Hollywood hardman Sylvester Stallone has quit his tough keep-fit regime after a lifetime of gruelling workouts. The musclebound movie star shot to fame in the 1970s with his role as down-on-his-luck boxer Rocky Balboa, and he went on to feature in a string of action roles including Vietnam veteran John Rambo in the First Blood franchise and a gutsy mercenary in The Expendables.
He has spent most of his career sticking to a rigorous fitness regimen to stay in shape for his signature roles, but now the 67-year-old has turned his back on the gym and is happy to grow old gracefully.
Stallone tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "I'm trying to avoid going to the gym. I ended up doing a lot of action films and you have to be in shape. I swear I was in the gym so often that if I'd had another daughter I would have called her Barbella! I figure at a certain age you get clogged arteries and you drop dead happy."
Hollywood action man Sylvester Stallone was "embarrassed" when he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame back in 2011, because he didn't feel worthy enough beside fellow honouree Mike Tyson. The actor was celebrated at the Canastota, New York venue for turning the spotlight on the sport in his Rocky film franchise, but he felt out of place next to real boxing icons Tyson and former World Boxing Council Middleweight Champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.
Stallone says, "I was actually embarrassed by it (Hall of Fame honour) because I'm not a fighter, but they look at it like someone who helps promote boxing (sic). Mike Tyson and Cesar Chavez, Jr. is (sic) amazing so it was another validation that I'm here promoting the sport.
"But I've always loved the sport even when I was a kid, seven or eight years old, just fascinated with this idea of two men just showing their hearts and going for it."
Stallone steps back into the ring for new release Grudge Match, co-starring Robert De Niro, and director Peter Segal admits he was a little intimidated at the prospect of working with the movie hardman on the new boxing comedy.
He explains, "I was both elated and scared. I had watched (director) John Avildsen's commentary on Rocky and how meticulously Sly had gone through a beat by beat choreograph of 'left, left, right, right, left, right,' everything. And so I realised there is no person on the planet earth who has choreographed more cinematic boxing matches than this guy.
"But then there was a story that I had laid out and one that I had to convince him would be the right story to tell. I had to convince Sly that this was a way to do an interesting story without holding a gun and killing someone. We worked together but I didn't know how that was gonna go at first."
Hollywood hardman Bruce Willis stunned TV audiences on Tuesday (30Jul13) when he took part in an interview while wearing a dressing gown. The Die Hard star clearly wanted to stay comfortable as he donned the unusual garb for a pre-recorded interview, which aired on British morning show Daybreak, but kept his shirt and trousers on beneath the towelling robe.
Host Kate Garraway managed to keep her composure throughout their chat, but her colleagues in the studio joked about Willis' odd outfit choice after the segment had aired.
Presenter John Stapleton said, "What was with the dressing gown?" while his co-presenter Helen Fospero added, "I don't know... He looked dressed underneath. He's quite eccentric though I think."
It is not the first time Willis' weird antics on the show have left his interviewer Garraway looking uncomfortable - in February (13), he spat water over the floor during their chat to show how he keeps his baby daughter Mable entertained.
Willis was previously slammed for his lacklustre appearance on BBC programme The One Show in February (13) when he responded to interview questions with disinterest while promoting his movie A Good Day To Die Hard. He later apologised, blaming jetlag for his listless behaviour.
The action star, reprising his role as tough detective John McClane, sobs over Stewart's break-up from Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson in the clip, which aired during Willis' appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Thursday (30Aug12).
The hardman breaks down in tears as he tries to deliver his catchphrase, "Yippee-ki-yay, motherf**ker!" in the mock trailer for fake sequel Twi-Hard: With A Vengeance.
He wails, "I'm a little distracted lately, I lost some friends... Kristen and Rob, Bella and Edward - they broke up! They were supposed to be together forever, goddamnit!"
Introducing the sketch, Willis joked to host Letterman, "It's a pretty emotional scene, but very tough. There's a lot of action going on."
Stewart shocked fans in July (12) when she confessed to an "indiscretion" with filmmaker Rupert Sanders and publicly apologised to Pattinson.
The Hollywood veteran, 66, took a volley of blows in the boxing ring for his Rocky franchise, endured tough workout regimens to stay in shape as crack special forces soldier John Rambo, and was battered by explosions in The Expendables.
But his realistic roles are catching up with him and his fellow action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, as they are now forced to make frequent trips to doctors to get various body parts "fixed".
Stallone tells Total Film magazine, "It comes at a price. Arnie must have lifted a million pounds of weights in his life but it comes at a price. There's only so far you can push the machine, then it's a case of taking it to the mechanic to get this part fixed, or that part fixed. These days that happens more and more! But I still love the challenge. I get there (on set) and I go, 'Let me jump off, let me go into the water...'"
The actor is also adamant he'll continue to shun modern hi-tech filming methods to achieve realism in his action scenes, adding, "I don't know how those guys do that green-screen work - I've done a bit and it drives me crazy. I like the heat of an explosion in my face, a hunk of tin flying past my head 30ft from where it should've gone! It's hard to get the emotion without it."
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.
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.
The Hollywood hardman reprised his role as tough cop John McClane in 2007 for the fourth installment in the series, and he recently confirmed work will soon start on a fifth movie.
Willis has now revealed he won't walk away from the action films, as studio bosses want to make at least two more and he is worried they will carry on without him if he pulls out.
He tells Showbiz Spy, "In the next few years they could easily find a replacement for me or call the character someone else. But for me, I want to do Die Hard 5, then one final Die Hard movie - Die Hard 6 - before finally hanging that white vest up for good.
"At the moment, I can run and I can fight on screen. But there will come a time when I no longer want to do that. That's when I'll step away from the Die Hard films."
The Weeds actress was determined to play a joke on the actor, so she enlisted the help of fellow Red star John Malkovich to set up the perfect prank on the Louisiana set.
Parker smuggled a live alligator into Willis' mobile dressing room and left the creature in a cooler, before hiding in the shower while Malkovich lured Willis into the trailer.
The actress admits Willis wasn't particularly scared when he found the reptile, which looked more like a "bloated lizard" than a fearsome swamp beast, but the hardman was impressed by her attempt at a practical joke.
Parker tells the New York Daily News, "He was actually kind of touched that I went through the trouble."
Filming on the fourth Die Hard movie may be put on hold until star Bruce Willis slims down and gets toned.
The Hollywood hardman admits he's piled on the pounds since he first played maverick cop John McClane 18 years ago and is determined not to embarrass himself with a flabby physique on screen.
He says, "I need to get in shape, I need to work out.
"There is a high chance it will be out next summer--we're in the final stages of getting it all together."
The movie's plot had to be rewritten after last year's Hurricane Katrina tragedy--the original screenplay involved an oil tanker explosion that sends huge waves flooding into New Orleans, Louisiana.
Die Hard was released in 1988 and made Willis a star. Two sequels followed--Die Hard 2: Die Harder in 1990 and Die Hard with a Vengeance in 1995.
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