Mickey Rourke Talks with Bill O'Reilly

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 11, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight: A movie called "Sin City" (search) is a big hit. It's one of those film noir (search) deals. Lots of violence, lots of good reviews.

Now, whenever I hear the term "noir," I know there are going to be heads rolling, eyeballs popping, maybe a little cannibalism to go along with your popcorn. So what's going on here?

With us now, Mickey Rourke, one of the stars of "Sin City." —Remember Clint Eastwood when he was in "Dirty Harry"? You were around then.


O'REILLY: K? He made these movies that were, you know, kind of violent, but nothing like today, and they killed him. The critics killed him. He was a "fascist." He was this, he's that...

Now you've got every perversion in the world in this "Sin City," and they love it. What's changed?

ROURKE: Changing times.

O'REILLY: In what way?

ROURKE: I think that, well, they upped the ante with the violence; you can do more.

O'REILLY: And you can do more — the critics, though, are the same critics, pretty much. [Roger] Ebert, those guys...

ROURKE: Right.

O'REILLY: ... they love all of this mayhem, but they didn't like it 30 years ago, and I'm not — I don't understand why.

ROURKE: I think with Eastwood's movies and, you know, stuff McQueen did, and all of them, it was — redemption was a big thing. You know? Now there's just violence for the sake of violence.

O'REILLY: Depravity. Depravity seems to be in in Hollywood. Would you say I was wrong?


O'REILLY: Do you know why it's in?

ROURKE: Well, I think the whole culture, you know, the music has changed. The videos are pretty — pretty out there. I know how you feel about the videos, you know.

O'REILLY: Gangsta rap not on our menu...

ROURKE: And the game shows. I don't know about those, that's not my thing, but...

O'REILLY: Right. Right. So you have to stimulate the audience...

ROURKE: It comes from...

O'REILLY: Right — a hundred more times than you did when Clint Eastwood was Dirty Harry.

ROURKE: Right.

O'REILLY: When you get a script and you see all of this mayhem — I mean, I didn't see — I haven't seen this "Sin City." I don't know whether I will or not. I did see "Kill Bill, Part I." I was forced to see it. You know, Tarantino knows how to make movies —but do I want to see limbs flying all over the place? I really don't.

But when you get a script with all of this violence, do you care? Does it bother you?

ROURKE: It depends — it comes with the whole package. For me, you know, if it has a certain amount of integrity, if — Who the director is, what kind of movies he's made, what the story's about, who else is in the movie.

O'REILLY: Because this one is pretty violent, this movie, right?

ROURKE: Pretty violent. And I knew I was going to speak to you today, so I spoke to the writer of the comic book, because this is a comic book.

O'REILLY: Right.

ROURKE: And it's shot in such a stylized, surreal way that you can almost detach yourself from the amount of violence that's in it, the blood and everything else.

O'REILLY: You can if you're an adult.

ROURKE: If you're an adult.

O'REILLY: If you're 17, living in the inner city, surrounded by violence, I don't know if you're detachable.

ROURKE: No. You want me to read what Frank said about violence?

O'REILLY: A little bit.

ROURKE: Frank Miller. You want to read it, because you can probably read quicker than me?

O'REILLY: Well, let's see, this is the guy who wrote the movie?


O'REILLY: "Violence is too big a something. A snuff film is violent. So is 'Taxi Driver' or 'Seven Samurai.' Movies have had a long, worthy history of stylized violence."

I'm not going to disagree with that. I'm more interested, though, in the actors. Now, this is a good movie for you. Obviously, it got good reviews. You have a big part in it. Hollywood's a tough place. When you were shooting the movie, did you have any second thoughts about it at all?

ROURKE: No, because I had worked with Robert Rodriguez (search) before.

O'REILLY: He's the director. Right.

ROURKE: And he's sort of — there's a lot of actors that would love to work with Rodriguez.

O'REILLY: There are.

ROURKE: And I'm one of them. I've been on the floor with him before. He's a good man. He's prepared. He...

O'REILLY: Do you have any kids?


O'REILLY: If you had a 16-year-old kid, boy, would you let him see this movie, "Sin City"?

ROURKE: Sixteen years old?



O'REILLY: You would?

ROURKE: Because, you know, you haven't seen it, right?

O'REILLY: No, haven't seen it.

ROURKE: And it's an entertaining movie, because it's from a comic book.

O'REILLY: Right.

ROURKE: OK. Grant you, it's not "Superman" or "Spider-Man," thank God. It's a much better film than any of those.

O'REILLY: But there's cannibalism, right?

ROURKE: Yes. But it's tongue-in-cheek.

O'REILLY: Tongue-in-cheek. Pardon the pun.

ROURKE: All right.

O'REILLY: Pardon the pun.


O'REILLY: All right. Look, I'm not a censorship kind of guy. I've never been that way. If you're an adult, you see what you want. And you know, we wish you the best.

ROURKE: All right, Bill.

O'REILLY: Thanks for coming in.

ROURKE: You got it.

O'REILLY: Pleasure to see you.

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