Sylvester Stallone is unapologetically proud of the sequels that “Rocky” and “Rambo” spawned.
“I wouldn’t be here without the subsequent ‘Rockys.’ I’ve always loved sequels, to be able to go on with a character you enjoy. The stigma I’ve never understood,” he says. “What is a television show that goes on for a decade but 10 years of sequels? Yet if you do it in films, it’s basically an aberration. If anything, it’s the beginning, middle and end of a character arc. Sometimes it’s hard to do that in two hours.”
Stallone’s summer round-up of veteran 1980s action stars for “The Expendables” proved to be a global hit. He calls it “a different approach to the buddy movie.”
A sequel is expected to film next year.
“More than anything else,” he says, “the beauty of being able to get this second wind, it’s you now can apply all the knowledge and capitalize on all the mistakes that were learned the hard way — and do it better.”
As for 21st-century Hollywood, “I try to instill, especially with young actors, that there is no tomorrow,” Stallone says. “It’s here and now. You have to apply yourself, and don’t think you’ll get a second chance at bat. Opportunities are becoming far and far more difficult and careers, I think, will be much shorter than they were a few years ago only because the competition is so brutal and the audience is so fast that it takes a lot to keep them.”
His motto: “Approach every film like it’s my last and put everything I have into it.”