1.) It’s the most brutal fight scene I’ve ever been involved with. I still have the mahogany sticks in my office as a reminder to never do that again. For example, we had flown over a stunt man to take the heat off of me and in the first part of the fight he was leveled and taken away, never to be seen again. So I had to do it alone and let me tell you, that was one hellacious painful knuckle smashing experience that I would not recommend to anyone except a chronic masochist.2. Mr. Stallone - you're a well-known political animal, so much so that there's a comment in Jeffrey Toobin's new book "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" where he records that you were even invited to the George H.W. Bush White House during a "congratulatory" press conference following the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. I remember the "Rambo" sequels being equated a bit with the Reagan years of the tail-end of Cold War Republicanism - do you find yourself, like your fellow action star Chuck Norris, being courted by any political candidates in the '08 race? Also, where do you think the new "Rambo" falls in the political spectrum? - S.J. Ruby, Los Angeles, CA
2.) Rambo has always been a-political, but once Ronald Reagan, who I admired, stated, “Rambo is a republican.” In some reference to Rambo and Gadhafi in the 80’s, that sort of sealed my fate and since then Rambo has always been equated with America’s military aggressiveness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Rambo is a solitary creature, not party of any military machine.3. Hey Sly, For a period of time your name was associated with the upcoming Tarrantino flick INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. Have you had any further conversations with QT about this and, if so, what is your current level of involvement, if any, with the project? Thanks! DarqueGuy
3.) No, the only time I talked to Quentin about his opinion on movie making is when he and Robert Rodriguez came in to see a rough cut of ROCKY BALBOA and offered their suggestions, which were very helpful.4.) At one time I was trying to do an authentic rendition of the true story of Spartacus with Antoine Fuqua years ago, but I couldn’t get arrested and had to settle for the fourth lead in “Spy Kids”, but I was fascinated with a story about the most famous and wealthiest man in Rome who was a chariot racer that had a fascinating life. 5. I would be interested in knowing what films Mr. Stallone considers the biggest surprise and the biggest disappointment of his career - not necessarily the best and worst film, but what he thought would be bad that turned out great, and what he had high hopes for that turned out to be on the weak side. Josh Massey Atlanta, GA
5.) The biggest surprise was “First Blood”. It was a film that was so bad in its first cut that I tried to buy it back and destroy the negative. My biggest disappointment was the way Danny Canon mounted and shot “Judge Dredd”, which I felt the audience would’ve loved this incredible character if it had been made more interesting and irreverent like the comic strip was intended to be.6. Watching Rocky Balboa, I was so moved throughout, not just because the film was so well-done, nostalgic, exciting and poignant, but mostly because I could really feel you as his creator speaking through him...his trials as a fighter seemed to so greatly parallel your trials, not just as an actor, but as a husband and father as well, which made it even more compelling. What is your personal connection to Rambo? In other words, how does this character represent you as an actor and a human being? Andrew G. , New Jersey
6.) Rambo I believe connects with myself and many other people who have always felt their looking at society through a window, a sense of not belonging or being an outcast because they just see the world differently. Rambo is a realist and as we know, reality is a bitter pill to swallow.7. What do you do to get yourself in the right creative zone when writing a movie? Nicolicious Green Bay, WI
7.) I try to isolate myself and mentally gear up for the task at hand. I don’t find writing a particularly pleasurable experience because it exploits your short comings as an artist. In other words, you think you’ve got the story under control then you go back and read it a week later and you realize the majority of the work has been superficial. So quite often I’ll lock myself in a room, a kind of self imposed isolation and I don’t leave it until something intelligent or creative comes to the surface and quite often that can take days or weeks. It’s as though your conscious mind is trying to burrow in your subconscious for creativity and this isn’t easily attained.8. One movie from your catalog of work that hasn't been mentioned much in this is Nighthawks. I loved that movie. You and Billy Dee and Rutger Hauer were all great in it and it seems to stand out from your other films b/c it was a crime drama film that was not high octane a la Cobra, Tango & Cash, Demolition Man etc. I was just wondering if you had any anecdotes from that film and also given the post 9/11 world we live in if you had considered doing like an updated kind of Nighthawks movie that deals with the world of terrorism we currently live in that differs much from the kind of Euro-terrorism dealt with in that movie. Curadhan from Bowling Green, KY (Home of the Corvette!!!!)
8.) “Nighthawks”, was a film that was conceived in chaos. The second day into filming the director, his name escapes me, Gary…something. I believe he directed a film called “The Black Hole”. Stated in front of the whole crew, “Does anyone have any ideas how to shoot this thing?” Needless to say, he was immediately replaced with another director who was suppose to just stand there and look like he was directing, while we tried to pull this film together. He wasn’t very talented and basically could be considered “a front”. He knew the score but decided then and there he was going to be the next Stanley Kubrick. He didn’t have the talent of Stanley Kubrick’s little toe. So I suggested that why doesn’t he be like Hitchcock and do a cameo in the film. I’ll never forget we were in Paris and one of the terrorists was suppose to be a French taxi cab driver who was going to take her to the next location to meet up with Rutger Hauer. I suggested that a nice bit of business is that he would be eating from a stand that was selling raw oysters conveniently located next to the taxi. He loved oysters and couldn’t help devouring them by the handful. By the third take he had eaten at least thirty raw oysters or more and was removed from the set suffering severe oyster cramps. Unfortunately, he returned the next day.9. Can you give us any scoop on your next projects? I wanted to thank you for making another Rocky and another Rambo. I loved these characters when I was younger and it's so great to have them back! -John Michael Lancaster, Ca
9.) Regarding the future we’re developing ideads for “The Mechanic”, “Deathwish” and a novel called “The Lion’s Game”. There are a few other interesting things waiting in the wings that I’m not at liberty to discuss right now and hopefully “Poe” will be one of them.10. Hi Sly, Just one quick question. Can you recount your experience as an Oscar nominee and your memories of Rocky’s best picture win? Where were you when the nominations were announced? And were you charged up after John Avildsen won best director, knowing that made Rocky the likely best picture? What other memories do you have for Rocky’s Oscar campaign? Kudos for the AICN questions, it’s a very groovy little thing to do. Sam from Australia.
10.) When I heard that Rocky had received ten nominations against some incredible competition I was thunderstruck, but also realized this could be a problem because how do you ever live up to that kind of adulation? I didn’t feel I deserved it so soon and I had real mixed emotions. At the Oscars we were not doing very well until John won and I was happy for him but I never expected we would win best picture. So to this day the whole experience seems surreal.