‘Rocky’ star and Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone recently disclosed how during ‘Rocky IV’, he nearly stepped into the gateway to heaven. Keep reading to find out more!
Being a Hollywood star has countless perks. From high-paying gigs to a glamorous lifestyle, stars enjoy innumerable delights. However, there are many downsides to the job that are seldom talked about, one of them being how hard-working artists often risk their lives to achieve death-defying feats. As recently revealed, Sylvester Stallone almost died while filming ‘Rocky IV’ due to grave on-set injuries. Here is what transpired on the production of ‘Rocky IV’ that almost transported Stallone to the heavens.
- Sylvester Stallone on the brink of death during ‘Rocky IV’
- Other Hollywood stars who risked their lives while filming
CLOSE CALL WITH THE ANGELS
If you have followed the ‘Rocky’ franchise, you may be aware it features a truckload of boxing and fighting that actors have to practice and perform in real life. In such a case, injuries during the production can be fairly common. However, one such injury affected Stallone to such an extent that he had to be hospitalised for four days.
The incident occurred while filming the memorable sequence between Stallone’s Rocky Balboa and Dolph Lundgren’s Ivan Drago that happens at the end of the film. Stallone noted, “The first thing we shot [was] my entrance, [Lundgren’s] entrance, and the introductions and then I got really injured during the fight and I had to be flown into intensive care to California from Canada”.
In the film, the first round of boxing that takes place between Balboa and Drago features Drago throwing a knock-down punch at Balboa. Turns out, it wasn’t a harmless make-believe throw but the actual punch that got Stallone hospitalised. The actor explained that Lundgren had “pulverised” him but Stallone did not realise that until later at night when his heart “started to swell”.
The damage to Stallone’s heart was equal to his chest brutally hitting a steering wheel in a car accident. Hence, the injury was so grave that Stallone’s blood pressure shot up to 260. The crew panicked with the possibility that Stallone may be “going to be talking to angels”. Thus, as an emergency measure, Stallone was flown from Canada, where they were filming, to intensive care in California in a low-altitude flight. After four days of treatment and a production halt, Sylvester Stallone, despite almost dying, returned to the sets of ‘Rocky IV’ to finish the sequence.
The entire incident becomes more haunting, given the story of the film. In ‘Rocky IV’, Sylvester Stallone’s character Rocky is best friends with fighter Apollo Creed who dies in the film during a fight. In an absurd turn of events, Stallone himself ended up getting killed during a boxing sequence. While Drago in the film had the liberty to mention “If he dies, he dies”, the stakes are higher in real life, especially if it is the life of the living legend Sylvester Stallone.
WILL CARELESS HOLLYWOOD LEARN?
Unfortunately, what happened with Stallone is not an isolated event. As the filming crew gets carried away with the requirements of the scene, safety measures are often put on the backburner. Only recently, on the set of the film ‘Rust’, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was gravely injured as a result of a gunshot. Actor Alec Baldwin had been rehearsing with a gun when it accidentally fired and hit Hutchins. Although the cinematographer was flown to a hospital, her wounds were too severe and the actor passed away.
Another incident that dates back to the last century involves Frances Ford Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ which was crazily shot in a hectic schedule in a jungle. The lead actor Martin Sheen experienced a heart attack in the middle of the woods and collapsed. His condition compelled him to crawl for over half a mile before he could locate his crew. Not to forget, Tom Cruise, who has a propensity for taking on impossible missions, almost found his neck inches away from a deadly blade in ‘The Last Samurai’.
Such occurrences are widespread in the industry. Despite the most top-notch security measures, a slight mistake can lead to a deadly moment. Hence, advancements in technology with VFX and special effects should be used more rather than physical setups. Instead of cutting corners by using real-life props, producers can prioritise the safety of the cast and crew to ensure that an incident like on the set of ‘Rust’ or Sylvester Stallone almost dying during the filming of ‘Rocky IV’ does not occur again.
When it comes to action sequences and safety, where do you think Hollywood should draw the line? Comment below.