Sylvester Stallone filmography and biography
Date of birth: 6 July 1946, New York City, New York, USA
Sylvester Stallone biography
Sylvester Stallone became one of Hollywood's highest paid actors,
usually playing monosyllablic, antisociety, underdog heroes. While
Stallone has attempted to extend his range into film comedies and
drama, his real box office success continues in action films.
This athletically built, dark-haired U.S. actor/screenwriter/director of
European parentage may never be mentioned by old-school film critics in
the same breath as, say, Richard Burton (I) or
Alec Guinness; however, movie fans worldwide have been flocking
to see Stallone's films for over 30 years, making "Sly" one of
Hollywood's biggest-ever box office draws.
Born on July 6, 1946, in New York's gritty Hells Kitchen, the young Stallone attended the American College of Switzerland and the University of Miami, eventually obtaining a B.A. degree. Initially, he struggled in small parts in films such as the soft-core The Party at Kitty and Studs, the thriller Klute and the comedy Bananas. He got a crucial career break alongside fellow young actor Henry Winkler, sharing lead billing in the effectively written teen gang film The Lords of Flatbush. Further film and TV roles followed, most of them in uninspiring productions except for the opportunity to play a megalomaniac, bloodthirsty race driver named "Machine Gun Joe Viterbo" in the Roger Corman-produced Death Race 2000. However, Stallone was also keen to be recognized as a screenwriter, not just an actor, and, inspired by the 1975 Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, Stallone wrote a film script about a nobody fighter given the "million to one opportunity" to challenge for the heavyweight title. Rocky became the stuff of cinematic legends, scoring ten Academy Award nominations, winning the Best Picture Award of 1976 and triggering one of the most financially successful movie franchises in history! Whilst full credit is wholly deserved by Stallone, he was duly supported by tremendous acting from fellow cast members Talia Shire, Burgess Meredith and Burt Young, and director John G. Avildsen gave the film an emotive, earthy appeal from start to finish. Stallone had truly arrived on his terms, and offers poured in from various studios eager to secure Hollywood's hottest new star.
Stallone followed Rocky with F.I.S.T, loosely based on the life of Teamsters boss "Jimmy Hoffa", and Paradise Alley before pulling on the boxing gloves again to resurrect Rocky Balboa in the sequel Rocky II. The second outing for the "Italian Stallion" wasn't as powerful or successful as the first "Rocky"; however, it still produced strong box office. Subsequent films Nighthawks and Victory failed to ignite with audiences, so Stallone was once again lured back to familiar territory with Rocky III and a fearsome opponent in "Clubber Lang" played by muscular ex-bodyguard Mr. T. The third "Rocky" installment far outperformed the first sequel in box office takings, but Stallone retired his prizefighter for a couple of years as another mega-franchise was about to commence for the busy actor.
The character of Green Beret "John Rambo" was the creation of Canadian-born writer David Morrell (I), and his novel was adapted to the screen with Stallone in the lead role in First Blood, also starring Richard Crenna and Brian Dennehy. The movie was a surprise hit that polarized audiences because of its commentary about the Vietnam war, which was still relatively fresh in the American public's psyche. Political viewpoints aside, the film was a worldwide smash, and a sequel soon followed with Rambo: First Blood Part II, which drew even stronger criticism from several quarters owing to the film's plotline about American MIAs allegedly being held in Vietnam. But they say there is no such thing as bad publicity, and "John Rambo's" second adventure was a major money spinner for Stallone and cemented him as one of the top male stars of the 1980s. Riding a wave of amazing popularity, Stallone called on old sparring partner Rocky Balboa to climb back into the ring to defend U.S. pride against a Soviet threat in the form of a towering Russian boxer named "Ivan Drago" played by monosyllabic Dolph Lundgren in Rocky IV. The fourth outing was somewhat controversial with "Rocky" fans, as violence levels seemed excessive compared to previous "Rocky" films, especially with the savage beating suffered by Apollo Creed, played by Carl Weathers, at the hands of the unstoppable "Siberian Express".
Stallone continued forward with a slew of macho character-themed films that met with a mixed reception from his fans. Cobra was a clumsy mess, Over the Top was equally mediocre, Rambo III saw Rambo take on the Russians in Afghanistan, and cop buddy film Tango amp; Cash just didn't quite hit the mark, although it did feature a top-notch cast and there was chemistry between Stallone and co-star Kurt Russell (I).
