With the recent Netflix documentary series on Arnie the next action hero to get the treatment is his 1980’s box office nemesis Sylvester Stallone who gets a career appraising doc on the streamer later this year. He appeared in person at the Toronto Film Festival on for an in-conversation appearance at the festival’s end where Stallone talks Rocky.
Early in his career he was a struggling writer and actor and was supplementing it whilst working as a cinema usher and took the approach of just “writing about what I knew”. He says:
“I was writing about this little kind of mentally challenged guy who happened to have a lot of heart… I wanted to write a movie about a guy who says: ‘I’m not great at all, never will be. I fight great fighters. But I just want the opportunity to go the distance.’ Nobody wanted to make it. It was my best writing too.”
The film was huge and went onto spawn more films as well as the recent Creed spin off franchise. But as Stallone talks Rocky he was also pretty up forint about his acting and the roles he could play saying,
”I didn’t have the bones to be a Shakespearean actor. It’s important as an artist to know what your strengths are, but more important to know your weaknesses. Action heroes should shut their mouth. Action guys who perform heroic deeds don’t talk about it. They just do it. And it’s that simple. That’s the kind of thing you have to be really ruthless and not care about how foolish you look… That’s when I realized what it is to lose yourself in acting. I didn’t care. I literally was this guy for that moment.”
With 50+ films under his belt he hasn’t done too badly with his films accruing over $3b
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