Silvester Stallone wrote Rocky in just three days when his bank account was just $100. The same actor once recounted that by showing the script the producers offered him $340,000 and that for the role they had James Caan, Burt Reynolds or Ryan O’Neal in mind as potential protagonists. But Stallone wasn’t so interested in economics, in his mind he had only one condition: Rocky was him or nobody. An issue that became clear when he finally agreed to receive $20,000 for the script and the payment of $350 a week during filming. A much lower amount than the initial proposal. And Stallone was not mistaken, the film grossed more than $117 million in the United States alone and also won three Oscars, including best picture. What looked like a simple boxing film became a saga of the most successful. Later came Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Rocky Balboa, Creed and Creed II. But while Rocky brought Sylvester Stallone fame, recognition and a big dollar bill, it also nearly cost him his life. As he recounted in an interview the recordings were very hard, and he often cried in pain at the scenes in which he had to put the body. However, a particular scene, in the fourth edition of Rocky, literally dropped him off at the hospital.
In Rocky IV his rival was Russian actor Dolph Lundgren, who took on the shoes of Ivan Drago. And we all suffered the hard blows that were propitious in the ring until Rocky finally managed to get the win. What we never imagined is that those blows were real. And it cost the actor four days in intensive care, where, in his words, he almost lost his life.
30 years later in an interview, Stallone re-established himself and said, “I said, ‘Why don’t we do it? Just try to knock me out, hit me as hard as you can. And after that stupidity I told you, the next thing I knew, I was on a low-altitude plane to go to the emergency room, where I ended up in intensive care for four days with a bunch of nuns around me.” It hit me so hard that it almost stopped my heart,” recalled Sylvester Stallone, who acknowledged that he even thought he was going to die from the blows. He admitted to “immediately hating” Lundgren. “I had to find a superhuman being as an opponent, someone who had to be overwhelming,” the actor said, remember the scene? Look: