Least Likely Leading Man:
Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler"

Whatever happened to Eighties hunk Mickey Rourke?  The ruggedly handsome actor achieved movie star status in the arty horror movie, “Angel Heart” and the sexy romp “9 1/2 Weeks.” Then he dropped out of the limelight.


Rourke has triumphantly returned to the forefront with his acclaimed role in “The Wrestler.”  He woos hottie Marisa Tomei in a critically acclaimed performance as a has-been wrestler attempting a comeback.

But is this the same guy?  He once showed chiselled good looks.  Now it looks like the chiseller slipped.  His skin appears puffy and pockmarked. Odd symmetric lumps are noted on his cheeks and chin.  Tissue around his eyelids protrudes in an unnatural fashion.

Rourke attributes his changed visage to the boxing career he returned to in the 1990’s.  He claims that the pounding he took in the ring led to his current lumpy looks. While injuries may play some role with the state of Rourke’s face, prosthetic implants seem to be in the action these days.  His swollen cheeks and chin appear to contain implanted prosthetics.

To create persistent volume in sunken cheeks, or make recessed chins more prominent, plastic surgeons may use prosthetic implants. While "permanent," these can be problematic if they are out of scale with facial features. Rourke may have had implants, as well as eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and surgical lip enhancement. If the goal was to restore his looks circa 1990, the results seem more distracting than dashing.

Usually, movie leading men are conventionally handsome.  Hats off to Rourke for getting back on the cinematic pedestal.  As any student of skinema.com knows, with his current looks Rourke may not consistently play romantic leads, but abnormal skin can keep him busy playing film villains…

Runner-up, Least Likely Leading Man:

Robotic janitor WALL-E, with his out of date exterior and unhygienic coating of dust and garbage is not your typical Romeo. Yet with charm, humor and tenacity, he wins over the girl-with-the-good-skin, porcelain-toned EVE. 



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