MVP talks action with 'Rambo' star Sylvester Stallone
In this week's special edition of Superstar to Superstar, WWE.com revisits MVP's interview with Sylvester Stallone, writer, director and star of Rambo. The fourth installment of the action movie franchise is available on DVD May 27.
MVP: Sly, how are you? MVP.
Sylvester Stallone: How you doing? I'm very good, thanks.
M: I'm doing good. Before we kick this off, I just wanted to tell you I'm a huge fan. I've enjoyed your work my entire life and this is a huge honor.
S: Well, thank you, I appreciate that.
M: You've been busy lately. You're starring in and directing the fourth Rambo film. Tell me all about it.
S: Well, this movie, they've sort of deemed it 'old school'. When it gets down to it, it's kind of like putting yourself physically on the line and doing the stunts and doing the battle, but more importantly, it's trying to tell a realistic, true story and not go over the top. I enjoy Jason Bourne and the Bourne movies, but a lot of that is the incredible camerawork. When you just hold the camera in one spot and you keep it real, it's like watching wrestling; there's no trickery. You're flying through the air, and in this movie, I want people to say, you know, [that stunt is] believable because it could be done. Actually, it's achievable; it's not something that's so far-fetched.
I hate movies where you have one guy out there with a pistol and he's taking on 800 trained soldiers, and he never gets hit. Come on. So we've tried to eliminate that, and we've brought this back down to simplistic, hard-edged, mano-a-mano type of filmmaking that hasn't been done in probably about 20 years. Truthfully, and I'm not just saying this, it's the best of all the Rambos. Just like I thought the last Rocky Balboa was the best of all the Rockys.
M: I was in the sixth grade the first time I saw Rambo.
S: You were probably in kindergarten. (Laughs) That's how far back it goes.
M: I do remember watching the cartoon, Rambo, and I had some of the action figures.
S: You were six months old! (Laughs)
M: I remember, as a kid, seeing the character of John Rambo, and that first movie, it just blew me away. Your impact on the industry has just been amazing. As far as modern day action heroes go, you kind of set the standard for what it is.
S: Thank you.
M: When I was a kid, there were two guys -- you and the "Governator." Everybody has to measure up to what you guys did, which brings me to another question. You always have been in exceptional shape. How do you manage to stay in shape when you're filming?
S: As far as staying in shape, what I do on a film, is I find one food source -- if it's going to be steak, a green vegetable and some kind of salad -- it's what it is for six months. It'll be the same food, that's it, period. I never go off of that. It's never like, "Let's have Chinese tonight, or "I'm dying for a pancake." No. The reason I thought about that was because when they feed a racehorse, they keep him on a perfect diet, and that diet comes down to the same amount of feed per day, to the ounce, so the horse maintains a certain kind of strength, energy and weight no matter what, because he is not given anything in addition to that. So that's pretty much how I stay the same weight and the same shape.
M: The motto, "Heroes never die, they just reload," where did that come from? Explain that for me.
S: We try to use some sort of metaphor, symbolism, like, "Soldiers never die, they fade away," or "Golfers never quit, they just lose their balls." It's just something that would get the audience a little pumped up because I am directing this more toward a younger audience. I learned people my age usually don't go to films anymore. They've lost the instinct to go out as much. Rocky Balboa was only successful because of kids between the ages of 18 and 28. I think you have to play to their imagination and present Rambo … even though he's old school, the wording in the advertising and the poster we've used -- which looks like graffiti street art -- have to be more modern and step up to their sensibilities. It's all about the sizzle.
If you take the presentation of wrestling back, even 20 years, it looks primitive. You've turned it into a show that automatically causes people to be excited by the anticipation. We're trying to create anticipation along lines like that.
M: Sly, thank you very, very much. I appreciate your time.
S: Thank you. I'll be watching you, too.