Sylvester Stallone then and now was an actor, scriptwriter, director, and film producer with 24 awards and 25 nominations including 2 Oscars. Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone dared to pursue to the end of his dream no matter how much sweat, blood, and tears.
The background of Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone’s real name is Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone, born on July 6, 1946, in New York, USA. We often know him through the image of the mighty Rocky Balboa or a seemingly immortal Rambo on the battlefield.
People often call him as one of the legendary of the world film industry, with 24 awards, 25 nominations including 2 Oscars. Money and fame are what this 70-year-old man has. But few people know that Sylvester Stallone had to shed countless sweat, blood, and tears to gain his success today.
Miserable stage of Sylvester Stallone
America from the 50s and 60s of the last century has become the world cinema capital. Becoming a superstar and shining in the flourishing Hollywood was the dream of many young men at that time. But the difference between Stallone and all those other dreamer young people was that his dream was not simply wishful thinking.
For Stallone, it was a burning dream, and it was a must. He showed his iron determination by doing everything he could to make his dream come true.
Born into poverty, Stallone, like many other young people, left the family and stepped out to become independent.
Due to the nerve damage from birth which caused paralysis of the left side of the face, the lower lip was down and stuttering made the young man’s face looked very funny. Stallone was used to being teased by friends.
With the dream of becoming an actor, Stallone went to film studios and signed up to try out supporting roles. But he often got the rejection. He struggled for a long time as an anonymous actor. The culmination of the extreme was when being kicked out of the rental house for no money. Wandering on the street for 3 days and nights without a penny, Stallone swallowed tore to sell his beloved dog, the only companion at that time because there was nothing to feed him. He sold the dog for $ 25 to one stranger at the pub.
As the “steel” man told in his autobiography, when he handed the dog into a stranger, he turned and walked away with tears in his eyes.
Sylvester Stallone and the birth of “Rocky”
After continuing his wandering life for two weeks, Stallone accidentally saw the fiery boxing match between Mohammed Ali and Chuck Wepner. This match was the fate that changed his life forever.
The drama of the match strongly inspired Stallone to write the script for “Rocky”. It was when his dark life that sparked hope.
For 20 hours without sleep or food, the emotions flowed into words. He completed the script “Rocky” and then offered to sell the script he had just written. A filmmaker agreed to buy it with the court of $ 125,000 for the 20-hour script.
However, Stallone accompanied the request that he must be starring in that movie! No one else, but himself, an anonymous actor, would be the lead role in the film written by himself. Of course, the filmmakers never agreed, they wanted a star at the time instead of “an unknown face with an unnatural expression and stuttering”.
Mohammed Ali vs Chuck Wepner
Stallone still decided to take the script back. A few weeks later, the filmmaker turned to him again and raised the price to 250,000 USD. However, he did not hesitate to refuse that huge number. Then the price was raised up to 350,000 USD, Stallone refused this offer again.
The filmmaker really wanted to get the script “Rocky”, while Sylvester just wanted to get the main role in the movie. He refused the money, even if it was the cause of the constant tragedies in his life. He pursued his dream, made it to the end, and did not sell it at any price.
Realizing the intense passion of Stallone, the filmmaker finally gave in to his leading role in the original, Rocky Balboa. But the price for the script dropped to 35,000 USD.
Shortly thereafter, he embarked on non-stop training for half a year in order to have a physique like a true boxer. Exhausted legs and bruised hands could not stop Sylvester from the dream of Rocky.
Gaining success from sweat, tears, and blood
The movie finally became a box-office phenomenon, grossing $ 225 million worldwide and becoming the best-selling film of 1976. Not only was it a commercial success, but it also got 10 Oscar nominations and won 3 awards (including “Best Film”). The character of Rocky became a cultural symbol, an example of growth. There was a statue of this character in Philadelphia. After legendary Charlie Chaplin and Orson Welles, Sylvester Stallone got Oscar nominations for both “Lead Actor” and “Writer”.
Shortly thereafter, Sylvester Stallone immediately emerged as an action movie superstar. He received many invitations to blockbuster movies “Rambo” (I, II, III, IV) and the rest of Rocky. These products contributed to a part of American culture.
After achieving certain success, Sylvester Stallone shared about the first $ 35,000 of the money earned from selling the script. What did he do? Stallone immediately sought to buy the dog he sold for $ 25 that day. The friendship with his dog made Stallone wait in the old bar for many days. He finally met the person who bought his dog.
He explained and wished to redeem his dog for 100 USD, 500 USD, and then 1000 USD. But the man still did not agree. Finally, “Butkus” was returned to the previous owner for up to 15,000 USD.
Later, the story of Stallone’s redeeming dog was still told many times, as an invaluable example of friendship and loyalty.
Sylvester Stallone with his wife and three beautiful daughters