A couple of weeks ago, Sylvester Stallone appeared in the pages of the NY Times to guilt fans into going to see Rocky Balboa by framing their ticket purchase as a message sent to Hollywood that it can't dispatch him and his contemporaries to the Faded Action Stars Retirement Home before they're good and ready to go. Stallone now reappears in the new issue of Newsweek with more heartstring tugs meant to loosen moviegoers' purse strings:
"A lot of people said, 'Just sit down, don't embarrass yourself'," Stallone says. "There is this incredible resistance to anyone who seems to want a second shot: 'You had your moment, now f—- off'." [...]
"It nags me that I took the easy way instead of the high road," he says. "But everyone makes mistakes. I look around at people my age, and I can see it in their eyes—a kind of bittersweet reflection: 'I didn't live the life that I wanted, and now I've got all this stuff I want to say, but nobody wants to hear it.' I was feeling that, and if you don't get it out, it can become a beast that tears you apart."
Over the years, Stallone often complained that he wasn't being allowed to grow beyond the "Rocky" movies. Still, he kept making them. Then "Rocky V," featuring a bankrupt Balboa, flopped. "It was my fault," he says. "Everything in it was dark and dismal. People came to that movie for uplift and I took them into a mine shaft and turned out the lights." [...]
"I don't understand aging gracefully," he says. "I'll always be at war with that. I'd rather age ungracefully, kicking and screaming. Don't hand me down my top hat and walking cane. You know, I went to speak at the AARP—did you know that starts at 50?—and I said, 'Yes, youth must be served. After us. And we're going back for seconds and thirds'."
Finally! Among the bleak talk of regrets over mistakes made and years wasted in the service of empty (though fortune-making) stardom, a note of defiance. We just hope that Stallone's claim that he's "going back for seconds and thirds" doesn't mean that he's planning on mining still darker parts of his resume for sequels, as cashing paychecks for Oscar II: The Return of Snaps Provolone and Stop Again! Or My Mom Will Shoot! I Mean It This Time! will be much harder to sell as a brave fight against Hollywood obsolescence.
- Rocky's Final Round [Newsweek]
- Previously: Stallone Tries To Guilt Public Into Seeing New 'Rocky' Movie [Defamer]