Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid marked their return to ITV’s Good Morning Britain after the summer break with a bizarre interview with Mickey Rourke.
The Hollywood star appeared on the show via video-link from Los Angeles, wearing a cowboy hat and a half-unbuttoned black silk shirt, sitting with a dog on his lap and holding a walking stick.
He appeared to be seated in a restaurant with framed photographs positioned next to him, including one of a different dog.
Discussing his Oscar-nominated turn in the 2008 film The Wrestler, which marked his comeback after years in the Hollywood wilderness, Rourke peppered his responses with long pauses as he revealed it was his psychiatrist who urged him to take the role.
He said: “I read the script and I wasn’t crazy about the script, and I went into my one or twice weekly meeting with my psychiatrist and he said to me ‘If Darren Aronofsky offers you a movie, do it’.
“My psychiatrist works with a lot of heavy-hitters in town here and he knows more than I know about what’s going on.
“And so I met with Darren and I watched a couple of his movies and I liked his movies and I liked the fact that, when we were meeting at a restaurant, we had never met before and I kept looking out for him.
“In my mind I pictured what he looked like so I’m sitting there and having a coffee and I see this guy get off a bicycle with a green helmet on and he’s walking towards me, like he’s got the biggest balls on the planet and I’m going ‘This better be him…’”
Asked how it felt to be back on top after he made the film, he said: “I never, ever really felt like being back at the top, I never really felt like I accomplished that.
“It’s like my psychiatrist said to me ‘You were all the way up the mountain and then you dove off head first’ so when you are out of work for a decade and then things start to happen again, I never really felt like I accomplished anything much.”
Rourke also discussed his opposition to Donald Trump and his new film, Night Walk, in which he plays a member of a neo-Nazi gang.
He said: “That was real interesting to work with because it was with a young first-time director that wasn’t terrified to work with me.
“He was just very excited to work with me, so the enthusiasm of working with a guy like 28, 29, 30, whatever he was, it was a really good experience and I went out and I talked to some people about the white supremacist guys and I got an earful.”