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The Golden Globe winning actor, Mickey Rourke has spoken about his desire to portray Gareth Thomas on screen, who is considered to be the first openly gay active professional athlete.
When asked by British television host Alan Carr if they rumors were true that Rourke wanted to play “a gay rubgy plater”, the award winning actor said.
“Here's the deal. When I met the rugby player, Gareth Thomas, this is one thing that he and I talked about. This is something that's really important. We're doing a movie about a man who plays rugby who is gay...
“Abso-f***ing-lutely. I read the story. it's one of the toughest, hardest sports in the world to play. They play with no pads. They play... it's a really brutal sport. To be a man who plays rugby who is gay and to live with that secret for the amount of years that Gareth had, to perform at the high level that he performed at, it takes a lot of courage.”
A veteran rugby player, Thomas was a one-time captain of the Welsh national team. After a four-year marriage to his childhood sweetheart, he finally announced he was gay in 2009.
"I don't want to be known as a gay rugby player. I am a rugby player first and foremost. I am a man. I just happen to be gay. It's irrelevant. What I choose to do when I close the door at home has nothing to do with what I have achieved in rugby," he told The Daily Mail in 2009.