Inspired by Rourke, Jezebel poses an interesting question -- could an actress ever enjoy a similar second coming? As Hortense puts it: "In the real world, an actor like Mickey Rourke can undergo extreme plastic surgery and dress like an insane scarecrow and wax poetic about his dogs and forget his co-stars names on stage and be forgiven, due to his talent and ability. Do actresses receive the same forgiveness? If Marisa Tomei, who is undergoing a comeback of her own, wasn't still quite lovely and couldn't "climb the pole," would she have been cast in her Oscar-nominated Wrestler role? If she was the one who was known for extreme plastic surgery and erratic behavior, would people even give her the time of day?"
A good example might by Sean Young. She's been angling for a comeback for years, but always seems to self-destruct. Last year at the Director's Guild Award, she drank too much and heckled people onstage before being whisked away to rehab. She was seen last week still acting drunk and disorderly. No director will touch her, but Rourke was in a similar boat not so very long ago. Winona Ryder is another actress who languishes in unemployment -- the whispers that Star Trek could be a comeback have vanished, not helped by her collapse on a British Airways flight. It's difficult to know if she's uninterested, or if she's such PR poison that no one is willing to take a chance.
You can also debate whether Young or Ryder deserve a comeback, but the question lingers. It's difficult enough for an actress to get a good role -- but how does a "fallen" one earn back her cred? Is it a matter of attitude? (Rourke has consistently been a humble and contrite fellow.) Hard work? Or would a woman have to rely too heavily on the fact that she'd survived the wilderness of unemployment with her looks intact?