Actor Mickey Rourke has been training with a gay rugby team in Los Angeles to prepare to portray out athlete Gareth Thomas in his upcoming film biography, reports the Daily Express.
"I've been training with them for six months," 59-year-old Rourke says. "I can't wait to do the best job in the world I can."
Earlier this month Rourke revealed he became inspired by Thomas's story after reading a magazine article. The veteran actor had been drinking with members of the Huddersfield Giants rugby team and got into an arm-wrestling match, which he lost. Rourke says he became good friends with the athletes.
"They gave me a magazine about their club ... [and] there was an article about Gareth Thomas, the rugby player who announced that he's gay," Rourke recalls. "I came back home and was watching Pardon the Interruption and they were talking about Gareth. They were saying how brave he was for coming out. I got on a plane and I met Gareth and I told him, 'I wanna make your life story.' He gave me the rights. I think I beat a studio that was also interested out there by about four days. We're gonna do this movie now. Thomas announced his retirement [October 25]. I've been writing the script for the past year. Hopefully we'll do it in March."