13 OCTOBER 2008

The confident smile said it loud and clear – Mickey Rourke is back at the top of his game. The US actor, who has been hailed Hollywood's comeback king, looked thrilled to be launching his new flick The Wrestler at the New York Film Festival at the weekend.

In the film Mickey plays an ageing wrestler who is warned one more fight could kill him. It's a role that has won the 51-year-old, who left movies to become a boxer in the Nineties, critical acclaim. After the flick picked up an award at this year's Venice Film Festival, film pundits are already naming Mickey as the frontrunner in the best actor Oscar race.

Understandably, the Sin City star is immensely proud of his new big screen venture. "I can honestly say (The Wrestler) is the best movie I ever made and the hardest movie I've ever made," he says. "I'm no spring chicken and this would be hard for a 20-year-old to do."

Joining Mickey at the screening were Oscar-nominee Naomi Watts and her actor husband Liev Schreiber. And the Tinseltown couple, who have a one-year-old son - Alexander Pete - weren't the only star parents on the red carpet. Definitely Maybe star Rachel Weisz and her director husband Darren Aronofsky - the man behind The Wrestler - were also there.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Sin City actor arrives at the New York Film Festival premiere of The Wrestler. His role as an ageing sportsman in the flick has won him critical acclaim and is generating Oscar buzzPhoto: © RexClick on photos for gallery
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Also on hand were Naomi Watts and her other half, Love In the Time Of Cholera actor Liev SchreiberPhoto: © Getty Images
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