was useless.
ROURKE: And the next thing I know is just the accountant's screaming at me, you have to go to work. So, I took this piece of crap that I hated, Harley-Davidson, the Marlboro man. I mean, I hated every second of it. I like Don Johnson was in it. I mean, he was fantastic, but you know, the director was a turd and the material was not good.
ROURKE: Then I just hated it. I said, I can't do this any more because I wasn't particularly behaving the right way and I wasn't being very professional, very responsible. I was unaccountable. I wasn't -- there were no consequences, no rules. And I thought before I just -- I had completely burnt all the bridges, but I thought maybe I didn't.
So, I thought, maybe, I should take a little hiatus so I don't ruin it all. It was already ruined, but --
MORGAN: How did it go, the boxing?
ROURKE: It went good. We had a dozen fights over five years. We had like nine wins and two draws and six knockouts and we did good. And I've had Freddy Roach who was --
MORGAN: Fantastic character. Did you ever think you could have been a proper contestant?
ROURKE: I never say could have, would have, should have. You know, I accomplished what I needed to accomplish going back at the age that I accomplish. That's about all I could accomplish if that makes sense to you.
MORGAN: But what does it give you, that feeling when you get into the ring?
ROURKE: You know what it was, I needed the discipline. I needed some sort of regimen in my life, and I didn't have that. I didn't know what to do with myself when I got up in the morning. I didn't know what to do in the afternoon. I was up all hours of the night. I needed -- I was burning the candle at both ends.
I needed something to center me. The acting wasn't doing it. Staying on my motorcycle for years on end wasn't doing it. It was just time for me to park the bike and just -- I don't really like to use that word reinvent myself because I didn't look at it that way. I just needed to do something different.
MORGAN: The last time I interviewed you was actually for British television, and you just come to the end of "The Wrestler." There's a little bit of buzz about it, but not much at the time, and you said to me, because I was asking what every interviewer asked you at the time, you know, whatever happened to Mickey Rourke. Why did they all go wrong?
And you looked at me and you said, I've just made the biggest movie of my career. This is going to be the one that brings me back. And I wasn't sure to believe you. I didn't know. I hadn't seen it. But you had this absolute conviction that "The Wrestler" was going to be your comeback movie. And boy, was it the comeback movie?
ROURKE: Well, you know, I did the movie at a time when I still wasn't very bankable. And I really couldn't -- I wasn't getting jobs that easily. I was starting to work again, but nobody was putting big dollars on my head, you know, to do something. And my agent called me and told me about this young filmmaker, this director who is -- I won't call you a son of a bitch.
ROURKE: He sent me a text today. He's a real tough son of a bitch.
ROURKE: He wants everybody to think he's a walk in the park to work with so he can attract the talent, but he's hard work. Very talented.
MORGAN: I imagine, you're quite hard work, too.
ROURKE: So, I don't piss him off. I mean, they come around like Darren every 30 years. I mean, he's the man. I mean, he's got a larger brain than most of us. He's very driven. He's very -- he's like -- I told someone the other day, he's like a great football coach or trainer. He just keeps pulling more out of you. MORGAN: Let's watch what he pulled out of you. Here's a clip from "the Wrestler".
ROURKE: You can watch it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROURKE: I'm the one who was supposed to take care of everything. I'm the one who was supposed to make everything OK for everybody. It just didn't work out like that. And I left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: You haven't watched a second of that, nor listened to it. Why?
ROURKE: No. Hear myself groveling like that. No, no. I can look at myself when I shave every day. That's enough.
MORGAN: What do you look at yourself now? You had lots of surgical repairs after your boxing career. What do you see in your face now? What do you think?
ROURKE: The guy did a really great job with the nose. I can't breathe out of it still. He took the cartilage from back here, rebuilt everything. It's like I have days when I can smell, days that I can't smell.
I actually like the way the nose felt and looked before the six nose operations. So it's like -- you know, it's part of it all. You know, I can't feel it. It's numb.
But the hands bother me, because the hands shake a little. And they --
MORGAN: Is that from the fighting?
