Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro are in a vicious feud that we just heard about for the first time

Photo: Dave Kotinsky (Getty Images for 2015 Tribeca Film Festival), Gregg DeGuire (Getty Images)

Everyone loves a good celebrity feud, whether it’s Joan Crawford vs. Bette Davis, Lindsey Buckingham vs. Stevie Nicks, or Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever, but apparently celebrities are so prone to feuding that every once in a while they engage in a longtime feud that we never even get to hear about. For example, did you know Taylor Swift and Kanye West had a fight going on and neither one of them ever talked about it ever? Wild! Anyway, this week we’re just learning about another big celebrity feud, with Mickey Rourke telling Italian TV show Live—Non É La D’Urso (via The Independent) that he didn’t get a role in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman because him and Scorsese’s buddy Robert De Niro don’t get along.

According to Rourke, Scorsese wanted to meet with him for “a movie with Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Robert De Niro,” but the “casting person” told Rourke’s manager that it couldn’t happen because De Niro apparently said that he refused to work with Rourke. Apparently, this dates back to the ‘80s, when De Niro and Rourke both appeared in the film Angel Heart. Rourke said that he looked up to De Niro at the time, but any fondness he had for the man came crashing down when De Niro came up to him on set and said, “I think it’s better if we don’t talk.”

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Now, that’s not the kind of thing anyone says to another person without a reason, and Uproxx pulled up an ABC News story from 2008 that mentions Rourke being very difficult to work with on the set of Angel Heart specifically. Director Alan Parker even referred to the shoot at the time as a “nightmare” and said Rourke is “very dangerous on the set because you never know what he is going to do.” It shouldn’t be news to anyone that Rourke has a reputation for being difficult to work with, but apparently De Niro missed the whole redemptive arc he had back around the time of that ABC story when The Wrestler was coming out. Or maybe this is just destined to be one of those feuds that simmers forever. Either way, we won’t get to see a young Mickey Rourke (who talks and acts like modern Mickey Rourke) brought to life through the powers of The Irishman’s CG magic now, and that’s the real tragedy here.

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