Mickey Rourke thought his career was over.
The 56-year-old Nine 1/2 Weeks actor believed his acting career was finished, before landing the role of an ageing grappler in new movie The Wrestler.
Now he has been nominated for a Golden Globe and is one of the favourites for a Best Actor Oscar nod for his role as Randy 'The Ram' Robinson, and he can't believe the comeback he has made after 15 years in the wilderness.
The twice-divorced actor said: Randy has been in the twilight of his career for several years. He thinks he has one more game in him - one more shot. He wants to come back again.
I know what that feels like. Randy was somebody 20 years ago and so was Mickey Rourke. When you used to be a somebody and you aren't anybody anymore, you live in what my doctor calls a state of shame. Hollywood is a very unforgiving place, but I took a nosedive all by myself, no one pushed me.
Mickey - who was one of the biggest stars of the 80s before his wild partying and difficult behaviour made him a Hollywood outcast - accepts he only has himself to blame for his enormous fall from grace.
He added to Britain's The Sun newspaper: I was on the bench for 13 years.
Time goes by and you start to think, 'Man, is it really over like everyone says it is?' I would be buying cigarettes and some jerk would say to me, 'Hey, didn't you used to be in the movies?'
Before I got to the top of the mountain I jumped off headfirst. I had a lot of lessons to learn the hard way. I thought I would get back in after a year or two but the struggle to come back has been over 15 years.
BANG! Showbiz (Credit: Fairfax)