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So I showed up and found myself literally standing in the valley of the skanks
December 14, 2006 2:37 AM   Subscribe

Sly talks! Rounds [1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9-10][11][12][13].

Let’s face it; my powers of communication were a little bit below that of a knuckle-dragging, ooze-dwelling cretin from another galaxy. Actually, I haven’t progressed that much. I just lie better. A 13 (so far)-part interview where Rocko/Ramby answers fans with oodles of extremely quotable, self-deprecating, sarcastic one-liners about the (few) ups and (many) downs of a Hollywood career. Tips on: how to get Sharon Stone naked, how to use the 3 seashells, how to direct dancers with a "crotch tartar" problem and how to bench press with owls. We also learn the final truth about some guy named Rocky - an inbred, druid outcast from Stonehenge whose specialty is weaving whistle chains and leaping face down onto pointed objects - and another one named Rambo - a savage turned loose in Microsoft’s headquarters.
posted by elgilito (46 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am so utterly disappointed that this is not Sly Stone.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:00 AM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


Elgito: I saw this yesterday (I reached round 11) and I considered posting this to the Blue too. I didn't but I'm glad you did. To say that reading Sly's responses to the cretins at AICN completely changed my opinion of him would be an understatement.

Until I read this, I had always considered Sylvester Stallone to be something of a lumbering Neanderthal. I now consider him to be not only somewhat articulate but also rather funny and, to a degree, witty too.

I really recommend all MeFites interested in movies (and indeed, many who are not) read as much of this as their time and attention span will allow. Hell, his incredibly amusing anecdote about Richard Gere on 'Lords of Flatbush' and his belief that Gere thinks Sly started the gerbil rumor is worth the price of admission alone.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:26 AM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


wow! this was actually really great stuff. thanks for posting this, elgilito.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 3:44 AM on December 14, 2006


i just saw him last night at a taping of the jimmy kimmel show. he's in pretty good shape for a senior citizen!
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 3:45 AM on December 14, 2006


Excellent Q and A, Stallone has made some terrible movies but he has always struck me as being one of the more human characters that inhabit Hollywood.
It's strange to see something so interesting and witty on AICN, a site usually given over to all sorts of ridiculous hero worship.
posted by AndrewStephens at 3:51 AM on December 14, 2006


I tried. I really, really tried.

Man, that is long and predictable, and the one thing that's clear is that he sees people as nothing more than they appear. No wonder he stinks.

His Mother being a bodybuilder is telling.
posted by toma at 3:52 AM on December 14, 2006


He is clearly dictating it - check the typos in 13 = squid for squib, etc. Shame, would seem more real if his fingers hit the keys.
posted by A189Nut at 4:41 AM on December 14, 2006


From day 2: "Bring back the cowboys, hang the businessmen and films will be much more enjoyable."

What a great sentiment. Sorta hits it right on the nose.
posted by antifuse at 4:43 AM on December 14, 2006


Also: "I’m actually thinking of making RAMBO IV a musical, and for the big finale every evening he blows up the entire audience."

Hilarious!
posted by antifuse at 4:44 AM on December 14, 2006


"The idea of working with Arnold came up twice - one was with John Hughes, and it was about a pair of neighbors that were determined to destroy one another with their back-and-forth everyday vendettas."

Wow..

why didn't that get made? while a "Stop or my Mom will shoot" did get made?
posted by RobbieFal at 5:34 AM on December 14, 2006


8. Question:

Many horror fans know of your son Sage Stallone as a big supporter of horror movies through his work with the Grindhouse Releasing comany. Do you share your son's fascination with horror films and do you have any plans to make or star in a horror film?

Mike, Melbourne, Australia

I made several horror films unintentionally and don’t plan to do any in the future, even though I appreciate the craftsmanship it takes to manipulate the audience’s emotions and have their nervous systems work overtime. But my favorite horror films are the ones that really reflect everyday life, such as WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, rather than eight Hooters girls on a canoe trip in uncharted waters north of Canada.



