JAMES LIPTON WITH SYLVESTER STALLONE

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Sylvester Stallone Inside The Actors Studio Hey, yu! Ya' takin da piz outta der wai I talk? I'll smash your bloody 'ed in ya no good bum. Huh? Waz zat? You've kidnapped Adrian? ADRIAN? ADRIAN! Help mi. Somebody. Dat piz taking scum-bag haz taken mi, ADRIAN! No. Not James Lipton! Some other mama-luke you might have seen in this 45 minute interview I did in 2004. ADRIAN!


Sylvester Stallone


THE STORY:
Ding-Ding! Round one. Now in the red corner, weighing in at a horse and a half pounds, is the Italian Stallion himself, Sylvester (I'm an actor) Stallone. Whilst in the blue-card corner, weighing in at two and a half strands of hair, is the one and only man about town, James (very nice beard) Lipton.

Yipppee!

Thankfully, in fine form, both of these competitors take to the stage no holds bard. With James quickly delivering a series of straightforward questions towards Sly, before he can even yelp for his 'Mama' in turn. Now these questions include such topics as: (1) His early life, plus what his family background was like. (2) How Steve Reaves inspired him into becoming a bodybuilder. (3) How academia took Sly to Switzerland, Miami, and back again. And (4) His seven years living in New York City, struggling through the writing wilderness.

Don't fret though, fight fans. Post haste, Stallone replies to James question by saying to him such things as...
  • When I was born, the nurse who delivered me accidentally cut a nerve on the side of my face. That's why I can't smile a lot. Plus speak with this husky deep voice.
  • My mother had the first television show in DC, about female exercise. I have to attribute who I am today due to her outlandishness.
  • I went to 13 schools in 12 years. I liked to spread it around, ha!
  • There is always a scene in every movie that somehow defines it. In Rocky I did it in one. 'Yo, Adrian!!!'.
  • The DP is the most crucial man on the set. He's like a God.
  • Now you have actors and you have performers. Actors don't have the personality like the characters they play on screen. They need to work off of something. Where as performers have to be whoever they are on screen. And that's it.
  • Sometimes risks pay off. Other times they don't. That's life.
  • I find writing a conditional response.
  • I love painting. I've done it since I was 12.

Ding-Ding! Round Two! Yep. You're right, fight fans. Sly does speak about some of his movies during this bout. For example:
  • The Lord's of Flatbush: 'It was my first acting role. I fooled them all, ha!'.  
  • Rocky: 'Rocky was my way to embroil all of my frustrations onto the screen. Basically it's a story about five characters that make up one character'.
  • Rocky 2: 'The reason I directed it was because nobody else liked the script'.
  • Rambo First Blood: 'I always saw him as a man upon the cusp. He's a redemptive Frankenstein figure'.
  • Cop Land: 'I liked that film. It was great going one on one with some superior actor's'.
  • Cliff-hanger / Demolition Man: 'I did enjoy making those movies. But I would not want to go back to that again. Sometimes you have to move on'.

Dong! Final Round! Now in closing this urbane tête-à-tête, Sly answers more questions posed by James from the Bernard Pivot structured questionnaire -- where we learn that he likes the word 'passion' and hates the word 'foolish'. Before he then answers subsequent questions' posed by the studious audience about: self-satisfaction, directing, and his own acting method.

BONG! Game Over. It's a tie!




THE REVIEW:
Like many of you, I'm sure; I've always presumed that Sylvester Stallone was somehow like his Rocky persona in real life. But he's not you know. No. Far from it. After watching him in this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio', I now look at him in a very-very different way.

Sylvester Stallone Rocky
You see, to me, Sly comes across as being a very clever and creative man trapped in a world that's too visual and esoteric by nature. Furthermore, I also perceive him as being someone who went through a lot in his life, and doesn't care how hard he has it in the future, because of his built up resolve.

Yeah! You just go and reread some of the quotes he gives up above. And while you're at it, try to imagine someone with a more pious and high-falutin tone saying what he says. Go on. Shoot. I'll be here waiting for you.

[Two minutes later]

Do you see what I'm driving at, dear reader? Can you honestly believe that someone like Rocky or Rambo would talk about painting or writing, or even use the words 'embroil' or 'attribute' in a single sentence? Heck, just from the way Sly holds himself throughout this interview, you can physically tell that he has a lot more going on under his bulking frame than what you can see on the surface.


Sylvester Stallone Poster


Sylvester Stallone Rambo
But don't just take my word for it, pal. Here, check out these Stallone related facts for some more information on this great-great guy. (1) Prior to making a name for himself in the blockbuster, 'Rocky', Sly played a sex-starved gigolo in the soft-core adult film called 'Party at Kitty and Studs'. It was his film debut, and it earned him $200 at the time. (2) Henry Winkler -- who worked with Sly on the film, 'The Lords of Flatbush' -- based his 'Happy Days' character of Arthur Fonzarelli on him. According to Hendry, 'Sly was everything that the Fonz was supposed to be. A fan of a variety of different art styles, who enjoys' Bollywood films, and has been known to paint on occasion'. (3) Between 'Rocky 2' and 'Rocky 3', Stallone began developing his own custom made clothing line, resulting in him setting-up his own fashion house called 'Sly Inc'. (4) Both Mike Tyson and Sly were inducted into the 'International Boxing Hall of Fame' in 2011. (5) During the making of 'Rocky IV', Mister Rocky Balboa himself was accidentally put into intensive care, care of Dolph Lundgren's fists. THUNK! Plus years later, during the making of 'The Expendables', he accidentally broke his neck whilst in a fight scene with Steve Austin. (6) Its a little known fact that Sly is a very good painter, and loves the work of Leonardo da Vinci. Heck, his splish-splash is so good, one of his abstract oil paintings fetched over forty-five thousand dollars at auction. (7) Over the last ten years or so, Sly has been working on a screenplay for one of his idols, Edgar Allen Poe. No. He won't be playing the lead role himself. (8) Sly just hates comic book movies. After the release of the first Tim Burton 'Batman' film, he stated in the press that this production helmed the decline of action movies, because it was possible for actors to wear 'muscle suits' rather than actually 'boast muscle'.


Sylvester Stallone and Woody Allen


Alight. I think that I've more than made my point about Sly by now, huh? He's a very creative and dynamic chap, who has succeeded in life by believing in his own abilities, and acting accordingly, however he sees fit in any given situation. In a strange ways I kind of feel guilty for thinking of him as being some sort of a plonka. I'm sorry Sly, mate. If you're ever in my neck of the woods, I'll make sure that I won't ask you as many questions as James does in this great episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio'. But what I can't promise you though, is that I won't ask you to yelp...




Now if you want to see Sly in one of his great-great movies, please check out Sky TV Offers. Over the next couple of weeks they will be broadcasting such action packed adventures as: 'Daylight', 'Rocky', 'The Expendables', 'Rambo', and many-many more. So go on. Click-Click. Tell them the Italian Stallion  
sent you.

THE RATING: A