Casting CallsSylvester Stallone Opens Up About Fearing "Rambo: First Blood" Would Ruin His...

Sylvester Stallone Opens Up About Fearing “Rambo: First Blood” Would Ruin His Career


Key takeaways:
– Acclaimed actor Sylvester Stallone believed : First Blood would end his acting career.
– Stallone was not the first choice to play John Rambo; he was chosen after all other options were exhausted.
– Despite his initial dislike of the , it became a massive success grossing $125 million against a $15 million budget.
– The actor suggests editing out all his dialogues saved the movie and protected his reputation.

Sylvester Stallone, still a prominent figure in Hollywood, talked candidly about his concerns for his legacy after filming 1982's Rambo: First Blood. The actor best known for his role in Rocky expressed his initial disdain for the action film during a recent episode of The Howard Stern Show. His fears were so profound that he believed the film could have terminated his career.

Stallone's Unease about First Blood**

Revealing that he was not thrilled about the movie when it was initially shot, Stallone admitted he thought First Blood would be a “career killer.” His manager shared his sentiments, leading them to want to purchase and destroy the original film. This reaction came mostly from his detest for his character's dialogues, which led Stallow to call for significant changes.

“I looked at this, I'm going, ‘This is a career killer.' This film, when we did it, it was so bad—at least I thought, and even my manager—we both went out, I think we both retched together in the alley. We tried to buy it back and burn the negative. First Blood, on my , we tried to buy it back and burn the negative,” remarked Stallone.

Stallone's Strategy for Improvement**

Despite the original movie's poor quality, Stallone saw value in a simple yet significant change. He asked the to remove all his dialogues, allowing other characters to talk about him instead. His novel strategy quickly gained traction and became a lifesaving proposition for the action film.

Stallone suggestively stated, “I said, here's a good idea: cut out all my dialogue. Every line. And have other talk about you—which by the way is not a bad way to in general. Other people fill in the blanks. Like the Greek chorus, you know, and I think that works really well.”

Stallone Wasn't the First Choice for John Rambo**

Unlike his iconic role of Rocky, Stallone was not the top choice to play John Rambo. As he jokingly shared on The Howard Stern Show, every available actor had been considered for the role before him, making him feel like he was the last resort after every other option had been discarded.

“I think they were going to lab animals before they got to me. They went through every actor in the system and they eventually said, ‘Ok, De Niro, Nolte, Zippy the monkey, let's go to Sly,” Stallone confessed.

The Unforeseen Success of First Blood**

Against all odds and Stallone's initial misgivings, Rambo: First Blood turned out to be a massive and critical hit. Despite Stallone's fears, it amassed over $125 million against a mere production budget of $15 million, putting Stallone's career on an upward trajectory and shaping him into the action hero he is today.


Sylvester Stallone's story about Rambo: First Blood gives us a unique view of the stresses and pressures that actors can face in their careers. It also reinforces the idea that success is unpredictable, and today's fear can morph into tomorrow's icon. Despite Stallone's initial apprehension, First Blood turned out to be a triumphant victory for him, further propelling his esteemed career in Hollywood.

Today, Rambo: First Blood is available to stream on , where and new viewers can enjoy Stallone's iconic performance as John Rambo.

Megan Diane
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.


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