Nice.
posted by Ryvar at 5:49 AM on December 14, 2006


Someone please explain this to me:

I did, and seeing the actual writings of Poe really caught my imagination, because the way he would write would be to split the page down the middle and glue it in one long strip so he could get more words on the page.

What? How does splitting a page down the middle and gluing it give you more words per page? You still have the same surface area to write on. I can't visualize this.
posted by spicynuts at 6:52 AM on December 14, 2006


His head is gigantic & scary. That is all.
posted by dame at 7:00 AM on December 14, 2006


Spycinuts: How does splitting a page down the middle and gluing it give you more words per page?

This little bit of Poe trivia has fascinated other people. Apparently what he did was to glue two pages together to make a single (long) page. Stallone remembered it slightly wrong, that's all.
posted by elgilito at 7:18 AM on December 14, 2006


so many ironies -- back in 1976, only three men had been nominated for an Oscar for acting and writing in the same film. Charles Chaplin for The Great Dictator, Orson Welles for Citizen Kane, and Sylvester Stallone for Rocky. Rocky's screenplay being very possibly the most effective in all post-WWII American cinema -- if I were teaching screenwriting I'd use it as a textbook example of how you write a successful screenplay
posted by matteo at 7:35 AM on December 14, 2006


Back in the 70s, Sly used to fume that intellectuals didn't take him seriously. "I'm a writer!" he said -- and it's true. He not only has screenplays to his credit, but a novel, "Paradise Alley." He not only works out, but he sits and writes. He's an interesting man. Face it. And now he's had a spiritual conversion as well.
posted by Faze at 7:46 AM on December 14, 2006


I have a better idea for Rambo IV:
Rambo hides out in a Swiss girl's school, teaching gym class, while his peers are fighting a losing war in the jungle. When the war is over, Rambo makes movies about a sociopath veteran who kills lots of bad people.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:47 AM on December 14, 2006


Another fun bit is when he busts out the smack talk about Carl Weathers, and what a pussy he is. And how much Dolph Lundgren seriously kicked his ass in Rocky IV.
posted by antifuse at 7:49 AM on December 14, 2006


I’m actually thinking of making RAMBO IV a musical, and for the big finale every evening he blows up the entire audience.

Good ol' Sly. A really, really good writer. And a really good actor when given the chance (Rocky, Cop Land). A thoughtful guy who's made a career out of playing unthinking guys.

I was skeptical about Rocky Balboa but after reading this Q & A I am looking forward to seeing it.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:24 AM on December 14, 2006



On the death of the action hero genre:
When an individual can step into a latex suit bulging with muscles and Velcro himself into an action star body we knew the times they were a-changing. It’s tough enough to go to the gym and stay in good shape, but when you have the option to step into a Herculean Halloween costume; working out doesn’t look like much fun. Damn you, Batman.
Good times, there's some great quotes in there. Definitely raised my opinion of Sly.
posted by anthill at 8:25 AM on December 14, 2006


Not a bad interview with him on NPR recently either
posted by elendil71 at 8:37 AM on December 14, 2006


You guys know that the original Rocky was the forefather of today's indie film.
posted by stratastar at 9:04 AM on December 14, 2006


My favorite Stallone film has gotta be Oscar. Definitely a very different Stallone than Rocky-type characters, and an extremely well-written comedy to-boot. It was originally a play, which is probably one of the reasons the dialogue is so good. The critics loved it, but it didn't do well at the box office, so you can pick up the DVD for cheap.
posted by jedicus at 9:17 AM on December 14, 2006



It’s tough enough to go to the gym and stay in good shape, but when you have the option to step into a Herculean Halloween costume; working out doesn’t look like much fun. Damn you, Batman.


Interesting point about Michael Keaton, but I'd say the pendulum has swung away from that, certainly Christian Bale and Daniel Craig are the most physically imposing actors ever to play Batman and Bond. Actually it's kinda scary nowadays seeing even character actors like Thomas Haden Church bulking up like Stallone.

