The story of Sylvester Stallone (68) proves that no matter how crazy some dreams might seem, nothing it’s impossible. Before being able to sell the script for the movie “Rocky”, he slept in the bus station, he trained in the junkyard and he sold his dog because he had nothing to feed him. He got 50 dollars from a guy named Little Jimmy, the actor told many years after. Stallone felt that this story from March 1975 was one of the hardest of his life. In fact, after he gave away his pet friend, Butkus, he walked away crying.
Stallone struggled out of poverty for years. In 1970 he had been evicted from his New York apartment because he had no longer afford to pay the rent. After that he got to sleep in Port Authority bus station for three weeks.
After attending an audition, he was cast in an soft porn movie called “The Party at Kitty and Stud’s”. For two days of work he was paid 200 dollars. This experience led him to go to other pre-selection of movies. But he had to look very good, to be in a great shape and because he couldn’t afford a gym membership, Stallone was sneaking into a junkyard at night and worked out with pieces of cars.
Among other jobs, Stallone worked cleaning out cages at the New York Zoo and worked also as an usher at a cinema.
Although in the meantime he had managed to rent a new home, after he sold his wife’s jewelry, at that time Sasha Czack (1974-1985), Sly Stallone was again about to be evacuated from his apartment. Then he had to give away his dog Butkus. Two weeks later, Sly saw the boxing match between the legendary Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner. He was so inspired that he began writing the script for “Rocky” and some say it took him just three days to finnish it.
Winner at the Oscars
The script received great reviews from the studio, which offered Stallone 125.000 dollars. But he wanted one more thing, to play the lead character. He got a refusal due to lack of experience. Stallone insisted. The studio made several more offers, up to 350.000 dollars. Determined, Sly continued to maintain its position, which ultimately was accepted. He played the main character, but in exchange for only 35.000 dollars, both scenario and the performance in the film.
The success of the movie was incredible, as is well known! Stallone was nominated for the Best Actor at the Oscars. The film entered the race for ten Film Academy Awards and won trophies for Best Picture, Best Directing and Best Film Editing.
He recovered his friend
The first thing Stallone did after he sold the script for ”Rocky” was to find Little Jimmy. Then he begged him to sell him back the dog. “He lined up his children and he said – Oh, my kids love the dog” the actor remembers. Finally, Little Jimmy gave him back the dog after he paid 3.000 dollas (and some rumors say that the amount actually climbed up to 15.000).