With an Oscar nomination for his role in Creed under his belt, things appear to be going well for Sylvester Stallone– the man behind the Rocky franchise, considered one of Hollywood’s most beloved and treasured rags to riches stories.
Nevertheless, during a newly published interview with The New York Times, Stallone admits that prior to Creed coming along, his career found itself beginning to enter gloomier waters. “You either self-immolate or you have a kind of interesting revival,” he says.
The resolute Italian Stallion continues, discussing his own childhood, why 2006’s Rocky Balboa was so important, his sheer admiration for Michael B. Jordan and why he’s decided to retire Rambo.
On what director Ryan Coogler faced and overcame in creating Creed:
What he did was take a caldron full of skepticism that was just really boiling over, and deliver something that was unbelievable and fresh.
How recent career disappointments prepared him for reprising the role of Rocky Balboa:
You either self-immolate or you have a kind of interesting revival. So when “Creed” came along, I said to myself, “I want you to realize you’re the weakest person in this movie. You’re not a threat to anyone. You are a ghost, in a sense, and you talk to ghosts. Your entire life is pretty much dissolved, disintegrated like smoke, and you’re just waiting for your turn to meet your friends again on the other side.”
How his rough childhood fed his heroic fantasies:
At a very, very early age, I was drawn toward these kind of mythic characters, nothing entrenched in reality at all. I just loved the idea. I’d have fantasies that if something goes wrong in school today, I can run in and save something.
About how those fantasies informed his career path as an action movie star that, to his horror, would be promoted by Ronald Reagan as an example of American might:
It just seemed that my job was always to save the helpless, or save the ones against the bullies, or the oppressed ones and so forth. And then I became perceived as the oppressor with Rambo. I’ve never been a political animal, a political creature. I never saw myself as a John Waynian symbol of the right.
On his admiration for the work ethic of Michael B. Jordan:
I knew what he went through, having gone through it a few times. He went beyond that. He spent maybe a year beating himself up. I saw him cry. I saw scenes that were so emotional, got so personal, that it might’ve gotten uncomfortable for the audience.
On why Rambo probably won’t come back:
I’m going to retire the headband. The headband has now slipped down to a Windsor knot.
To read the full interview, head on over to The New York Times.
SOURCE: The New York Times | PHOTO: Getty