Hollywood rebel Mickey Rourke is proving that dogs really are a man's best friend.
He told reporters at the premiere of Eating Happiness, a documentary on dog meat production, that his pet Chihuahua, Beau Jack, saved him by giving him a needy look just at the point he was considering ending his life.
"Who's going to look after me?"
Rourke discussed how he was on the brink of suicide, holding a gun to his head, when a gentle glance from his canine companion made him reconsider. Speaking to reporters, he said:
"My dog, Beau Jack, he [cried] and I looked over and he looked up at me like this and...he said [with this eyes], who's going to look after me?
"And it made me put the gun down. I was ready to go."
Rourke's acting career has been turbulent, often flittering in and out of the limelight due to his personal struggles. He also quit acting at one stage to pursue a professional boxing career. Talking of his demons, he said:
"With me, it was never drugs, it was never booze.
"It was just the fire, the pain, the issues that I don't really want to talk about ... abandonment issues, shame, issues of shame."
"I'd ruined my career"
However, the 63-year-old has proven every dog has his day. Following on from his four legged friend's intervention, he's rediscovered his love for acting, and since been nominated for an Oscar.
His resurgence to the top of his game came with his outstanding performance in Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler in 2008, where he portrayed Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, an aging, down and out ex-pro who attempted to make a return to the big time. See a clip of him opposite Marisa Tomei below:
The character was a match made in Heaven for Rourke. He has previously stated he believes it was the best performance of his career, for which he was nominated for Best Actor, and thanked Aronofsky for giving him a second chance. He said:
"I'd ruined my career, and that's all anybody would take the chance on me."
"I just want to do the best, the best work that I can, that I got in me. And that's what Darren [Aronofsky] brought out of me."
Unfortunately, Beau Jack has now passed away, but Rourke still has six other dogs. His compassion for our furry friends will no doubt be part of the reason for attending the premiere of Eating Happiness, a feature length documentary aiming to raise awareness for, and prevent, the controversial dog meat industry.
You can watch the trailer above, although be warned, it's a bit of a tear-jerker.
The film is representing a call-to-action on reducing production. Currently, an astonishing 30 million dogs are eaten in Asia every year. In Vietnam, every year over 5 million dogs are stolen and killed due to the trade.
Having an actor with such a high profile on board, such as Rourke, is sure to have a positive effect on the outcome of the documentary. Take the lead, Mickey!