Philadelphia's favorite mythical boxer moved out of the shadows for his fifth screen outing in Rocky V tackling Tommy "Machine" Gunn played by real-life heavyweight fighter Tommy Morrison, the great-nephew of screen legend John Wayne (I). Sly quickly followed with the lukewarm comedy Oscar, the painfully unfunny Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, the futuristic action film Demolition Man, and the comic book-inspired Judge Dredd. Interestingly, Stallone then took a departure from the gung-ho steely characters he had been portraying to stack on a few extra pounds and tackle a more dramatically challenging role in the intriguing Cop Land, also starring Robert De Niro and Ray Liotta. It isn't a classic of the genre, but Cop Land certainly surprised many critics with Stallone's understated performance. Stallone then lent his vocal talents to the animated adventure story Antz, reprised the role made famous by Michael Caine (I) in a terrible remake of Get Carter, climbed back into a race car for Driven, and guest-starred as the "Toymaker" in the third chapter of the immensely popular "Spy Kids" film series, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Showing that age had not wearied his two most popular franchises, Stallone has most recently brought back never-say-die boxer Rocky Balboa to star in, well, what else but Rocky Balboa, and Vietnam veteran Rambo will reappear after a 20-year hiatus to once again right wrongs in the jungles of Thailand.
Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood; plus, he has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters.
Sylvester Stallone trivia
- Oil paints in his spare time and considers Leonardo Da Vinci his personal hero.
- On June 27th, 1998, his second daughter, Sistine Rose Stallone was born, with third wife Jennifer Flavin.
- (October 1997) Ranked #92 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
- (12 November 1996) Daughter Sophia Rose Stallone, 2-1/2, by wife Jennifer Flavin. undergoes open heart surgery at UCLA Medical Center. The procedure went well.
- On August 27th, 1996, his first daughter Sophia Rose Stallone was born with fiancÃ©e, Jennifer Flavin.
- Was part owner of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain with Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Birth complications, caused by forceps, resulted in paralysis of the lower left side of his face, manifested by a perennial snarl and slurred speech.
- He sued writer Peter "Taki" Theodoracopulos and the British magazine "The Spectator" in 1991 for suggesting he acted in a cowardly and hypocritical way when he "ducked the Vietnam War." He won the case.
- At 15, his classmates voted him the one "most likely to end up in the electric chair."
- Second son Seargeoh Stallone (b. 1979) is autistic.
- Stallone was paid a mere $60,000 to do Cop Land. It is said that he did the film to play a serious role and escape his action hero cast type.
- Listed as one of twelve "Promising New Actors of 1976" in John Willis' Screen World, Vol. 28.
- Brother of Frank Stallone (I), 'Toni DAlto and Dante Stallone.
- Father of Sage Stallone, who has acted with him in Rocky V and also Daylight.
- Cousin of Paul Dion Monte.
- His Miami 24,000-square-foot villa and its three guest houses sold after two years on the market for $24 million.
- Dislikes his first name, usually referred to as "Sly."
- His mother, Jackie Stallone, is a fan of Jackie Chan (I). Chan and Stallone are very good friends.
- (26 February 2001) Sued by model Margie Carr, who contends that he tried to force her to have physical relations with him last year at a Santa Monica Gym.
- Born on the same day as President George W. Bush and Fred Dryer (I).
- 14 February 2002 - Sylvester sued his former business manager, Kenneth Starr, for giving him bad business advice. He claims $17M in damages. Part of the advice was for him to hold onto his shares in Planet Hollywood, the now bankrupt restaurant chain, despite it already being in a financial bind.
- His father Frank Stallone (II) was a hairdresser and mother Jackie Stallone is a larger-than-life eccentric who's also sought fame as an astrologer and women's wrestling promoter. Her maiden name is Labofish.
- CBS considering "Father Lefty" TV series he created and produced for fall 2002 schedule. Star Danny Nucci set to star as offbeat Miami priest if controversial series gets the greenlight.
- Has a half-sister 'Toni DAlto (Toni Anne Filiti), the daughter of his mother Jackie Stallone and her second husband, Tony Filiti.
- 3rd child with wife Jennifer, Scarlet Rose born 25 May 2002 in Los Angeles, weighed 7 lbs, 8 oz.
- Has a total of five children: Sage Stallone and Seargeoh Stallone with first wife Sasha Czack and Sophia Rose Stallone, Sistine Rose Stallone and Scarlet Stallone with third wife Jennifer Flavin.
- Former brother-in-law of 'Louis DAlto and Markus Schaub.
- Was 23 years old when he got his first starring role in the porno The Party at Kitty and Studs (which was re-released and renamed "The Italian Stallion" after his success with Rocky), in which he played the role of Stud The Italian Stallion. He was paid $200 to play the sex-craved gigolo and appeared in almost every scene nude.
- Attended the University of Miami on an athletic scholarship
- Went to Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. Among his classmates were Goldie Hawn and Ben Stein (I).
- On 5 June 1994 he broke up with then-girlfriend Jennifer Flavin by sending her a "Dear Jane" letter via FedEx. They reconciled after one year, on 5 June 1995 and married on 17 May 1997.
- Has his look-alike puppet in the French show Les guignols de linfo.
