“Passion Play”: Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke, together at last

As a first-grader I know frequently informs me, there are four fundamental forces in the universe: the strong nuclear force, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force and gravity. He doesn’t know about the fifth force, recently discovered and poorly understood, the one so powerful and so insidious that it has drawn Mickey Rourke and Megan Fox together to make an earnest, baffling and occasionally risible love story called “Passion Play.” Evidently a labor of love for writer-director Mitch Glazer (whose wife, Kelly Lynch, plays a likable supporting role), “Passion Play” was already halfway to becoming legendary when it screened last fall at Toronto. Some viewers there proclaimed it a masterpiece of exquisite badness, which isn’t entirely fair. Oh, it’s bad, all right — a hackneyed Bukowskian fantasy, set in a thoroughly imaginary noir universe inhabited by hard-drinkin’ jazzmen and worldly hookers — but that’s not half as surprising as the fact that it got made in the first place.

Rourke plays an ex-junkie trumpet player who cheats death in the Mexican desert with the help of a tribe of ghostly Indians — you only wish I were kidding — and keeps falling in love with the wrong girl. (The character is inspired, I’m pretty sure, by the late, great Chet Baker.) Fox plays the last of those girls, who has wings. Yes, wings, with feathers and everything. It’s a miracle or it’s a metaphor or it’s a sex thing or something, and it points you right at the final plot twist, which I won’t tell you but you might figure out anyway. The movie also has Bill Murray as a sinister, milk-drinking gangster named Happy, who isn’t happy. He injects a note of comic menace and acts rings around the two principals, while demonstrating (once again) that he’ll appear in absolutely anything as long as the checks clear. This is all supposed to be mythical and hard-boiled and deeply American, except that it was shot, student-film-style, in a lot of unpromising suburban locations on the fringes of Albuquerque. The net effect is as if someone had set out to imitate a David Lynch movie without ever having seen one, or as if it had been directed by Wim Wenders (which is approximately the same thing). Continue reading “Passion Play”: Megan Fox and Mickey Rourke, together at last

Q&A: Mitch Glazer on Megan Fox, Mickey Rourke, and His New Miami Gangster Series

Hollywood just hasn’t been the same since Mitch Glazer moved back to Miami. The screenwriter and his wife, Kelly Lynch, usually keep benevolent watch over the movie crowd’s social scene from their breathtaking Lautner house up in the hills, but they are currently sweating away in the Sunshine State on Magic City, a new series for Chris Albrecht’s Starz network. West Coast editor Krista Smith caught up with Glazer to talk about the new show and his directorial debut, Passion Play, which opens in limited release today.

We know how difficult it is to get a movie made, from having the idea to casting, financing, shooting, and completion. That’s no small feat. And with this kind of cast—I mean, how did you go about approaching Mickey Rourke?

I’ve known him since high school, since we were 15. We have been friends. There were the missing years, of course, when he was just too nuts to connect with. But he was a year younger than me in high school, and my high school was basically 70 percent Jewish, 30 percent Cuban, and Mickey. So it was kind of a dream: I had Mickey and Billy and Kelly—amazing actors all, and of course Rhys [Ifans] and Megan [Fox]. It was a responsibility, because I didn’t want to let any of them down, but it was also a joy. There is a moment in the movie where Billy and Mickey are sharing a banquette together and I was watching and going, “God, this is wild, two guys that have just been nominated for best actor a year apart”—both lost to Sean Penn, I might add—“and they are two guys I have known forever and two of my favorite actors.”

I love Bill Murray.

He’s the best. And you know, Mickey brings all his—the full jolt of his talent and personality. We were about to do a scene with him and Billy and Megan, and I said, “I think the first time you acted was with my sister, Amy,” and he turned to me and said, “Yeah, and I slept with her.” I went, “What? You slept with my sister? When?” And he said, “Senior year.” I said, “No one told me!” So I had to call my sister and said, “You fucked Mickey Rourke?!” She said, “We didn’t want to upset you.” I said, “I’m upset. I’m upset right now!” This is 40 years ago and I’m furious. [Laughs.]

In Hollywood, it’s amazing to have relationships that last so long. In the end, those are always the relationships that come through for you.

Every time. And you know, Megan was so stand-up. I had never seen Transformers. I saw a few scenes from Jennifer’s Body, and that’s it. And then I had lunch with her at Little Dom’s. I was looking for Gene Tierney or Ava Gardner, and I’ve never seen anything like it. She felt vulnerable and really got the character and I just decided: She’s it. I didn’t realize the level of her Internet fame and that whole thing—it’s an age thing for me. I just didn’t get it. For me she was just this incredible face and this timeless, iconic-looking woman. Then she gets on set and Mickey pulls me aside after their first scene. “Mitchell,” he says, “she’s fucking amazing! Oh my God, it’s going to be so good!”

Source: Vanity Fair