ROURKE: You know, I always had trouble with wrapping my hands, because my hands would swell up. And they still swell all the time.
MORGAN: When your Hollywood career initially all went pear- shaped, because I think by your own admission, your behavior was pretty out of control --
MORGAN: When you realized it had all gone --
MORGAN: -- what was being in Hollywood, living here like, in a place that was driven by the business?
ROURKE: Did you imagine?
MORGAN: I imagine it's hellish. Is it? ROURKE: Can you imagine walking to work, not driving your whatever the hell it is out there, Aston Martin? It was like that. It's shameful. It's like -- it's OK if you never made it. I worked very hard to become --
MORGAN: -- one of the biggest movie stars in the world.
ROURKE: I worked very hard to become the best actor that I could be, and to honor that and to try to -- and to say every day, how can I be a better actor today than I was yesterday? And to take all of that over several years and throw it all away, I know why I did it now, I mean, but I didn't know then.
MORGAN: Why do you think you did it?
ROURKE: Well, I did it because I had some issues when I was very young with authority and with physical --
MORGAN: You were abused by a family member that came into your family.
ROURKE: That kind of (EXPLETIVE DELETED), yes. And it was that kind of thing. Instead of being all nervous and shaky and -- I got hard. And I made myself stronger. And I put on, as the doctor said, all this armor. And all of a sudden, years went by and this armor kept building on me.
And it became a weakness, because it was backfiring. I associated with the wrong people. And I was hanging out in the wrong places. And I was out of control with any sort of responsibility for my actions or anything like that.
And so all this -- everything that I cultivated, instead of feeling shame or insignificant, it just backfired. And all that armor became scary.
MORGAN: In the wilderness years, when you were walking, say, into a store in Hollywood, a grocery store or something, what was the reality of that?
ROURKE: It was terrible. You go in to the 7-Eleven to get a whatever you're going to buy in there, and, you know -- cigarettes, a condom, a candy bar, and you're in line with like eight people. There's always going to be some -- I was going to say (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- who says, hey, aren't you so and so? Didn't you used to be?
MORGAN: You actually hear that line?
ROURKE: Oh, yeah, didn't you used to be. And then they'll say, oh, I know who you are. You're -- and they say the name and it was like (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
MORGAN: What was the worst name? What was the worst name?
ROURKE: I'm not going to go there. In the old days, I would have said a few names. But then you walk out of there and you walk down the street, and it's like you just -- it's that sinking feeling. I mean, it's like -- I've said it before, it's a town built on envy. When you mess up, whether you're a producer, writer, comedian, whatever, they can't wait to go like this.
That's just the nature of the beast.
MORGAN: Who were the guys, the other actors who really stuck by you?
ROURKE: Well, Stallone helped me out. Sean stuck by me.
MORGAN: Sean Penn.
ROURKE: Sean Penn. Even Sean and I had an altercation where we didn't talk for ten years.
MORGAN: That I can imagine. Because you're both fiery guys.
ROURKE: Right, right. So one day we finally -- I remember I was out of work. And Sean gave me an afternoon's worth of work on a film he was doing with Jack Nicholson. I had some nice moments in the 12 seconds that I was on film. And just slowly over a 13-year period, they let me back in the door, pretty much.
MORGAN: I want to come back and just ask you, as delicately as I can, about comments from your ex-wife.
ROURKE: Sure. Whatever you want.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROURKE: Further, further, further. I'll put it right on the spot. Right on the spot. There. Oh, that's nice.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Even now you're loving every second of that, aren't you? Be honest.
ROURKE: Well --
MORGAN: -- going to work --
ROURKE: That was a while ago. But we worked together for the first time since then two days ago.
MORGAN: Did you really? Kim Basinger from "9 1/2 Weeks".
MORGAN: Tell me about that.
ROURKE: It was one of the producers, Mark Kenton, he called me and said, would you like to work a couple of days on something that Kim's going to be -- do a couple days and with a director from Nigeria, something called "Niger Delta." And I said -- he explained the character to me. I said, really, just two days. OK, I can handle that. I'm sure she can handle just two days, too.
So I think we did just --
MORGAN: Had you seen each other since?
