The hardman, nicknamed Sly, started off as a penniless actor, but shot to fame in the 1970s playing rags-to-riches boxer Rocky Balboa.
Stallone went on to become one of Hollywood's highest paid actors, filming six Rocky movies and four in his other famous franchise featuring violent Vietnam veteran John Rambo.
And despite now hitting retirement age, Stallone has no plans to slow down - he's already lined up to resurrect his character in action series The Expendables next year (12), alongside movie hardmen Jason Statham and Jean-Claude Van Damme.
To celebrate Stallone's milestone age, WENN has compiled 10 fascinating facts about the action hero. Happy birthday, Sly!
- Stallone's first starring role was in The Party at Kitty and Stud's - a softcore porn film. He was paid $200 (£125) for two days work.
- In 1991, he teamed up with fellow movie tough-guys Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger to launch a Planet Hollywood restaurant.
- He was nominated for two Academy Awards - for Best Actor and Best Writing - for Rocky, but despite his extensive career, he's never received another Oscars nod.
- Stallone's famous slurred speech is a result of paralysis in his face caused by birth complications.
- When he was close to graduating at the University of Miami, Stallone dropped out to pursue his acting career.
- He is a big fan of luxury Montegrappa fountain pens - and signed up as a consultant for the company last year (10).
- Stallone has been married three times and has five children.
- The actor rewarded his loyal dog with a role in the Rocky films - the bull mastiff used in the boxer's training scenes was the star's own pet.
- He enjoys oil painting and loves the works of Leonardo Da Vinci.
- Stallone has sustained a number of injuries from his roles over the years - he once famously spent four days in intensive care after Dolph Lundgren punched him for a scene in Rocky IV and broke his neck during filming of 2010's The Expendables.
Gorgeous Irène (the extraordinary Audrey Tautou) loves her life as the girlfriend of an ultra-wealthy much-older man (Vernon Dobtcheff). The clothes the shoes the food the five-star hotels! But he gets drunk and passes out on the night of her birthday and so late that night she heads to the hotel bar for some company. What she finds is an empty bar--no barman on duty--and an oddly handsome young man (Gad Elmaleh) in a tuxedo asleep on one of the lounge’s couches. We know from earlier sequences that he is the barman but one look at Irène and Jean decides for that night at least to pretend that he is a multimillionaire. That deception leads to a romantic one-night stand and Irène leaves the next morning. Cut to one year later she returns to the hotel now the fiancée of the old man dripping in diamonds and living the life she has always believed is her destiny (despite her humble beginnings). When she and Jean rekindle for another fling all is lost when her fiancé discovers her infidelity. And so the comedy really begins as Jean tries to take his place only to find that her style of living drains his bank account almost immediately. The resulting lengths he goes to in order to win her love creates a series of comedic (and sometimes poignant) moments that will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear by the time the credits roll. How can you not adore Audrey Tautou? Forget her foray into Hollywood in The Da Vinci Code where she simply played the sidekick to Tom Hanks’ leading man; think instead of Amelie and A Very Long Engagement in which her full talents have already been showcased. In Priceless writer-director Pierre Salvadori admits he wrote the role of Irène with her in mind and it is a perfect fit. As Irène she is so sexy so adorable so filled with life and yet riddled with the fear of not having money that she will do just about anything to have it that she almost instantly grabs hold of your heart. No matter what she does how badly she treats Jean when she discovers that he is poor you cannot help but be on her side hoping she is able to attain the wealth she so desperately desires. Her ability to show the inner depths of her emotions through just her eyes is extraordinary; this is a performance that deserves numerous accolades. Equal to the task of playing opposite her is Gad Elmaleh an actor whose face is not exactly handsome yet is so appealing that we quickly fall for him as well. He struggles to find a way to keep Irène close despite not having the millions he needs to afford her. The duo creates a winning combination that will make you believe that love can actually win out even in the most seemingly impossible situations. Director Pierre Salvadori readily admits that his deft touch with screwball comedy comes from his love of the films of Hollywood great Ernst Lubitsch the master of the genre (think Ninotchka To Be or Not to Be The Shop Around the Corner Heaven Can Wait). Happily Salvadori has succeeded admirably in creating a film worthy of the comparison. With no sentimentality but plenty of romance he creates a world where his characters change evolve and eventually allow their hearts to lead the way. It is the rare filmmaker who is able to create classics of this genre for often the stories are either too predictable--we always know from the start for example that the leads in any romantic comedy will end up together but it is the journey to get there that makes or breaks a film. Or perhaps the romantic comedy is too sappy and corny for our hearts to really believe in the story. Priceless is neither. Instead it is a rollicking funny and even poignant (for just a moment) comedy that will make you remember the fun you had while watching it. In other words Priceless is a quintessentially great romantic comedy and not to be missed.
