8 Things the Rocky Franchise Gave Us

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Creed’ recasts Rocky as a familiar mentor.

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – If you enjoy the movies after Thanksgiving dinner, there are plenty of choices including the latest from Sylvester Stallone titled “Creed.” In the film, iconic boxer Rocky Balboa, played by Sylvester Stallone, comes out of retirement to coach and mentor Adonis Johnson, the son of his late friend and former rival Apollo Creed.

Tessa Thompson is more than familiar with Hollywood—she grew up in the heart of the city. “It was my backyard; we would walk on Hollywood Boulevard to do errands or whatever,” the 32-year-old actress recalls. “When I found myself on television it felt like happenstance because of my sheer proximity to it. Since childhood, acting was always something I was doing; it was the only thing I cared about being good at.” Although Thompson worked steadily in television, her big break came with a one-two punch in 2014. That was until director Ryan Coogler came calling with a new film; “Creed.” “Sly Stallone was on my wall as a kid, he was the coolest,” said Petrillo. “Did you go back and look at that movie and marvel over what he did at that time?” Jordan replied, “Exactly yes!

First was the Sundance-award-winning Dear White People, in which she played a black student at an Ivy League college, and then the Academy Award-winning Selma, in which she portrayed civil-rights activist Diane Nash. It’s an amusing conversation to eavesdrop on, particularly since Creed, their modern Rocky reboot (in theaters Wednesday), looms over today’s chat. “How big is your yard?” Stallone, still a hulking figure, asks Jordan. “Don’t ever fall for this one,” advises Stallone, 69. ” ‘Yeah, this chandelier, it’s an art object, too.’ Forget it.

After 2006’s Rocky Balboa, the sixth installment in the series about the perennial-underdog fighter, Stallone figured he was most likely forever done playing the character he’d first brought to life in the seminal 1976 smash Rocky. “That movie was the toughest sell of all,” the actor recalls of . “Rocky V was considered a failure financially and critically. Now 15 years have passed. ‘You want to play a boxer who’s 60 years old – you’re joking, right?'” He lets out a low chuckle. “This was Max Bialystock territory.” But if we’ve learned anything about the Italian Stallion, it’s that whenever you think he’s down for the count, he somehow manages to get back on his feet.

The ‘art object’ is $30,000 and doesn’t work and there’s only one bulb that is in Ireland where it was made.” Jordan is laughing, as Stallone’s arms stretch wide. “Who’s going to fix it?” he demands. What Sly did at the time was incredible to write direct and star in any movie let alone a boxing film.” “We wanted to give Adonis a chip on in his shoulder,” explained Jordan. “I wanted him to be a character who didn’t know who his dad was, I think Adonis uses his dad as a measuring stick to figure out what kind of man he is and what man he wants to be.” When asked what the toughest part of the movie was, he answered, “Diet.

It’s that indomitable spirit that has made him one of the most beloved characters in movie history (When the American Film Institute ranked the greatest movie heroes in 2003, Rocky came in at No. 7, between Clarice Starling and Ellen Ripley). Creed fixes a problem that moviegoers didn’t know they had. (Millennials needed their own Rocky?) The adrenaline-boosting new installment introduces Adonis Johnson (Jordan) as the illegitimate son of Apollo Creed, who is failing at following in his father’s footsteps while fighting in anonymity. Thompson plays Bianca, a singer who ultimately becomes Creed’s love interest. “It was important to Ryan that she wasn’t this ringside cheerleader,” Thompson says of her character, “that she had her own ambitions.” (In real life, Thompson provides vocals for the L.A.-based indie-soul band Caught a Ghost.) Up next is HBO’s Westworld, a reboot of Michael Crichton’s 1973 culty science-fiction Western, whose production team includes Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, and J.

In Creed, a spinoff of the Rocky franchise directed by Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), the aging Balboa reluctantly agrees to train an up-and-coming fighter named Adonis Creed (Michael B. He’s a smart guy, great actor and he transforms into this intelligent guy to that vernacular .He sounds different, breaths different, walks different, he slumps over. At 69, Stallone finds the idea that Rocky has now come full circle – from small-time lovable loser to world champion to grizzled mentor –both fitting and strange. “I’m now the same age Burgess Meredith was in Rocky — isn’t that weird?” he says. “I’m the guy who’s knocking on the door going, ‘Hey, kid’. All Rocky wanted then, he says, was a little respect, and opportunity. “Today there are so few opportunities, it seems like society is shutting down,” Stallone says. “Is (Adonis) speaking for people who feel the same thing? I’d say my life is about 96 per cent failures, but if you just get that four per cent right, that’s all you need.” In person, with his muscles bulging under his shirt, Stallone still looks as though he could lay flat a much younger man.

I think yes.” Jordan allows it took a few takes for him to catch one. “The chickens got tired!” Stallone laughs. “But that’s the one scene that I step into Mickey’s shoes (Rocky’s trainer, played by the late Burgess Meredith). Before achieving fame, he says, “I walked around with a deep-seated inferiority complex.” He still comes across as modest and self-deprecating, aiming his toughest jabs at himself. Stallone’s quietly soulful performance in Creed already has some Oscar pundits considering him as a potential supporting actor nominee, but he brushes off that sort of talk. “Can you imagine? That would be really funny, wouldn’t it?” Though he was nominated for best actor for the first Rocky, as well as for his screenplay, he has often been treated as a punching bag over the years for what some have deemed his limited acting range and tendency to play monosyllabic roles. That began a long doldrum.” Over the course of his career, Stallone has appeared in roughly 60 movies – big hits, big flops and everything in between.

Jordan says that experience gave him “a sense of expectations when it comes to certain things, which is invaluable and I’ll take with me the rest of my career, the rest of my life.” “I wish there was a guide to life, to kind of transition me through this period,” says Jordan, who admits he struggled with rampant criticism on social media, whether it be for speaking inarticulately about women in a GQ profile (he later apologized) or the crash and burn that was Fantastic Four. “With the Internet, you can see everybody’s opinion, no matter how small it is. …It puts an importance on other people’s opinions that normally you would never hear.” He came prepared for Creed: Jordan got ripped, packing on pounds of muscle to be worthy of Rocky’s ring, and eating “a lot of brown rice and protein and a lot of water.” But what made Jordan’s Rocky experience legit was the day he hit the ring with Amateur Boxing Association of England heavyweight champion Tony Bellew. You’ve got to take a punch.’ I’m like, what?!” recalls Jordan, who whips out his iPhone and presses play on a video. “Goodnight, Irene!” Stallone bellows. “On every Rocky movie, I love when you put the slow-motion camera on and you see the saliva and the lips, and you go, ‘Oh, my God, they took it,’ ” he says. “So I said, ‘Mike, you’re not a real player until you step up and take one.’ ” Stallone nods. “He took it.”

Finally my agent said, ‘For a guy who played Rocky, you’re kind of a chicken’.” Eventually, Stallone warmed to the idea of bringing Rocky back for one more round, this time as a kind of ringside Buddha and father figure to a younger fighter. “There are certain things I’m allowed to say through Rocky that I can’t say through Rambo or anyone else,” he says. “Rocky is very preachy. That’s what Rocky really is: a springboard for the way I see life or wish life was.” The fact is, Stallone knows that, even though he brought Rocky into this world, the character doesn’t just belong to him anymore.

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