He can remember the days when there was only one question on people's lips - what happened to your career? Yet all that seemed far behind Mickey Rourke on Monday as the actor, now enjoying a major movie resurgence, was feted in a hip New York hotel.
A posse of pals, among them fellow tough-guy actors Ray Winstone, Matt Dillon and Jason Statham, joined the 56-year-old for cocktails. Supermodel Naomi Campbell also showed up at the party held in a penthouse suite overlooking the Big Apple.
His friends were celebrating after a special screening of The Wrestler, a drama about a fighter looking to recreate his glory days, which has been highly praised as Mickey's 'comeback' role.
"It's painfully nice," says Mickey of the renewed attention. "I was on the bench for 13 years, and after ten years go by you start thinking all you have is hope".
That's all changed now. Mickey's very much today's news, with the Hollywood grapevine buzzing with talk of an Oscar, and regular invites to A-list film events. And that's what his friends would have been raising their glasses to.