The Story Behind Springsteen's ‘Wrestler' Song

Rocker Bruce Springsteen earned a Golden Globe nomination on Thursday for Best Original Song for “The Wrestler,” his song from the film of the same name – the latest step on what director Darren Aronofsky told Access Hollywood has been “a very surreal journey.”

“Bruce just wanted to do it because he is a fan of Mickey [Rourke] and he wanted to help. He ended up writing us [the] song for free,” Darren told Access at a junket for “The Wrestler” on Wednesday.

VIEW THE PHOTOS: 2009 Golden Globes: Movie Nominees

According to Darren, the process began when Mickey, who earned his own Globe nod for his starring role in the film, wrote the songwriter a letter that re-opened their relationship.

“They were friends back in the day,” Darren explained. “They’ve been kind of on and off.”

VIEW THE PHOTOS: 2009 Golden Globes: Television Nominees

Bruce read the script and came up with a song, which he debuted for the director backstage after his summer performance at Giants Stadium.

“Mickey goes, ‘You guys have some business to talk about, [I’ll] see you later,’” Darren said. He left me alone with Bruce. And he grabbed his guitar and pointed to a seat — and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, he is gonna play the song!’ And I got stage fright for the first time in my life.”

“I’m freezing up in front of the coolest guy in the world,” he added. “But then we started talking and he was a really nice guy and he played the song. And I said, ‘Why are you doing it? You know… What’s the reason?’ And he said, ‘To be honest, I’m just a big fan of Mickey’s and I’m been waiting for him to have an opportunity like this and I just want to help.’”


Bruce’s track surely didn’t hurt the film on Thursday – the film earned three nominations at the Golden Globes, including Best Song, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for Rourke and Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Marisa Tomei.

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