17 DECEMBER 2008

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It's always difficult to get the public's attention with a slate of premieres in the run-up to Christmas. And with a Will Smith screening on the same night, Mickey Rourke must have felt an added promotional edge was needed when he presented The Wrestler in in Los Angeles.

The actor eschewed the tested method of escorting an attractive lady down the red carpet as Seven Pounds star Will did with his co-star Rosario Dawson. Instead he made his appearance surrounded by beefy professional fighters.

Among them was Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, the wrestler on whom he based his character, Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper.

Mickey seemed in his element exchanging muscle-flexed greetings with the guys. Their attendance reflects the enthusiasm for the film in the wrestling world, in which his performance as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, a wrestler 20 years past his prime and looking for a comeback, struck a deep chord.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
The presence of Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper and Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake meant Mickey got plenty of attention amidst the crowded screenings schedule usual at this time of year Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: © Alphapress.com
They had some glamorous competition in the form of Will Smith and Rosario Dawson, who were promoting their drama Seven Pounds about a tax inspector who sets out to gain redemption for past sins by changing the lives of seven strangers Photo: © Rex

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