With a record-breaking $120.1 million four-day total at the North American box office, X-Men: The Last Stand now stands as the biggest Memorial Day weekend opener ever, finally topping The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which opened Memorial Day weekend in 1997 with a four-day total of $90.1 million.
The third installment of the series featuring a cast of mutants with names like Storm (Halle Berry), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) opened in 3,690 theaters and grossed an average of $32,554 per theater.
"People had such a huge awareness of the movie that it just translated into these huge numbers," Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations told The Associated Press. "The film benefited from a huge base of fans who had seen the first two X-Men films, plus great marketing and solid reviews.
"This is what the summer is all about," Dergarabedian said, adding the box office has rebounded well since last year's slump. "With Da Vinci Code doing better than anticipated ... we could not be in a better position."
The Top 12 pics this week grossed an estimated $228.5 over four days, making it the second biggest Memorial Day weekend overall. It was up 21.12 million from last weekend’s total of $154.9 million and up 1.38 percent from last year's four-day draw of $225.4 million.
The Top Three films at the box office this time last year were: 20th Cent Fox’s Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, which stayed at No. 1 with $70 million in its second week in 3,663 theaters, averaging $19,123 per theater; DreamWorks’ Madagascar, which opened in second place with $47.2 million in 3,634 theaters, averaging $4,191 per theaters; and Paramount’s The Longest Yard, which opened in third place with $58.6 million in 3,634 theaters, averaging $16,129 per theaters (Click here to read last year's box office report).
BOX OFFICE TOP 10, ESTIMATES (Four-Day Totals)
(Source: Exhibitor Relations, Inc.)
No. 1: X-Men: The Last Stand (20th Cent Fox, PG-13)
• Gross: $120.1 million
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 3,690
• Per-theater average: $32,554
No. 2: The Da Vinci Code (Sony, PG-13)
• Gross: $77 million (-56%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 3,754 (+19)
• Per-theater average: $20,616
• Cume to date: $145.5 million
No. 3: Over the Hedge (DreamWorks, PG)
• Gross: $35.3 million (-30%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 4,093 (+34)
• Per-theater average: $8,635
• Cume to date: $84.3 million
No. 4: Mission: Impossible III (Paramount, PG-13)
• Gross: $8.5 million (-41%)
• Weeks opened: 4
• Theaters: 3,053 (-397)
• Per-theater average: $2,806
• Cume to date: $115.8 million
No. 5: Poseidon (Warner Bros., PG-13)
• Gross: $7 million (-40%)
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 3,245 (-310)
• Per-theater average: $2,157
• Cume to date: $46.6 million
No. 6: R.V. (Sony Pictures, PG)
• Gross: $5.3 million (-18%)
• Weeks opened: 5
• Theaters: 2,481 (-444)
• Per-theater average: $2,136
• Cume to date: $57.2 million
No. 7: See No Evil (Lions Gate, R)
• Gross: $2.6 million (-43%)
• Weeks opened: 2
• Theaters: 1,270 (+13)
• Per-theater average: $2,520
• Cume to date: $9.1 million
No. 8: Just My Luck (20th Century Fox, PG-13)
• Gross: $2.3 million (-46%)
• Weeks opened: 3
• Theaters: 1,604
• Per-theater average: $1,434
• Cume to date: $13.9 million
No. 9: United 93 (Universal, R)
• Gross: $1.1 million (-42%)
• Weeks opened: 5
• Theaters: 781 (-527)
• Per-theater average: $1,408
• Cume to date: $29.9 million
No. 10: An American Haunting (Freestyle Releasing, PG-13)
• Gross: $939,680 (-51%)
• Weeks opened: 4
• Theaters: 748 (-517)
• Per-theater average: $1,252
• Cume to date: $14.9 million
An Inconvenient Truth (Paramount Classics, PG)
• Gross: $365,787
• Weeks opened: NEW!
