connectVideoSylvester Stallone on ‘Rocky’ legacy
Sylvester Stallone and Dolph Lundgren can be the best of friends, but Secretly didn’t always like the Swedish-born karate champion.
Stallone, 72, recalled the time that Lundgren, 61, literally almost killed him during the filming of “Rocky IV.”
“Dolph Lundgren walked in, and I hated him straight away,” Stallone said at the Cannes Film Festival (via Vulture). “I had to find a superhuman being, as an opponent, someone who would be overwhelming.”
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Lundgren, a world karate champion, Stallone says “perfect” as his sociopathic Soviet rival. “This is what I would imagine they would make as an athlete — someone who is literally perfect. Indestructible,” Stallone recalled. “Shoulders, calves, forearms, huge ass, back, neck, everything.”
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Sylvester Stallone punches Dolph Lundgren in a scene from the film “Rocky IV” in 1985. Stallone told Lundgren nearly killed him during the filming, but that they are good friends today.
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During the filming of the classic boxing flick, Stallone almost brought on his own demise.
“He hit me so hard that he almost stopped my heart,” he said. “I said to him, ‘Why don’t we just do it? Just trying to knock me out. Really loose, as hard as you can.” That was really a stupid thing to say. Next thing I know, I’m on a low altitude of the aircraft to the emergency room, and I am in intensive care for four days. And there are all these nuns around.”
In a previous retelling of the incident, Stallone said the effect was comparable to that of a car accident and said that he was touched by “a streetcar named Drago.”
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Lundgren previously told the New York Post that he had to work hard not to be in a real fight, while Stallone trained to a box. Stallone’s training paid off, as Lundgren, says he has been hit harder that Carl Again, who played Apollo Creed.
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“Sly beat louder than the Weather conditions. Again it was all about speed and jabs,” Lundgren explained. “Sly is more about hooks. I was actually quite surprised at how good Sly could fight. I fought for real and had to learn how to fake! He was very involved.”