When Robert De Niro was Publicly Insulted by Mickey Rourke

Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke are two legendary actors who have both made a significant impact in Hollywood. However, there was a time when the two had a heated feud that was played out publicly, leaving fans and industry insiders stunned.

The incident occurred at the 2019 American Film Institute (AFI) Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, which was honoring Robert De Niro for his contribution to the film industry. During De Niro’s speech, he referred to Rourke as a “friend” and a “great actor,” which seemed like a kind gesture. However, things took a sharp turn when Rourke took to the stage to present a speech about De Niro.

In a rambling and incoherent speech, Rourke went off-script and started to insult De Niro. He claimed that De Niro refused to work with him in the 1980s movie “Angel Heart” and went on to mock De Niro’s career, stating that he was “overrated” and that he was only good in “one or two films.”

The incident shocked the audience and the internet went wild with reactions, with many expressing their surprise and disbelief at Rourke’s behavior. Some fans speculated that Rourke may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, while others believed that the feud between the two actors went deeper than what was seen on stage.

To understand the context of this feud, it is important to look back at the careers of both actors. Robert De Niro is considered one of the greatest actors of all time, having won two Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor for his performances in “The Godfather Part II” and “Raging Bull,” respectively. He has starred in numerous critically acclaimed films and is widely respected in the industry.

Mickey Rourke, on the other hand, had a rocky career in Hollywood. After rising to fame in the 1980s with his performances in “Diner” and “Rumble Fish,” he struggled with personal demons and his career went downhill. He became infamous for his erratic behavior and failed to land any major roles.

The two actors have had a long and complicated history, which goes back to the 1980s when they were both considered rising stars in Hollywood. Rourke claimed that De Niro had him fired from “Angel Heart,” a claim that De Niro denied. Rourke also claimed that De Niro was jealous of his talent, which further fueled the tension between the two.

Despite their rocky history, the feud between De Niro and Rourke seemed to have died down until the infamous AFI ceremony incident. De Niro did not respond to Rourke’s insults on stage and the two have not spoken about the incident publicly since.

In the end, the incident was a sad reminder of how personal grudges and feuds can spill over into public events, leaving both parties embarrassed and causing harm to their professional reputations. While De Niro and Rourke may never be friends, it is important to remember that they are both talented actors who have made significant contributions to the film industry.

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