- Entered into the house of Big Brother VIP 2 (Mexico) for a few minutes as a special guest. He was in Mexico promoting Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over and was invited to participate.
- Turned down the role of John McClane in Die Hard. The part went to Bruce Willis instead.
- As of 2004 is the all time Razzie Award champion, with a record 30 nominations and 10 "wins", more than any other person in history.
- Mother Jackie Stallone was a fan of Tyrone Power and had originally named him Tyrone Stallone, but when she got the birth certificate it had been changed by Sly's father Frank Stallone (II) to Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone.
- Has the distinction of appearing in three of the 100 Most Enjoyably Awful Movies of All Time as listed in Razzie Award-founder John Wilson (XXVI)'s book "The Official Razzie Movie Guide": Rhinestone, Rambo: First Blood Part II) and The Specialist. He is thus tied with Joseph Cotten (I) for having the second most titles among the 100. 'Ernest Borgnine' has the most, appearing in four of the 100 titles.
- Step-son of Anthony 'Tony' Filiti & Stephen Marcus Levine.
- Oddly, 1994 was one of the few years he was not nominated for an acting Razzie Award, even though he had appeared in both Cliffhanger and Demolition Man, which had been nominated, with "Cliffhanger" receiving a nomination for Worst Screenplay, which Stallone had written himself.
- The ten awards from the Razzies that he's "won" so far are Worst Actor of 1985 for Rhinestone, Worst Actor of 1986 for both Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV, Worst Director of 1986 for Rocky IV, Worst Screenplay of 1986 with James Cameron (I) and Kevin Jarre for Rambo: First Blood Part II, Worst Actor of 1989 for Rambo III, Worst Actor of the Decade (1980s), Worst Actor of 1993 for Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Worst Screen Couple of 1995 with Sharon Stone (I) in The Specialist, Worst Actor of the Century, and Worst Supporting Actor of 2004 for Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.
- According to Anthony Holden's "Behind the Oscar" (New York: Simon & Shuster, 1993), the great Frank Capra was enlisted in the Oscar campaign for the original Rocky. Capra was quoted as saying, "I think it's the best picture in the last ten years. It's got my vote for the Oscars all the way down the line."
- He joins Roberto Benigni, Prince (I), Kevin Costner, William Shatner, and Tom Green (III) as being the only actors to direct themselves in performances that would "win" them a Razzie Award for Worst Actor.
- Attended the first inauguration of President George W. Bush along with other long-time Republican supporters Chuck Norris and Robert Duvall. (January 20th 2001)
- In April 2004 he formed his own nutrition company InStone, that produces protein pudding, a testosterone booster, an energy booster and two different protein shakes.
- On 8 March 2005 he appeared in his first magazine issue of Sly which came out monthly. He was on the cover of every magazine and did most of the articles and interviews himself.
- On 10 May 2005 he published his book "Sly Moves: My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Will Power, and Live Your Dream".
- Listed as one of the top heroes of all time by the American film Institute (AFI) on 2003, he listed seventh behind Gregory Peck, Harrison Ford (I), Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart, Gary Cooper (I) and Jodie Foster.
- Had a huge fan following from Bollywood Asia. Film stars like Salman Khan (I), Sunny Deol (I), Bobby Deol, Dharmendra (I), Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Shetty (I) and Hrithik Roshan are his die-hard fans. Sunny Deol even named one of his sons "Rocky".
- A noted fan of cigar smoking, he quit smoking cigarettes while filming Rocky when he was thirty after he found himself getting out of breath in the ring.
- Is a fan of "Bollywood" movies
- Holds the record for the longest unbroken streak of nominations at the Razzie Awards - thirteen straight years. He received a Razzie Nomination every year (mostly for Worst Actor) from 1985 to 1997.
- Did all of his own singing in Rhinestone.
- In 1988 he was offered $4 million to do an advert for an American beer commercial under the condition that he cut his hair; when he refused they offered a further $1 million to go to the barber - he still refused.
- Stallone has never recaptured the critical success he won initially after Rocky, when Roger Ebert said he could be the next Marlon Brando. He has been nominated a record 30 times for the Golden Raspberry Awards, usually in the "Worst Actor" category, and has won 10 times. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation awarded him a special "Worst Actor of the Century" award in 2000.
- The voice of Lou the cop in The Simpsons is based on him.
- Was said to have only $106 in his bank account at the time the Rocky project was given the green light by producer Irwin Winkler.
- He was presented with a certificate of recognition by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for filming Rocky Balboa in Los Angeles at a time when other filmmakers are moving their business to cheaper states or overseas locations to cut costs. (22 December 2005).
- Along with Bruce Willis, he is a staunch supporter of the Republican party.
- In the 1950s he and his brother Frank Stallone (I) lived in Philadelphia with their mother Jackie Stallone for approximately two years and attended Notre Dame Academy, a private Catholic school on Rittenhouse Square in center city (no longer there). It is the same school that John Barrymore (I) and Ethel Barrymore had once attended.
- In 1986, following the enormous success of Rambo: First Blood Part II, Stallone was received at the White House by President Ronald Reagan (I).
- Turned down the lead role in Coming Home (for which Jon Voight won an Oscar).
- Received the first Boxing Writers Association of America's award for lifetime cinematic achievement in boxing at the organization's 81st annual Awards Dinner at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. (5 May 2006)
- Moved to Philadelphia in the early 1960s, living in Frankford and Rittenhouse Square. He went to Lincoln High School but never completed 10th grade. In 1963 he enrolled in the Devereux Manor High School in Berwyn, Chester County, a school for emotionally troubled youths.
- At the age of five, he returned to live with his parents and younger brother Frank Stallone (I), this time in Silver Springs, Maryland. After his parents divorced, he moved with his mother and her new husband, a pizza manufacturer, Anthony 'Tony' Filiti, to Philadelphia.
- (16 July 2002) He was honored by the Video Dealers Software Association when he was presented with the "Action Star of the Millennium Award" at the organization's 21st Annual Convention in Las Vegas, NV.
- In 1971 he auditioned for a small part in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather but didn't get it. He decided he might have better luck as a writer. He wrote the screenplay for the modestly successful The Lords of Flatbush and had a featured role in the film.
- He was a manager for the Lee Canalito vs. Curtis Whitner Boxing Match on his 36th birthday in July 6th, 1982, at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, NJ. His brother Frank Stallone (I) was a corner man for Canalito in this match.
- He and Dolly Parton honored with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (June 14, 1984).
- His performance as Rocky Balboa in the "Rocky" movies is ranked #64 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
- Rocky is ranked #4 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.
- The wax figure portraying Stallone as Rocky Balboa at the now defunct Movieland Wax Museum (Buena Park, California) was 5' 7" tall.
- His full frontal nude scene was edited out of Demolition Man prior to release, but can be viewed on the Internet.
- In an interview in January 2002, Stallone confirmed he was still interested in reprising his roles as Rocky Balboa and John Rambo, but feared that at fifty-five he was too old. Nearly four years later, in October 2005, he confirmed his intention to make Rocky Balboa and Rambo.
- A lifelong Republican, he is one of President George W. Bush's two favorite actors. The other is fellow action hero and conservative Republican Chuck Norris. Both men attended Bush's inauguration as President in 2001.
- Despite his long association with the Republican Party, Stallone supported President Bill Clinton (I) during his impeachment trial and hosted a Democratic fund raiser at his Miami home on 9 July 1998.
- Supported Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger in his re- election bid for Governor of California in 2006, and donated $15,000 to his campaign.
- Godfather of his son Sage Stallone was his best friend Joe Spinell.
- In 1998, following the murder of his friend Phil Hartman (I), Stallone, then living in England, called for America to ban all guns. This caused some controversy, since he had used guns in many of his movies.
- All his children's names begin with the letter "S": Sage, Sargeoh, Sophia, Sistine and Scarlet.
- Is a fan of the English soccer team Everton FC.
- Was offered a part in Quentin Tarantino's section of Grindhouse ("Death Proof"), but turned it down.
- Pleaded guilty to bringing vials of restricted muscle-building hormones into Australia and faces sentencing next week. Lawyers for Stallone entered the guilty pleas on behalf of the actor, who did not appear before Sydney's Downing Center Local Court. The star was accused of bringing banned substances into Australia after a customs search of his luggage during a 16 February 2007 visit to Sydney revealed 48 vials of the human growth hormone product, Jintropin. (14 May 2007).
- Stallone claims to have been able to bench press 385-400 lbs (174.6-181.4 kg) and squat 500 lbs (226.8 kg) in his prime. While in a bench pressing contest with former Mr Olympia Franco Columbu, he severely tore his pectoral muscle and needed over 160 stitches on it. This is why one half of his chest is more veiny than the other.
- Is a close friend and fan of Sir Elton John.
- Was Joel Schumacher's second choice to play Mr. Freeze in Batman amp; Robin.
- He is most well known for his Rambo and Rocky movies.
- Voted "Worst Actor of the Century" by the Razzie Awards in 2000.
- Turned down Christopher Reeve's role in Superman, Jon Voight's role in Coming Home, Eddie Murphy (I)'s role in Beverly Hills Cop, Harrison Ford (I)'s role in Witness, Bruce Willis's roles in Die Hard and Pulp Fiction, John Travolta's role in FaceOff, Samuel L. Jackson's role in Rules of Engagement, and Kurt Russell (I)'s role in Death Proof.
- Publicly endorsed Senator John McCain (I) as his choice for Republican candidate in the 2008 presidential election.
- Expelled from 14 schools for antisocial and violent behavior before the age of 13.
- Born in the charity ward of a hospital in the New York ghetto of Hell's Kitchen. At his birth, the doctor's forceps accidentally severed a nerve in his cheek, leaving him with his trademark droopy mouth.
- Was voted the pupil most likely to die in the electric chair.
- Along with Jon Voight and Paula Abdul, took part in a fundraising, solidarity concert for the besieged Israeli city of Sderot, which has been hit by more than 7,000 Kassam rockets in the past seven years. Entitled "Live for Sderot," the concert features a performance by Israeli singer Ninette Tayeb. (2 March 2008).
- Was considered for the role of "Joey Zasa" in The Godfather: Part III.
- Dated Janice Dickinson (I) from December 1993 to July 1994. Sly thought that he was the father of her daughter Savannah Dickinson, but when he discovered that the real father of girl was Michael Birnbaum (I), he left her.
- Turned down the lead role in The Terminator.
- Turned down Basic Instinct.
- Turned down the Dudley Moore role in Arthur.
- Turned down the role played by Keith Carradine in Pretty Baby.
- Turned down the roles played by Richard Gere in American Gigolo, An Officer and a Gentleman and Pretty Woman.
- He will receive the prestigious Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award, at the Venice Film Festival in September 2009, which is awarded to an artist who has "left his mark in contemporary cinema" and has previously been given to cinema heavyweights such as Takeshi Kitano and Abbas Kiarostami. The prize intends to celebrate Stallone's stature as a filmmaker. A festival spokesman said: "Stallone has shown an original eye and an auteur's determination.".
- Lives in Beverly Hills, California.
- The Expendables opened at number one at the U.S. box office with a first weekend gross of $35 million. This makes Sylvester Stallone the only person in Hollywood history to have starred in films that have opened atop the box office charts over five consecutive decades.
Sylvester Stallone quotes
- Once in one's life, for one mortal moment, one must make a grab for immortality; if not, one has not lived.
- That's what Rocky is all about: pride, reputation, and not being another bum in the neighborhood.
- I'm not handsome in the classical sense. The eyes droop, the mouth is crooked, the teeth aren't straight, the voice sounds like a Mafioso pallbearer, but somehow it all works.
- [Explaining to The New York Times how he wrote the script for Rocky in three days] I'm astounded by people who take 18 years to write something. That's how long it took that guy [Gustave Flaubert] to write "Madame Bovary". And was that ever on the best-seller list? No. It was a lousy book and it made a lousy movie.
- [In 1976, after completing production on Rocky II] But there'll never be a "Rocky IV." You gotta call a halt.
- I'm not right wing, I'm not left wing. I love my country.
- [on Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign for Governor of California in 2003] I think it's very dangerous waters. In that particular field you can't yell "Action!" and "Cut!" and "Take two!" and "Take three!". I personally think actors should remain actors, but I know he's always had blind ambition for that, so maybe it'll work out for him.
- [Talking about the proliferation of guns in the U.S., following the murder of Phil Hartman (I) in 1998, who was shot to death by his wife] Until America, door to door, takes every handgun, this is what you're gonna have. It's pathetic. It really is pathetic. It's sad. We're living in the Dark Ages over there. It has to be stopped, and someone really has to go on the line, a certain dauntless political figure, and say, "It's ending, it's over, all bets are off." It's not 200 years ago, we don't need this any more, and the rest of the world doesn't have it. Why should we?
- I had no idea Ellen Barkin was in the restaurant. If she was coughing or dying, she was doing it politely. I would have been more than happy to reach down her throat or squeeze her hard. Sat there dumbfounded? Please! I would have rallied round - just to avoid paying the bill.
-  I'm 5'10" and weigh 177 pounds. I'm pleased with my body now.
- People accept Rocky Balboa as authentic. I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and asked about my boxing career. It's like they really want to believe that Rocky exists. You know, I'm amazed by all of this. At one time I thought people would get over their fascination with the character and move on. Didn't happen. After 30 years, Rocky has taken hold to a degree I never could have imagined.
- [Following John Ritter's death in 2003] It's a huge shock. It just makes me realize how fragile life is.
- I'm not a genetically superior person. I built my body.
-  We're talking about doing another Rambo because I think it's time to combine action with politics.
- I'll just go on playing Rambo and Rocky. Both are money-making machines that can't be switched off.
- I'm a very physical person. People don't credit me with much of a brain, so why should I disillusion them?
-  After I made Cop Land in which I played a timid, overweight cop, all of Hollywood turned their back. I'm surprised they even gave me this table. I'm like driftwood in here.
- I know I cannot hold on to them forever, but I will as long as I can. I pity the first boy to knock on the door for a date. I'm gonna buy ten more Rambo outfits just to make sure they're too scared to put a foot wrong. They will probably all run a mile, which suits me just fine. I know I won't be able to help myself playing the worried dad. My girls were born with the flirt gene. It's very funny, but it also worries me about what a handful I will have in a few years time. I know it's stupid - I just don't want them to grow up. I love my family. I can't imagine life without them all in the house.
- I really am a manifestation of my own fantasy.
- All art, in this business, is a matter of compromise. It's not one man's vision unless he takes very weak actors.
- I'd say between 3 pm and 8 pm I look great. After that it's all downhill. Don't photograph me in the morning or you're gonna get Walter Brennan.
- No one likes to fail at anything, but I believe I'm a better person for it. I learned life's lessons. You're given certain gifts and that's what you should try to be.
- [on his marriage to Jennifer Flavin] It's been a fantastic revival of my life. As you know, my first marriage didn't go so well, though I have a relationship with my sons, but this marriage has been a second beginning. I used to think my career was number one, so I was gone nine months out of a year, but I learned the hard way that the most important thing is that you start at home and then comes the career.
- I think the people who have been so supportive and loyal will be happy with the final chapter in Rocky Balboa's life because I think we bring the character to a final and noble conclusion.
- I enjoy comedy very much, but it just wasn't right for me. Sometimes it's better to just stay focused and do what you're really passionate about.
- You wake up one morning and you go, "What happened? Where did it all go so fast? There are many more things I want to do." And I figure a lot of people feel the same. A lot of people have so much they want to do, but society says, "Step back, youth must be served." I say, "You're right, youth must be served - after us. Get in line. We're coming back for seconds and thirds, and when we're finished helping ourselves, it's your turn." Just because people get older doesn't mean they abandon their dream or their ability to want to do something, so Rocky is symbolic of still wanting to participate. Rocky says the last thing to age is the heart, so I wanted to do a film that shows our generation is not on the outside looking in; it's still vital and wants to be part of the parade, not watching the parade. I want to show that life is not over at 50. People say, "Come on, grow old gracefully." No, why? I'm not ready. I know people will think Rocky is my story, but it's also my generation's story.
- [on Rocky Balboa] I knew I would go through the embarrassment of hearing all the jokes about me. My wife begged me not to do it, and that's why I wrote a line . . . that I'd rather do something I love badly than to feel bad about not doing something I love.
- [on Rocky Balboa and Rambo] Maybe these movies wouldn't have been as interesting five years ago, but look what's happened in the world in that time. It's a whole different climate, now.
- I'm now starting Rambo and I'm looking for a young actor to star opposite me. I've been looking for the next Robert Mitchum or Steve McQueen (I), but the fact is they just don't exist. Tough guys today are getting their hair done at Hollywood hairdressers. Whatever happened to having a beer and scratching your balls?
- [on Rhinestone] You'd have thought we all got together and decided how we could fastest ruin our careers.
- [On "40 Days of Musa Dagh," a book about the Armenian genocide that he has wanted to direct for years] The hero, the one who set up the rescue, has fallen asleep . . . The camera pulls back, and the ships and the sea are on one side, and there's one lonely figure at the top of the mountain, and the Turks are coming up the mountain by the thousands on the far side . . . an epic about the complete destruction of a civilization. The Turks have been killing that subject for 85 years.
- I abused my body so much throughout my career that I am literally held together by glue. The stuff I took thickens the bones and reinforces the tendons.
- I never had extraordinary genes or great bone structure, and I'm still very thin. What I try to do is create a body that every man can look at and say, "You know, with a certain amount of dedication I can achieve the same thing." I try to keep it in the realm of athletic, rather than unapproachable.
- [speaking of his life with a wife and three daughters] Living in a house where you are the only man is a little like being the only guy left at The Alamo. They just rule. Even our dogs are female. So there is no chance.
- There's something about matching the character with the script. And right now, the script that's being written, and reality, is pretty brutal and pretty hard-edged, like a rough action film, and you need somebody who's been in that to deal with it. - On Senator John McCain (I)
- I look back on "Judge Dredd" ias a real missed opportunity. It seemed that lots of fans had a problem with Dredd removing his helmet, because he never does in the comic books. But for me it is more about wasting such great potential there was in that idea... it didn't live up to what it could have been. It probably should have been much more comic, really humourous, and fun. What I learned out of that experience was that we shouldn't have tried to make it "Hamlet", it's more "Hamlet & Eggs."
- If I have a regret, it's that I didn't expand my acting when I was building my career. It often sounds pathetic when you hear actors say that they feel sorry for themselves - I've been very very blessed, believe me - but if I had to do it all over again I could have done both. You can do commercial films and then do small, independent, acting films. Bruce Willis has done it well, so it's possible. I wish I had done it, but that wasn't the style back then. You were either a studio actor or an independent actor. So I regret that.
- I'm often asked whether Rocky is an extension of myself. But the truth is I wish I could be as noble as Rocky. He never says a bad word about anyone, and he never complains. He's lost 24 times, his record is 54 and 24, he's lost a lot but he's philosophical and knows there will be another day. I'm not that. I wish I were.
