Mickey Rourke has opened up about his struggle to make a movie about gay rugby ace Gareth Thomas, insisting raising money for the project has been "very difficult".
The Wrestler star will play the Welsh sportsman in an upcoming drama, which he admits has been plagued with financial difficulties.
He says, "We're going to be ready to shoot in February. We have probably 80 per cent of the money. It's been very difficult because it's not a comic book, it's not a romantic comedy. It doesn't fall in that category to raise money for.
"Really, it's been difficult but two years to get a movie up and going isn't bad so I've got nothing to complain about."
The actor also heaped praise on Thomas, who 'came out' as gay in 2009, for having faith in the project despite numerous setbacks.
Rourke adds, "He's done me a big favour. They were throwing a lot more money at him than I offered him for his story but I got there first... He's trusted me with writing the script (and) there's a lot of personal stuff in there that could borderline be embarrassing or difficult to understand... (but) I love the guy.
"I had met some rugby players from Huddersfield and they gave me a team magazine. There was an article about Gareth in it, and I thought, 'Wow, a rugby player who's gay - that's gotta be brutal!' And to come out while you're still playing and to deal with being in such a tough sport (is commendable)."