Sylvester Stallone On How ‘Rambo’ Nearly Cost Him His Life
First Published: January 5, 2008 5:34 PM EST Credit: Access Hollywood
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Twenty-five years after Sylvester Stallone first strapped on the headband, he brings his vigilante Vietnam vet, Rambo, back. And he told Access Hollywood’s Tony Potts recently at the opening of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, that returning to “Rambo” nearly cost him his life.
“There were a lot of you might say ‘people’ trying to dissuade us,” Stallone told Tony. “There were a lot of threats to myself, to the crew… There were some formidable death threats.
“The day we landed is when Thailand had their coup,” Stallone continued. “I’m seeing all these planes leaving and here comes one arriving and that is us.”
Stallone and the crew were warned they would be shot while filming the new “Rambo” sequel along the war-torn border of Thailand and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.
“This is a war that has been going on for 60 years against peasants,” Stallone said.
“Were you ever scared for your life, afraid for your life?” Tony asked.
“Usually when I was like, at the set or the hotel, you are fine. But I was worried for people traveling back and forth because things could happen,” he said.
Now safely back in the states, Stallone unleashed major star power at the grand opening of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Among those who turned up with Stallone to the Planet Hollywood opening? Barbra Streisand, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Eddie Murphy and fellow action star Bruce Willis.
“You start out with restaurants and now you are [in to casinos]?” Tony asked.
“We just thought that this would be the perfect synergy with Planet Hollywood — maybe even better then the restaurants because this is a really entertainment oriented hotel,” Stallone said.
His next project? Re-visiting his alter ego — Rocky Balboa — with a musical twist.
“I was just reading about ‘Rocky: The Musical.’ Tell me about it,” Tony asked.
“After ‘Rocky Balboa’ succeeded, it gave it a breath of fresh air and now it is all coming together and they are going to make a fantastic musical,” he said. “Isn’t that incredible? ‘Rocky’ on Broadway.”
If you saw Access Hollywood on Friday and want to know what Sylvester Stallone’s advice to young Hollywood is, read on for this Q&A between Tony Potts and the “Rambo” star.
Tony: What advice would you give young Hollywood?
Stallone: Well you know it would be very hard for me to say because it has changed so much. It is like my parents telling me do it the way I did it. ‘Well, you don’t live in my environment!’
I am basically rooting for these people. The main thing is I hope that their careers last long. I know in this environment there is a great deal of pressure to perform but also the business is eating people up quickly. Careers are much more fragile today, much more fragile then they were in my day and I don’t think you get as many opportunities today.
Tony: It is nice for me when I meet a lot of people, to meet a kid like Milo Ventimiglia, right?
Stallone: Now there is a guy with head on right. He understands that this business is fleeting and you have to look ahead. I think that if anyone believes that they are just gonna be a solitary actor for the rest of their life and the money and the fame is gonna pour in they are gonna have a rude awakening.
It does end, it does change and you have to be ready to take those shots on the chin. Every business — even films has its ups and downs and if you can ride out that valley you will.
Tony: Do you think those people who go out and pose all the time are kind of courting [attention]?. So if the paparazzi shows up they should kind of expect it.
Stallone: I think when you are young flirting with danger is kind of interesting and kind of fun. It is a game.
Tony: So you think the Britneys of the world and the Paris’ are kind of playing? They are dancing on the fine line because they know?
Stallone: Absolutely. Everybody knows what’s right and wrong. You know that if you eat this it is going to hurt you and if you go there and play with fire it is gonna get burned, you know it. But there is something inside of you that says, ‘Look! I am going to live my life, I don’t care. I am willing to take the slings and arrows and I am not going to be intimidated. I am going to do what I want to do,’ so it is kind of a rebellious thing. Plus what are you going to do? It is either that or you stay at home and play parchese with the dog.
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