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Round Six With Sly Stallone! His funniest yet!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with the honor of posting Round Six of AICN's 200 Questions for Sylvester Stallone. Let me tell you this... having done nearly 200 interviews for this site in the last 10 years... This is something extremely rare. Stallone isn't just giving in-depth answers, but he's being incredibly honest about himself, his past, his present, his future and the people he's worked with. On top of all that, he's being funny as all hell. This is by far the funniest 10 Questions so far. From "Damn you, Batman," to what he'd do if he could go back in time and do-over Rocky IV... I'd love to see this become a regular feature on the site. I'm having a blast reading them and I hope you are, too. Many thanks to Mr. Stallone and his assistant Celeste Salzer. Enjoy Round 6!!!

1. Were you disappointed with the demise of 'Sly' magazine?  What exactly happened there?  It seemed by the time of the fourth issue, you had little or no involvement in the project. curiousvinnie Mahwah, NJ

You’re absolutely right, the magazine was doing well to a degree, but a magazine lives or dies on advertising and I didn’t get any advertising. I was about to go around and solicit help from my dentist, my florist, and the guy who runs the 7-Eleven. I was looking to get it from anywhere, but it was not to be. I enjoyed Sly Magazine and writing the stories was therapeutic and fun, but it’s incredibly time consuming. It is like doing a silent movie every month. You’re right, I had zero involvement with the last issue, actually, I was shocked to see Sharon Stone coming at me from the cover of Sly Magazine. I thought I was being sucked into a nostalgic whirlpool of a series of THE SPECIALIST outtakes.  
2. How do you think the template for cinematic heroes has evolved from that of the action stars of the eighties? Where do you see it evolving in the future?   Joe- Norwood, MA

  I think the evolution has been startling. I believe the culprit in the transformation of action films can be traced to BATMAN starring Michael Keaton. By that I mean, when an individual can step into a latex suit bulging with muscles and Velcro himself into an action star body we knew the times they were a-changing. It’s tough enough to go to the gym and stay in good shape, but when you have the option to step into a Herculean Halloween costume; working out doesn’t look like much fun. Damn you, Batman.
3. Please reconsider writing your autobiography! If not, would you consider writing a sequel to 'Sly Moves' which would focus primarily on mental health & attitude instead of physical health?  I'm picturing a Stallone version of 'The Power of Positive Thinking' - what do you think? curiousvinnie Mahwah, NJ

  Thank you very much. I’m flattered that you think I’m a candidate for stable mental health. But the truth be known, I am insane with long, horrible fits of sanity. Now, if you can make insanity work for you, that’s actually called creativity. If you can’t, that’s called a menace to society. Thank you.
4. Of all of your movies to date, which one do you think received the most unfair treatment from critics? Donny Virginia Beach, VA

  I think the film that got lambasted, full frontal, double barrel, tic-tac wack-packed into a cinematic coma was PARADISE ALLEY. But at that time I didn’t actually endear myself to the critics when I used to invite them to step into an alley so I could critique their jaw. Let’s face it; my powers of communication were a little bit below that of a knuckle-dragging, ooze-dwelling cretin from another galaxy. Actually, I haven’t progressed that much. I just lie better.
5. I have heard about the difficult phone call you had to make to Talia Shire, explaining the absence of Adrian in 'Rocky Balboa.' How easy or difficult was it to get Burt Young back?  Tony Burton? curiousvinnie Mahwah, NJ

  To get Burt Young back was a blessing in disguise because he is the only true family member from the original. He’s absolutely fantastic in ROCKY BALBOA, conveying all the bittersweet pain and reluctant tough love for Rocky. Tony Burton was also a great find. He delivers one of the key lines in the movie, so I thank him for that and for staying alive all these years.
6. Here's my question. Two-fold..... I just finished watching all five Rocky DVDs back-to-back to prepare myself for the final installment. Enjoyed it thoroughly -- part II is still my absolute favorite. Now, all five movies seem to be one big whole, with one exception: Rocky IV. It didn't have any Mickey, it didn't have Bill Conti doing the score, it didn't have the standard opening fanfare, it just seems.....different, a bit "out of place". Do you agree with this and if so, was this all intentional? Now how will the final movie fit in the series, now that there's no Adrian, no Mickey, and no Apollo? Thanks! Mark from Montreal, Canada

  The reason ROCKY IV seems a little disjointed is because I was having a conflict with Bill Conti at the time and decided to go in a different direction, which I’m sorry for. Also, I think the whole premise of the film was based too much on “the fight” and not the personal struggles that preceded the fight. If I had to do it all over again, I would’ve hired Bill Conti, married Ivan Drago and punched out Brigitte Nielsen.  
7. Question: At the end of Rocky III you and Apollo fought as a "favor" to Apollo for helping you pummel Clubber Lang. I gotta know…who won Rocky vs. Apollo III?   The Albino Mack 
West Des Moines, IA

  In ROCKY III I freeze the frame as both men are throwing their power shots. Rocky is left handed, Apollo is right handed. Since I am the shorter of the two, my punches will travel shorter distance. Apollo is looping his right hand so Rocky lands first and thirty seconds later, Apollo’s attorney shows up and sues Rocky for assault.
8. Hi Sylvester This is a great thing to do.  I've been a fan (particularly of the Rocky series, but generally) since 77.  Also my late son, whom we lost this September aged 24. James.  I don't have a religion, but in some way, I know he's by my side as I ask this one.  It is..... What movie(s) fired you up as a kid/teenager in the same way that the Rockys surely have for millions of kids over the years? Thanks.  Hope I get chosen!  Very best of luck with the movie. Andy Dickenson I live in Royston Vasey, UK

I used to go leaping from chair to chair listening to the theme of THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. HERCULES starring Steve Reeves put me into orbit and the theme from THE VIKINGS, I believe that was 1957, got my blood boiling. I think that is why I’m drawn to big scores, because of the impression it made on me during my youth. Thank God I didn’t listen to bongo solos.
9. Hello Mr. Stallone, I have seen all your Rambo movies and they are fantastic! My question is, why do you want to film a 4th part? Should maybe the character Rambo find peace? I hope I will get an answer. Thank you. Miroslav Dojcinovic Germany

  I want to film a fourth RAMBO because I’m incredibly greedy. Just kidding. To do another RAMBO will be a very, very difficult shoot. It would hopefully look reminiscent of APOCALYPSE NOW - not that I’m putting myself in the great Coppola category - but it would be a huge undertaking. I think the story of RAMBO is one about being considered obsolete, not part of the new technological mode of warfare, kind of a savage turned loose in Microsoft’s headquarters, a man completely out of step with his time a la THE WILD BUNCH. That presents an interesting dilemma because I feel Rambo is always destined to wander the earth, cursed with rage and self-doubt. So, an “up” ending wouldn’t be easy, but a challenge.
10. My Question: Can you recount in detail the process of writing the Oscar-winning Rocky screenplay in just three days?  I can only imagine it had to be a very intense period of time.  Where were you?  Was there anyone distracting you?  Did you act it out?  Who inspired the characters?  Thanks! Chris NYC

I was sitting at a small plywood table when I started to write ROCKY. At that time I was chain-smoking cigarettes. My brand was a cancer stick called “Tramps.” So I pretty much barricaded myself in the room and started to pound away, thinking “What would be an interesting vehicle if I had one shot to perform?” I was influenced by MEAN STREETS and Marty and I always had an affection for sports. Three and a half days later I had a shabby 89 pages of a script called ROCKY. (At one time John Avildsen, the man who eventually wanted to direct ROCKY, wanted to rename the film ROCKY, AIN’T NO MARSHMALLOW. OOOOOOOkkkkay….) Of this hand-written script, maybe only 10 percent was usable, but what worked for me was to write fast, even though I know it’s flawed and scenes are half-baked. But I will slowly try to correct them in the rewrites. I enjoy rewriting.

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