Sylvester Stallone is turning 71 today!
Born in Hells Kitchen in New York City, he always dreamt of being an actor. His worldwide fame began when he released the action movie, Rocky. In honor of his big day, here are 10 facts that you may not have known about the smash hit.
1. Stallone did not have a lot of experience as a writer, but this did not stop him from writing the first draft of the film in three and a half days. According to Mental Floss, he received the idea after watching Muhammad Ali fight. Even though the original draft is a lot different from the version we know today, it still started the legendary story.
2. In the original movie, Yahoo reports that “Rocky was an anti-hero, Mickey was a racist, and Rocky ended up throwing the final fight so he wouldn’t have to be a part of the vile world of boxing.” Needless to say, it is not shocking that only 10 percent of the original script was made into the movie.
3. United Artists purchased Stallone’s script and did not want to give him the lead. As reported by Shortlist, the company wanted Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford, James Cann, or Burt Reynolds to be in the lead role. However, Stallone did not let them choose the lead! He told UA that they cannot buy the script unless he got to play Rocky.
4. According to a 2013 calculation by Philadelphia magazine, Rocky’s famous run lasted for 30.61 miles. That’s one hell of a workout!
5. During that legendary run from his house to the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps, eight hundred children were used as extras. Each one lived in the city of Brotherly Love.
6. Yahoo reports that a lot of Stallone’s family members also took part in the movie’s production. The list of familiar credits include: his brother, Frank Jr., his father, Frank Sr., his dog, Butkus, and his then wide, Sasha worked behind the scenes as a production still photographer.
7. If you have ever visited the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you have probably noticed the Rocky statue. After the filming of Rocky III, Stallone donated the statue. In total, Mental Floss reports that it is 8’6″ and weighs 2000 pounds.
8. Shortlist reports that the budget for the film was very low. So low that Carl Weathers had to share a dressing room with fellow actors, Burgess Meredith.
9. While shooting the first round of the Balboa/Drago fight, Dolph Lundgren punched Stallone so hard that he had to go to the hospital. According to Mental Floss, “Stallone’s heart hit his breastbone and began to swell.” If he did not go to the hospital, Stallone might not have survived.
10. John G. Avildsen, the director of the first Rocky, had never viewed a boxing match or movie.
Sarah is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp