Sylvester Stallone Talks Family, Respecting the Memory of His Late Son Backstage at Golden Globes

Sylvester Stallone Golden Globes 2016
Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

After winning the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for playing Rocky Balboa in “Creed,” Sylvester Stallone admitted he was in such a daze, he didn’t even realize he received a standing ovation. “You’re kidding,” he responded when he was informed backstage. “I did not expect to win at all. I was promising myself I would be very aware the whole time, but it proves I was not aware. Just the fact that these incredible people were applauding, it reminds you that in this life, it’s never really over until it’s over and you should never give up trying, which is a great message.”

In “Creed,” Balboa develops a paternal bond with Adonis Creed, the son of his former opponent Apollo Creed, and Stallone was asked if he drew on his relationship with his real son, Sage Stallone, who died in 2012. “That’s a very heavy question,” he said. “To be frank, any time you can vent emotions that are real, I think it’s very, very helpful. Most importantly I wanted to respect his memory and I think we did.”

Stallone brought his daughters to the ceremony, and admitted that “they really had no idea who I am.” He continued, “And to tell you the truth, it’s okay. I was kind of a peripatetic actor — I was always on the road. Then I realized family is everything. You’re going to be judged by how you raised your kids and what you left behind. Finally, they get to understand that they have a loving father and movies are wonderful but they pale to life.” He added a tribute to his wife Jennifer Flavin, noting, “I give my wife all the credit because I’m pretty pathetic as a parent. She’s great.”

“Creed” marks the seventh time Stallone has portrayed Balboa, since writing and starring in the 1976 hit “Rocky.” He noted that the enormous success of that film might not be possible today. “If I wrote ‘Rocky’ today, it most likely would not be made, and if it did it would be on 25 screens,” he said.

In “Creed,” Balboa battles cancer. (“CREED” SPOILER AHEAD; DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN “CREED”) While he lives on in the film, the question was posed if Rocky would ever be able to die or if he would live on forever. He replied, “No, he certainly will not live on forever, because he represents what life is all about. Unfortunately, we don’t stay here permanently, it’s a cycle. The greatest men in the world have died, physicists, doctors… time is undefeated, I was very prepared in this movie to pass on, so we left it at a point where Rocky is still ailing, and we leave it up to the audience’s imagination. What we do try to project is life is a one-strike baseball game, you get one chance at life and you’d better fight to keep it. Dying is easy, living is hard.”