Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” films are famous for their action-packed boxing scenes. In Rocky IV, the titular boxer took on the evil Soviet Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren) in a seemingly unwinnable fight. The action scenes showed a brutal brawl, with special effects makeup applied to make both faux fighters look worse for wear as the bout went on.
Now, Stallone has revealed that the physical fight scenes nearly resulted in his death. The actor spoke about the incident to the Daily Mail. Sly said that one of the knockdowns in the movie was real, and it almost killed him.
“In the first round, where he knocked me down, that is for real. He pulverized me and I did not feel it at that moment but later that night my heart started to swell. He had bruised the perio cardio sac, which is when the heart hits the chest – like in a car accident when your chest hits the steering wheel. My blood pressure went up to 260. They thought I was going to be talking to angels.”
Stallone demanded that anyone he fought in the films throw real punches during the shoot. After the incident with the massive Dolph Lundgren, he may have thought twice about another such request. The legacy of the films lives on through the ongoing Creed series. Rocky IV will also receive a theatrical one-shot on November 11 where fans will get to see the director’s cut of the flick.
The 75-year-old Stallone said he had nuns praying for him after being laid out by Drago as he sat in intensive care. Fortunately, he recovered and has gone on to a legendary career on the silver screen. Who knew that after all these years, at least some of the fight was real?
Sylvester Stallone became one of Hollywood’s most bankable action star during the 1980s. His 44 leading roles have raked in nearly $4 billion in worldwide box office revenue. An additional two million came from films where he appeared but did not star.
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