How Sylvestor Stallone went from being homeless and having to do a porn movie to turning his life around, sticking to his dream, and creating a massive success in Rocky.
His dad was a hairdresser, his mom an astrologer.
During his birth his doctors had to use two pairs of forceps to pull him out.
They severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of his face.
At age of 4 he was flat-footed and put in a tap dancing school by his mother.
His parents divorced when he was 9.
When he was 16, he scored poorly in school and his mother got him a summer job at her beauty salon.
Stallone had his first starring role in the soft core pornography feature film The Party at Kitty and Stud’s (1970).
He was paid $200 for 2 days‘ work.
He did the film out of desperation after being evicted from his apartment. He was homeless for several days.
He slept three weeks in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City before seeing a casting notice for the film.
„It was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end – the very end – of my rope.“
He sold his dog, Butkus for $50 because he couldn’t afford to feed it.
He stood outside a liquor store until someone agreed to buy the dog.
On March 24, 1975, Stallone saw the Muhammad Ali–Chuck Wepner fight, which inspired the foundation idea for a new movie.
He called it „Rocky“.
That night he went home, and after 3 days, 20 straight hours he had written the script.
He tried to sell the script to multiple studios and wanted to play the lead role himself.
One studio offered him $125,000 but wanted Robert Redford or Burt Reynolds to star.
Even though he was broke, he refused. He wanted to be the lead actor.
Weeks later they upped their offer to $325,000, he said no again.
Finally they agreed to let him star, but they would only pay him $35,000.
He tracked down the stranger who bought his dog and bought Butkus back for $3,000.
Butkus made it into the movie. (show clip of him and butkus).
When shooting the meat-locker scene, he punched the meat so hard for so long that he flattened out his knuckles. To this day, when he makes a fist, his knuckles are completely level. (show clip of him punching beef).
The film was shot in 28 days.
Rocky was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay nominations for Stallone. The film went on to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.
Known for physically demanding roles, and him wanting to do his own stunts, he suffered numerous injuries during his career. For a scene in Rocky IV, he told Dolph Lundgren „Punch me as hard as you can in the chest.“ „Next thing I know, I was in intensive care at St. John’s Hospital for four days.“
In recent years, he started showing tattoos on his shoulders, chest, and upper back to cover the scars he gained over the years in action films.
Philadelphia has a statue of his Rocky character placed permanently near the museum.
He is the 3rd man in history to be nominated for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best actor for the same film, after Charles Chaplin and Orson Welles.