Mickey Rourke claims Robert De Niro feud stopped him landing a role in 'The Irishman'

Hanna Flint
Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro have a secret 30 year feud (Credit: Getty/Film Magic)

Mickey Rourke says that he and Robert De Niro have been feuding for 30 years.

The actors appeared together in 1987’s Angel Heart but Rourke has claimed that the experience was not amicable.

Speaking on the Italian TV show Live – Non è la D’Urso, the Iron Man 2 star says that De Niro’s animosity went so far as to cost him a role in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

“Six months ago, I'm broke,” Rourke says. “The only money I had is when I went over to Russia to fight. I spent all that money.

“Marty Scorsese wanted to meet me for a movie with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro,” he explains. “The casting person told my manager that Robert De Niro said he refused to work with me in a movie.

“I'm only upset because I needed the money but the thing is he don't forget what happened 20 years ago. They have a saying, ‘I took him to school.’ Before that no other actor took him to school.”

The two actors fell out while making the Alan Parker film in the 1980s.

Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro in Angel Heart

“It was a big movie for me, I was the star of the film and he was a co-star,” Rourke said of working on Angel Heart. “I looked up to him like Marlon Brando and Al Pacino.

The 67-year-old actor claims De Niro, 76, told him, “I think it's better if we don't talk,” and after a couple of scenes together he changed his opinion of his co-star.

“Now I don't look up to him no more, I look through him,” Rourke says. “I came up from the s**t. He doesn't know that life. I lived that f**king life so every time I looked him in the face I look right through his a**hole.”

Read more: The Irishman will be De Niro’s longest ever movie

The actor - who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 2008’s The Wrestler - went on to explain how this feud also cost him a role in Scorsese’s latest.

VERNON, CA - FEBRUARY 16: Mickey Rourke and Al Pacino attend Mr Chow 50 Years on February 16, 2018 in Vernon, California. (Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Mr Chow Enterprises )

De Niro is the lead in The Irishman, a new gangster movie based on the 2004 non-fiction book I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.

De Niro plays Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran while Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci star as Jimmy Hoffa and Russell Bufalino, respectively, and follows Sheeran as he recounts his alleged jobs as a hitman for the Bufalino crime family.

Read more: Aladdin 2 won’t remake of The Return of Jafar

The Irishman is the ninth collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese and will premiere at the BFI London Film Festival before streaming on Netflix.

Yahoo Movies UK has contacted De Niro’s publicist for comment.