• Theaters: 4
• Per-theater average: $91,447
Oscar-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman adapts Brown’s bestselling page-turner to the best of his ability adding a few variations of his own but following the general plot of the novel. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) a professor of iconography and religious art becomes embroiled in a mystery when the highly respected Louvre curator in Paris is found murdered. Before he died he was able to leave Langdon and cryptologist Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou) the curator’s granddaughter clues through Da Vinci’s works which eventually lead them on a quest for the Holy Grail itself. Along for the ride is historian Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) a Paris detective (Jean Reno) and an albino monk (Paul Bettany) intent on stopping them. But here’s the kicker: one of Da Vinci’s theories is that Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ were married and had a child thus creating a “sang real” or “royal bloodline” that must be protected destroyed or exposed--depending on which side of the fence you’re on. Ah the stuff great stories are made of. Upon hearing the casting of Da Vinci many of the book’s avid fans rejoiced--it is indeed a stellar line up. But it is probably one of the least compelling performances star Hanks has ever turned in. It’s not his fault really; Langdon is equally as stiff in the book. Same sort of goes for the Sophie character which is a shame for the lovely Tautou (Amelie) who isn’t able to fully utilize her incredibly expressive face here. Both actors could have been more animated but they are really the conduits for the more colorful supporting characters surrounding them. Bettany (Wimbledon) does an admirable job as the baddie a self-flagellating zealot intent on following orders even if the amiable actor is a bit ill-suited as a villain. But it’s McKellen who steals the show as the acerbic but jovial Teabing full of conspiracy theories and revelations about the true meaning of the Grail. The veteran thesp has a lot of information to pass on in the film but does so in a very engaging way. When he finally exits so does the film’s energy. Therein lies the main problem with The Da Vinci Code: Keeping up the momentum. The novel is chockfull of exposition--pages and pages of historical information along with passages about the characters’ pasts. It’s great to read but to watch it unfold on screen could have been an excruciatingly boring experience. Goldsman and Howard have both admitted having trouble adapting the material trying to find ways to make the story more cinematic. But the Oscar-winning Howard has proven himself to be a highly capable director and gives Da Vinci Code the necessary touches interweaving visual re-creations within the narration. Salvatore Totino's glistening cinematography also accentuates the lush sets while Hans Zimmer's score pumps it up. Still at two and a half hours Da Vinci Code drags. It has to--you’ve got all the book’s theories to get out. It's true Brown’s imaginative opus for obvious reasons rocked a few boats when it was first published but it sold millions. It stands to reason the movie will do the same at the box office.
French President Jacques Chirac is facing a political backlash after reports he tried to altar the casting of The Da Vinci Code, promoting family friends for the lead roles.
The World Is Not Enough star Sophie Marceau, 39, was allegedly touted by the French head of state to star as young cryptologist Sophie Neveu—the role ultimately won by Amelie actress Audrey Tautou, according to British newspaper The Times.
Marceau, who is a close friend of Chirac's daughter Claude, was a staunch supporter of Chirac during his 2002 presidential campaign.
The casting scandal was leaked by the film's director Ron Howard, who also revealed Chirac demanded higher pay for actor Jean Reno, who plays detective Bezu Fache in the adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling novel.
In return, the veteran politician offered to facilitate filming in Paris' historic Louvres museum.
Howard says of the President's request, "That was hilarious. Fortunately, the deal was already closed."
A spokesman for Chirac denied the allegations, but admitted that a meeting between Howard and the film's producer Brian Grazer had taken place.
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