Actually I'd say there a dearth of good action movie scripts and directors, it hurts me to watch guys like Vin Diesel, Jason Statham and The Rock give good performances in really awful action movies.
posted by bobo123 at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2006 [1 favorite]


bobo123: What makes Christian Bale's beefy Batman impressive is that he was coming off his emaciated role in The Machinist; he got down to a reported 110 pounds for it. He then reportedly got up to 220 for Batman -- essentially doubling his weight. I'm googling around and these numbers vary, but not by all that much.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:46 AM on December 14, 2006


He wrote Cop Land? That was good.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:52 AM on December 14, 2006


I haven't got time to read a thirteen-part interview, but I do have one question: How do you use the three seashells?
posted by alby at 10:04 AM on December 14, 2006


Interesting point about Michael Keaton...

I don't know whether it's intended as a dig or as an observation, but let's be fair to Keaton and Burton: The rubber suit was supposed to seem weird.

And Clooney has publicly apologized for it. That leaves only O'Donnell and Kilmer, and I think Kilmer has managed to forget he ever was a Batman.*

(As for Bale, the guy's disgusting. He must have .1% body fat.)

--
*I read an interview with Kilmer once where he kind of halfway lost it on the interviewer when the subject of Keaton's bondage-lite Batman came up. I don't remember exactly what it was, but it was something to he effect that his Batman wouldn't be Keaton's Batman, but that there was actually nothing at all wrong with Keaton's Batman, thank you very much now go stuff yourself.
posted by lodurr at 10:07 AM on December 14, 2006


Wow, I NEVER thought Stallone was so funny. This impresses me.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:31 AM on December 14, 2006


I haven't got time to read a thirteen-part interview, but I do have one question: How do you use the three seashells?
posted by alby at 10:04 AM PST on December 14


" OK, this may be bordering on the grotesque, but the way it was explained to me by the writer is you hold two seashells like chopsticks, pull gently and scrape what’s left with the third. You asked for it…. Be careful what you ask for, sorry."

Cheers :)
posted by eurasian at 11:18 AM on December 14, 2006


Can someone explain the seashells thing to me? I have no idea what they're talking about.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:07 PM on December 14, 2006


But all I can say is… take the top five action guys and line them up against the old school action guys and what you’ll have is five young action guys wearing toenail polish and answering to the name “Bitch.”

Ha! Awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 12:10 PM on December 14, 2006


I was confused about the seashells thing as well, so I did a little Googling because it sounded darn familiar.

It's a reference to Demolition Man... Turns out it's what they used instead of toilet paper in the future.

Yeah.
posted by kbanas at 12:13 PM on December 14, 2006


6. Were there ever (or are there) any plans for a sequel to COBRA?

Adam P. Cray

Los Angeles, CA

I thought Cobra had every chance to have been a wonderful character that could have caused some memorable cinematic mayhem. I take the blame because I should’ve directed it, and the choices made in the last thirty minutes of the movie were pretty banal. I believe the inclusion of a real actress and not a bewigged ex-wife would’ve certainly been a celebrated change and perhaps would’ve made the series a lot more dramatic.


Well, shit.

I think Conan would be better off joining Cobra and seeking employment at a local Chippendales.

But! But!
posted by COBRA! at 12:48 PM on December 14, 2006


... use seashells instead of toilet paper in the future ...

Well, if the Stallone family soothsayers see it, I'm not betting against them. In August 2000, they foresaw Bush's razor-thin victory, the strong possibility that Hillary Clinton would become a senator, and the imminent retirements of both Calista Flockhart and the Taco Bell Chihuahua.*
*Course, they also predicted robots guarding human prisoners on Mars by 2010....
posted by rob511 at 12:49 PM on December 14, 2006


Course, they also predicted robots guarding human prisoners on Mars by 2010.

Oh, there will be... There will be.
posted by brundlefly at 2:01 PM on December 14, 2006


The very best of that interview (according to me):
On wrasslin'
I’m a big fan of wrestling. Wrestling is vascular fairytales performed between half-ton behemoths under the hot lights of battle. Good against evil, and every problem in the world is solved by a forearm to the throat or a knee to the package crammed into a straining Speedo.

On Insults
The last time Knowles let us talk to famous people, Kevin Smith called me a fag. If you could say something derogatory about me, that would be great. I'd like to keep my streak alive.

Thank you Sylvester Stallone and Knowles. As always, See You In Hell.
TheWarrior

Thank you, puss-nuts, and keep eating dead things you find in the orifices of disease-riddled cadavers. You wanted to be insulted, you got it.


On Life Imitating Art
I remember the way Burgess played the scene with me in the apartment in the first ROCKY, and I had never seen such great character work up close. He was just eating me alive with his intensity and nuance. I asked him how did he do that, and he said, “Because I’m a better pretender than you are.” I said, “Pretending?” and he said, “Yes, acting - it’s just a child’s game played by grownups. The biggest child usually wins.” So from that day on, I tried to specialize in being very immature.


On Casting
As far as who I think should play me: I’m flipping a coin between Danny Devito and Leo Gorcey of The Dead End Kids. But, let’s not eliminate the possibility of Rondo Hatton AKA “The Oxford Creeper” playing the young Stallone.

posted by eurasian at 3:18 PM on December 14, 2006


Course, they also predicted robots guarding human prisoners on Mars by 2010.

Where do you think Bush is moving the secret prisons?
posted by shanevsevil at 4:05 PM on December 14, 2006


Metafilter: Turns out it's what they used instead of toilet paper in the future
posted by Sparx at 4:07 PM on December 14, 2006


Wrestling is vascular fairytales performed between half-ton behemoths under the hot lights of battle.

So- he's bad at math, too. Even Haystack Calhoun and Andre the Giant weren't anywhere near a thousand pounds.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:08 PM on December 14, 2006


My favorite Stallone film has gotta be Oscar. Definitely a very different Stallone than Rocky-type characters, and an extremely well-written comedy to-boot.

Second this. Oscar is a lot of fun, and definitely made me re-evaluate Stallone.
posted by weston at 4:08 PM on December 14, 2006


Hey, thanks for this. Sly is hilarious. I'm really getting a kick out of these.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:16 PM on December 14, 2006


So- he's bad at math, too.

I'm pretty sure that was hyperbole, Kirth.

All in all I was very impressed. Good stuff.
posted by elendil71 at 4:28 PM on December 14, 2006


How could y'all have missed this one?
My real dream is that the highest-priced actor working today has the huevos to remake the classic THE PARTY AT KITTY AND STUDS.
posted by lodurr at 1:41 AM on December 15, 2006


Stallone's always been underestimated. He created Rocky, on of the ten best movies of the last half century. For that alone, he's cool with me.
posted by jonmc at 6:29 AM on December 15, 2006


Sure, he's underestimateed, and sure he's a smart guy and a talented screenwriter (and with the right material, not a half bad actor). But he's also pretty thin-skinned, holds grudges, and notoriously touchy about his height. (All of which, for me, combine to make him a kind of fascinating character.)

There's a chapter on Rambo in Susan Faludi's Stiffed that has a lot fo very revealing stuff about Stallone in it. She was talking with him over a fairly long period of time, a big chunk of it during the filming of Copland, and he seemed to be in a pensive frame of mind. I learned from that, for example, that he had a very "troubled" relationship with his father. The buy basically competed with his son in everything: If Sly wanted to box, his dad would spar with him and beat him up; if he wanted to play b-ball, his dad would be in there throwing elbows. I suppose the rationale was supposed to be that it 'made him a man' or something, but by the time Faludi is talking to him Stallone clearly isn't buying that anymore -- at least, not intellectually.

Anyway, it's all a character, really. Whether Stallone invents it himself or not (I rather think not), it's still just a character, because we don't know him. But it's a darn interesting one.
posted by lodurr at 8:58 AM on December 15, 2006


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