Mickey Rourke's 'Iron Man 2' Performance Inspired By Death Of His Dog

WhiplashAs an actor, Mickey Rourke has gained a reputation for his hard-edged roles in films like "Sin City" and "The Wrestler." However, outside of the film industry Rourke is an outspoken animal activist and a well known dog-lover — characteristics that helped motivate his upcoming role as Whiplash in "Iron Man 2."

According to The Daily Express, Rourke used pictures of his deceased pets to stimulate his emotional performance while on the set of "Iron Man 2."

“He would have someone holding pictures of recently deceased pets off camera to make him feel sad or whatever for a scene,” said Robert Downey Jr.. “It was all serious stuff. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Downey's acting method of choice is improvisation, as related in several stories by his "Iron Man 2" co-stars, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Munn and Anya Monzikova.

Late last year, Jeff Bridges stated that the first "Iron Man" film was made without a script.

"They had no script, man," related Bridges. "They had an outline. We would show up for big scenes every day and we wouldn't know what we were going to say. We would have to go into our trailer and work on this scene and call up writers on the phone, 'You got any ideas?' Meanwhile the crew is tapping their foot on the stage waiting for us to come on."

"It happens in movies a lot where something's rubbing against your fur and it's not feeling right, but it's just the way it is," continued Bridges. "You can spend a lot of energy bitching about that or you can figure out how you're going to do it, how you're going to play this hand you've been dealt. What you can control is how you perceive things and your thinking about it."

What is your opinion of Mickey Rourke's method of using his pets to stir his emotions? Is Downey's brand of improvisation more effective for genuine emotion? Let us know what you think in the comment section below or on Twitter!