Greece, September 15, 2020
Hollywood legend Mickey Rourke recently sat down for an interview with the Orthodoxia News Agency to discuss his role in the film, “Man of God,” on the life of the great 20th-century wonderworker St. Nektarios of Aegina, which is currently begin filmed in Greece, and miracles he has experienced in his own life.
Rourke plays a paralyzed man who was healed in the hospital by St. Nektarios.
During the interview, he explained that he agreed to take a role in the film after speaking with the screenwriter and director Yelena Popovich, saying he “could tell her heart and integrity were in the right place. It wasn’t a movie about making money… It has spirituality, integrity… She very much does films that she believes in, not films to make millions of dollars.”
Speaking of his experience playing a man who was miraculously healed, the famous actor shared his views on miracles, saying there are little miracles and big miracles in life. “I’ve experienced both” he said. “I do believe in miracles, but I only believe in miracles through God. I don’t believe in luck; I don’t believe in money and power,” he explained.
“I believe that in the decisions that you make in life, the most important thing is to be truthful, to be loyal, and to have a certain amount of love and care in your heart for people that are less fortunate than you,” Rourke added.
Speaking of a major miracle in his own life, he recalled that his brother was very sick at the young age of 17, given only 6 months to live. However, Rourke’s grandmother advised him to pray to St. Jude, which he began to do several times a day, and his brother survived his sickness and lived another 20 years. “It was a miracle that he lived as long as he did,” the actor emphasized.
Another time, his brother was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and should have died, but again, was saved from death.
When his brother did finally die, Rourke lost his faith for about 3 years, though he recovered it after turning to a priest that was very close to him. Since then, he has prayed to the Archangel Michael and St. Jude every day.
Asked if he has experienced any unjust treatment as did St. Nektarios, Rourke only replied: “What can I complain about? … I have no right to complain about anything in my life,” noting that there are people who have suffered far worse than he.
He also emphasized that he has no interest in forming a legacy as an actor. “What’s more important, first, is to be a man. Be a man, then you be an actor,” he said.
At the conclusion of the interview, the film director Yelena Popovich offered Rourke a hand-painted icon of the Theotokos.
“There’s not a better gift I could get,” he said, adding that he will pray before the icon every day for the rest of his life.
Filming for “Man of God” is currently underway in Greece. The film is sponsored by the Athonite Vatopedi Monastery and the Institute of St. Maximus the Greek and is currently scheduled to be released on December 3 this year.
Watch the full interview below: