The Film That Lit My Fuse is a Deadline video series that aims to provide an antidote to grim headlines about industry uncertainty by swinging the conversation back to the creative ambitions, formative influences and inspirations of some of today’s great screen artists.
Every installment asks the same five questions. Answering them today is Sylvester Stallone, who personifies the adage that everyone in Hollywood has a puncher’s chance for greatness. After a succession of small roles playing lugs, Stallone wrote and starred in Rocky, the low budget film that beat iconic 1976 Best Picture nominees All The President’s Men, Network, Taxi Driver and Bound For Glory for top prize. With Rocky sequels, and the subsequent success of the Rambo and Expendables franchises, Stallone acted, wrote, directed and produced decades worth of blockbusters. With 2016’s Creed, Stallone passed the torch to Michael B Jordan and became the rare actor to score Oscar nominations playing the same role, 40 years apart. Here, he discusses the formative influences that fueled his underdog story.
It has been a rough and wearying week for everyone. You’ll feel a little better, hearing Stallone’s stories like how Rocky got green lit in a case of mistaken identity, or how he won a bet that led United Artists’ chief Mike Medavoy to give Stallone his luxury car. Stallone’s rally cry for the return of the movie business from this pandemic will make you feel more confident that Hollywood will punch its way out of this adversity. And after 50 years of trying, he has good news to report on his Edgar Allan Poe.
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