ROURKE: Once. Once.
MORGAN: How extraordinary.
MORGAN: When you met up again this time, how did it go?
ROURKE: It's always nerve-racking. It's like I didn't -- I wasn't -- this was a long time ago and I wasn't -- I was a little wilder then, you know? And she -- I didn't understand her issues or where she was coming from, nor was I interested. It was just, you know --
MORGAN: So when she first saw you again this time, was it affectionate?
ROURKE: Well, the first time we saw each in over 20 years was last year or something. And it was -- yes, it was like -- yes, it was tearful.
MORGAN: I mean, you shared a lot, Mickey. A lot of fruit went down.
ROURKE: Yes. They said that, yeah. Yeah. I can look at that now. And it's a very interesting sort of almost like another lifetime experience. You know, it happened so long ago, the -- that movie.
MORGAN: I mean, it was around that whole time --
ROURKE: There's not a day that I'm not out in a club or a bar walking down the street that some guy will come up to me, oh, man, I got laid because of you, or did you -- I said, no, I didn't. So I hear about the movie all the -- I often wonder does she.
MORGAN: Are you proud of it, from an acting point of view?
ROURKE: I have never been until in the last couple of years, kind of acknowledged it. Because for some reason, it wasn't the kind of movie I thought I should actually do with my time.
MORGAN: A few years after that, you met up with Carrie Otis.
MORGAN: And she's written this memoir which is pretty explosive. Having said that, every time I've interviewed you in the past, you have openly said the relationship, the marriage was explosive.
MORGAN: What was your view of the book?
ROURKE: I don't have any desire to read it. To me, that's something that happened over 20 years ago. And you know, just from what I've heard about it and what have you, I think it's probably kind of like a little sour grapes, chasing the buck and a delusional, kind of narcissistic, self-centered point of view. OK?
Anyway, what's the next thing you want to talk about?
MORGAN: No, but I -- I mean, it's fascinating. Because I have discussed this with you before.
ROURKE: Well, I'm just saying, if you're going to write a book, then, you know -- and you want to -- you want to influence or help people, you know, that are in a certain position -- a lot of people 00 there's things that -- you know what I'm talking about here -- that are taboo.
MORGAN: Despite everything --
MORGAN: -- would you still, if you're honest, say that she remains the great love of your life? Despite all the chaos --
ROURKE: Not -- I think it's -- as it was put to me, you are in love with the idea of who you wanted her to be, not who she really is. And I --
MORGAN: Do you think if you both hadn't been quite so messed up at the time --
ROURKE: Oh, of course. Oh, yeah.
MORGAN: Do you ever wonder about that?
ROURKE: No, I don't have to wonder. That's a fact. If I didn't have the physical abuse and she didn't have the thing with her (EXPLETIVE DELETED) -- with her father, who the hell knows? You know what I'm saying? But it's like I can't talk about what happened to me with my stepfather and happened to my brothers, because it's shameful and hurtful. And I just -- it's very -- I feel very small talking about it.
The way I've read about that kind of stuff is you pretend it never happens. So -- but if you want to write a God damn book and help people, talk about what the real problem is, not the bull (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that you want to be a spokesman for a disease you never had. You know? You feel me?
MORGAN: I think I'm feeling you, Mickey.
MORGAN: Tell me about women now. Because you've become, since "The Wrestler" --
ROURKE: I know nothing about women.
MORGAN: Have you learned anything about them? Do you understand them better?
ROURKE: No, they're stronger than us. When they close the door and it hits them in the ass, they're gone. You can get on your knees and your belly and grovel like a -- you know, like a little pig, they ain't coming back. But we couldn't live without them.
Hey, listen, it would be a really terrible place if it was just me, you and these camera guys.
MORGAN: It would be a terrible place.
ROURKE: Well -- maybe not for him.
MORGAN: Are an easier guy to go out with, to date, to be with?
ROURKE: No, I'm -- not necessarily, no. But the thing with me right now is, as time goes by, everything's not so sacred. It's not so important to get all upset about little things -- oh, I like that picture. My agent hated that outfit. And he said, you wonder why you lost the Academy Award.