- Rocky gives out such a good vibe, while Rambo's the Prince of Darkness. The new Rambo is not a feelgood movie. Every actor would like to say that they're Daniel Day-Lewis and that they have this incredible palette, but quite often you're known for certain things. I accepted that. So I said to myself, "Boy, if I could end my career on something, I'd like to finish up the loose ends on Rambo, because the last one in Afghanistan didn't work."
- Making Victory (aka Escape to Victory) was hard work. I thought "Rocky" was tough, but I'd never trained so hard in my life. My waist went down from 33 to 29 inches; I ran every morning, because I was trying to look a little gaunt. We were POWs, after all.
- During Rocky IV, Dolph Lundgren had hit me so hard I had swelling around the heart and had to stay in intensive care at St. John's Hospital for four days.
- [at Rambo UK Premiere, 2008) I feel like I'm 20 again - but with arthritis!
- [on Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler] Mickey, if anybody deserves an Oscar, it's you. No question about it. You lived it. You earned it. You deserve it. You're an incredibly talented man. It's about time everyone says, 'You know what? Give it to the winner.'
- [on what fans can expect from The Expendables] Let's say we dug up The Wild Bunch and gave them one more shot.
- The whole thing about Rocky wasn't about him boxing. It was about aging -- that was what made the movie. It wasn't him. It was about her -- him finding love, him making someone's life better -- and, before you know it, the audience identified with it.
- [On The Expendables] I guess it's kinda like The Dirty Dozen, or one of those films that comes along every once in a while, like The Magnificent Seven, to try to take that old formula and move it into a modern era. We accomplished it; I'm very, very happy with the film.
- The trouble with remakes is that people fall in love with the original. It's like peanut butter. If you try to change the taste of peanut butter, you're in trouble.
- [On the character of Rocky Balboa] I have always seen him as a 20th Century gladiator in a pair of sneakers.
- 95% of the time, women are right. They can be emotional, but when they say your shoes are shit or your tie is wrong, they're often right.
- [on the difference between filmmaking and painting] Movies are a vision dependent upon 300 or 400 people to accomplish it. So there's great compromising. And so much is lost in the translation. So when you get up there, it's maybe 40% of the way you envisaged it. Because of the finance thing, and the actor doesn't interpret it properly. Or the director isn't on form that day and he missed the whole point. Whereas painting is all you do. It either soars or it crashes. There's no one to blame but one person.
- [on Arnold Schwarzenegger] He's my best friend now. It's strange, given what big rivals we used to be. He's still ridiculously competitive, though. See this watch? This is the only one of its kind in the world, so I wore it to our last lunch. Arnold was desperate for me to get him one but I had to explain that wasn't possible. He was so mad!
- [on filming his scene in The Expendables with pals Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger] Bruce's character, who hires me to do the job the film's based on, turns to me and says, 'Look, there's one person I need to talk with before I give you the job.' At which point Arnold, who plays my oldest rival, walks out. And it's clear we have a lot of history there. So I tell him I should have shot him a long time ago when I had the chance. And the scene goes from there. But man, those guys were up for it. They got out of bed at 5.30am just to shoot a small five-minute scene.
- [on The Expendables] Man, it was seven guys, kicking each other's a
-, one guy tougher than the next. No joke, our stunt guys were begging for mercy. Actually, my fight with Stone Cold Steve Austin (IV) was so vicious that I ended up getting a hairline fracture in my neck. I'm not joking. I haven't told anyone this, but I had to have a very serious operation afterwards. I now have a metal plate in my neck.
- [on Rocky IV] Dolph Lundgren and I always went for it. I gave him orders to try to knock me out while the cameras were rolling. At one point, he hit me so hard on the head I felt my spine compress. He then hit me with an almighty uppercut. That night my chest started to swell, and I had to be helicopter-ambulanced from my hotel to a nearby emergency room. I was told that Dolph had punched my rib cage into my chest, compressing my heart. If it had swollen any more, I would have died. After that, I was like, 'Dolph, it's only a movie, bro.'
- [on working with Richard Gere on The Lords of Flatbush] Gere would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table. (Having lunch in a Toyota) I was eating a hot dog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, 'That thing is going to drip all over the place.' He said, 'Don't worry about it.' I said, 'If it gets on my pants you're gonna know about it.' He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers, and to this day, seriously dislikes me. He even thinks I'm the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true, but that's the rumor.
- [On retiring from acting] I'm on borrowed time. At this age I hear the ticking clock and it's as loud as the gong on Big Ben. The ultimate ambition is to follow in Clint Eastwood's footsteps and move on to directing films without me having to be in them. I'm on borrowed time and know my longevity will be predicated on being able to make that move.