MORGAN: Is it -- the Academy Award system, I would imagine that beneath all the sort of stuff that goes with Mickey Rourke and the stuff that sometimes you play up to -- that underneath it there's a very serious actor. Would you see affirmation from the Academy as an ongoing great thing for you? Is that the ultimate?
ROURKE: Listen, when I -- listen, just to get the second chance, they're letting me back in the door. I'm grateful to that. In any profession that you do, lots of professions, you don't even -- you know, you don't get a second chance again. Sports or whatever have you, it's over.
I'm in a profession where I get a second chance. I get to work hard, because change has been hard for me. And I am a certain kind of person. I've got to always watch myself.
I'm never going to be -- it's never going to be like everything's OK now. It's never going to be OK. So I can blow it all in five seconds.
MORGAN: Do you still feel that?
ROURKE: Oh, yeah. I could blow it all in a heartbeat.
MORGAN: Do you still drink much?
ROURKE: It wasn't the drinking. Drinking was never my problem. MORGAN: What was your problem?
ROURKE: My anger.
MORGAN: And does that still flare up?
ROURKE: Sure. Well, not -- I mean, I'm able to, because I work with someone to deal with repercussions and being a professional and taking responsibility and be -- being accountable if he said something to me right now under his breath that was disrespectful, you know, I might think a few seconds before, or I might think --
MORGAN: You would still hit him.
ROURKE: I'll get him later, absolutely. But not right now -- I wouldn't charge under the table right now. You know?
MORGAN: Should I be feeling a little nervous here, Mickey?
ROURKE: I would do it in a diplomatic way, you know. No, I'm just saying you have to plan things out. That didn't come out right. But you what I'm saying.
MORGAN: I need to take a break here just to calm things down here. I'm feeling a bit physically threatened.
MORGAN: Now you're wound up. I want to talk about politics.
ROURKE: You better call Sean and Tim Robbins. They have something to say about that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDETIFIED MALE: Does he know of my rage? Does he know that I live only to see his blood at the end of my sword? Does he know he butchered my mother?
ROURKE: Now that he has seen your face, he knows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: From Mickey Rourke's new movie "Immortals," which is currently in theaters. Did you enjoy making "Immortals?"
ROURKE: I did. It was a short job for me. It was a -- the director -- I said, who is directing the movie. I thought it was -- you know, had a lot of integrity in it for the genre that it is.
I looked at the director's reel. That's what blew me away, seeing the director. He had done these Nike commercials with all these masks with Derek Jeter and all these other athletes and football players, and used masks which he was using to experiment with this for this thing. And I saw a lot of his other commercials. I thought this guy can really shoot.
He knows all about the lighting and the technical stuff. I said if I'm going to do this genre, then I would like do it with somebody that is going to keep the integrity to it and who is going to do something different.
MORGAN: We are talking of different and integrity. Your next movie project is fascinating.
MORGAN: "A Beautiful Game." You're going to be playing Gareth Thomas, who is a Welsh rugby player who came out as gay, and was, in fact, the first really famous player in any sport in the world who was still playing who came out. And for him to do what he did was an astonishing act of courage, because it could have gone any way.
As it turned out, he got enveloped in huge support. But it wasn't easy for him.
ROURKE: No. That's what attracted me to Gareth. I was in London and I was in a pub. And some how I ended up arm wrestling with these rugby players. We became friends. They play for the Huntersfield Giants. And they gave me a magazine article about their football team.
And inside you was an article about Gareth Thomas, legendary Welsh captain player, who had come out -- who had come out, announced that he is gay in that particular sport, OK? I thought, I would love to do that movie. Look at what this guy's got on his plate, you know?
MORGAN: He came out to your premier last week?
ROURKE: Yes, he did. We flew him out. Let me just say, he went full circle. From him coming out, he was married for six years.
ROURKE: He had to tell his wife. He had to tell his parents. He had to tell his coach. He had to tell his teammates. He had to tell his fans, hometown fans. And then he had the whole thing of going to away games when Wales or who he was playing, who he was playing with, played -- you know, the opposing team, they were brutal with the -- you know, what they would say to him in the stands and have you.
And the fact that this guy played this particular hard sport, maybe the hardest sport, no pads, anything, at this level, at the level that he played it at, with all that was on his plate, and this secret that he had to keep from his wife --
MORGAN: It's an amazing story.
ROURKE: When I sat there I said, you know what, I thought I had a lot on my plate. This guy's plate was pretty full. MORGAN: Talking of plates that are full, Barack Obama has a pretty full plate at the moment. You were a Bush fan last time I spoke to you.
ROURKE: Who told you?
MORGAN: You told me.
ROURKE: Oh. OK. Fair enough.
MORGAN: What do you make of President Obama? What do you make of what's happening with your country right now?
ROURKE: I have -- I like the way you say with your country.
MORGAN: It is your country. I wouldn't deign to claim it as mine. It has been very good to me, but it's not my country.
ROURKE: Yes, nobody ever put it like that to me before. I'm just -- it just sounded -- I'm not involved at the moment with all that.
MORGAN: What is your overview? What is going wrong with America?
ROURKE: I don't really have one, to be honest with you. I don't have -- I was all caught up in the whole thing with the 9/11 and the stuff with following bin Laden and the other Hussein and this guy and another guy that went -- the guy in Iran. It's not -- I'm not -- to be honest, I'm not qualified to give you an opinion, because I don't -- I'm not that well informed about what's going on. And every time I try to --
MORGAN: Are you learning a bit of diplomatic tact in your old age, Mickey?
ROURKE: Yes, I am. Yeah. No. I don't want the -- you know, guys who have the different view on politics or things that I have to challenge me on that stuff. I'm not that patient to listen to them.
MORGAN: Do you think actors should spout off about politics?
ROURKE: I'll let you read my mind.
MORGAN: What -- professionally, we know what you're doing. It couldn't be going better for you. Personally, what are the ambitions? There's a wild rumor you got engaged recently?
ROURKE: No, I didn't get engaged.
MORGAN: Are you with anyone in any serious way?
ROURKE: None of your business, Piers.
MORGAN: I know, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
ROURKE: Mind your own business man.
MORGA: I can ask. You can reserve the right to fill me in.
ROURKE: I will take the fifth.
MORGAN: Are you happy?
ROURKE: You know what it is? As time goes by and you're getting older and stuff like that -- getting older sucks. You know, I hear all this crap about, oh, you can age with dignity. Really? That means like you're aging gracefully or something?
No, you're dying, man. You look like you -- everything is dropping, falling. In the beginning, it's hard -- harder, faster, stronger. Then it's softer, slower, older. I never heard somebody say give it to me, baby, older, slower, softer. Give it to me harder, stronger, faster, right?
So it is like -- it's a process of I'm not -- I'm not accepting it, you know, laying down or standing up. It's like there's nothing I can do about it. And it's like -- I mean, you look in the mirror around it is like, hmm, it is all going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
MORGAN: Speak for yourself, Mickey.
ROURKE: I'm sure you look and say that too
MORGAN: I was thinking how incredibly smart you're looking tonight.
ROURKE: Yes, well.
MORGAN: Mickey, it's been a pleasure as always. Good luck with the movie. And I hope you come back and talk about the Welsh movie, because I've got a real interest in that.
ROURKE: Yes, it will be better than "The Wrestler."
MORGAN: I look forward to that. Thanks, Mickey Rourke.
ROURKE: Thank you.
MORGAN: Jon Huntsman is a rather unconventional presidential candidate, a conservative Republican who was President Obama's ambassador to China, and a man who likes to put out unusual campaign videos.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are shamelessly promoting our dad, like no other candidate's family ever has. But then again, no one's ever seen a trio like the Jon 2012 Girls. We need you to get involved to make sure our next president is based on substance, not sound bytes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Check out our dad at John2012.com, and follow us on Twitter @Jon2012Girls.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Tomorrow night, I will have an exclusive interview with Jon Huntsman. And perhaps even more excitingly, with his three daughters, including the exclusive preview of the Huntsman Girls' latest video.