- I am under pressure to perform. If I didn't have this goal I would be more than happy to throw 25 croissants down my throat and wash it down with a pint of beer, trust me. It is very, very hard to stay in shape.
- I have become more cynical as I have got older. Everything you were promised as a young person, it doesn't really come true.
- [On Arnold Schwarzenegger] I see him every Saturday, at CafÃ© Roma in Beverly Hills. It's funny because we used to be so competitive in the Eighties and now we're the best buddies in the world.
- [On Rambo] He'd murder Jason Bourne. I'm only kidding. Maybe the other guy...the one in The Transporter, Jason Statham.
- I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes.
- [On Dolph Lundgren]: Dolph, I think, is a fantastically cooperative, excellent guy.
- [On his screen test for the part of Han Solo in Star Wars] It didn't meet with much approval since when I stood in front of George Lucas (I) he didn't look at me once. Well, obviously I'm not the right type... It all worked out for the best since I don't look good in spandex holding a ray gun!
- [On his failed audition for a part in The Godfather] I couldn't even be an extra at the wedding, that's how far down the food chain I was.
- People that spend time in a foxhole - they're never going to find that relationship anywhere else again...everything else pales next to that. When you think about the second World War vets - more than even the Vietnam vets - there's a brotherhood. They're 90 years old now, and they're still wearing the hats. The way they feel about each other. Time stopped. That was the ultimate of life. Everything after it was anticlimactic. After that it just wasn't the same.
- [On a shocking ad-lib by Bruce Willis in the scene with Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Expendables] He goes, 'Why don't you just suck each other's c
-ks?' I thought, 'You can't tell Rambo and The Terminator to suck each other's c
-ks!' I said to the guys, 'You know what, that's worth the price of admission alone!'
- [On his 1980s rivalry with Arnold Schwarzenegger] He was far more diligent than me; I was too reckless. He's very machine-like and I did consider him an enemy. But, looking back, it was a good enemy.
- The one thing in my films... I only kill people that need to be killed. Let me put it this way, the ones that deserve it get it and they get it good and the ones that go after women really get it, you know what I mean? Really get it.
- I've made a lot of career mistakes - a lot! Sometimes you're making a film and you go, 'It's a turkey and it's not even Thanksgiving.' It's bad.
- [On being asked about themes in his movies at a press conference] I always try to deal with redemption. I think everyone in this room like everyone on the planet has regret, that one moment when they made the wrong decision, sometimes you just never get your life back on course, and that theme from Rocky Balboa to Rambo, it just haunts me.
- I'm past my prime in doing dramatic films, I think it becomes maybe, almost a pathetic cry out to be recognized as a serious actor. I did my little moment. I'm very proud of the drama in Rocky Balboa, its about as deep as I can go, and Cop Land. I would much rather just direct dramas.
- [On wanting Arnold Schwarzenegger for The Expendables sequel] I would love to get him in the next one. I really think so. He's been out of the limelight a long time, and I think this is the kind of film that would be a nice intro. I saw his eyes light up. It's one thing to run a state, but it's another thing to get back to what you're really known for. Certain actors you're never going to see come down the pike again, and he's one of them.
- [On Rocky Balboa] I haven't seen a dime yet. It made nearly $200 million. That's life, eh? That's how it works these days. They have this thing called 'back end' You can make a movie for $12 million that makes $250 million, but it still ends up in the red. The studios say they added $50 million in publicity in the Ukraine or somewhere, and you're like, 'What?'
- Exercise, I tell people, can kill you. It's double-edged. It's good for you but you've got to know what you're doing. Your joints become fragile after a certain point. When you're 20, they're like rubber. But now...there's no way I can do the old squats and stuff. No way. Can't do it.
- I eat healthy Monday to Friday, pig out on the weekend, gain pounds, then lose it again Monday to Friday. No need to starve, or suffer!
- [On Arnold Schwarzenegger] When people ask me who is the most extraordinary guy I've ever met, I answer that it's him. Think about it - the force of will and the fact that he is successful in three diverse and impossibly difficult areas. The politics of bodybuilding? Forget about it. And he was and is the most influential bodybuilder who ever lived, by far. Then, in Hollywood, with his background of being Austrian and all this baggage of not being American, and he became No. 1. And then politics, it's off-the-chart hard, he's the governor of California. That's all, just the governor of the biggest state in population. This is not some city council somewhere. And he would make it as a presidential candidate. It's mind-blowing.
- If politicians really told the truth they'd be fired and Washington would be an overgrown parking lot. Sad but true.
- You have to grab life by the throat and squeeze before it grabs you by your neck and breaks it. Own your destiny.
- Being ignorant is like getting dressed for Prom Night in the dark. You think you are looking good until somebody turns your lights on.
- Doing The Expendables was brutal; no time, no rest and more difficult then the last three Rambos put together.
- Halloween is the only time people can become what they want to be without getting fired.