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An almost-broke Sylvester Stallone turned down $300,000 just so he could make Rocky

April 9, 2015 Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds

Against all odds! The success of the Rocky franchise, which has raked in more than a billion dollars in box office, is one of the most inspiring tales in Hollywood.

For one, it involved an almost dirt-poor Sylvester Stallone sticking to his guns to see the project through. Two, he did not let money or the top honchos call the shots on his rags-to-riches script about an uneducated debt-collector-turned-champion boxer.

Stallone was lucky that the producers liked his script but they didn't want him to star. “They wanted every celebrated actor at the time,” Stallone had told the Today Show last year. “And big-name directors, when they found out I wanted to be involved, they scattered, ran for the hills.”

The producers were keen on roping in yesteryear big names such as Burt Reynolds, James Cann or Ryan O'Neal and also offered Stallone, who at that time had just $106 in his bank, an offer worth $300,000 - close to $1 million today - just for the rights of Rocky.

However, the actor would have none of it as he was determined to make the movie he wrote on his terms, starring himself.

“It was really insane at the time ’cause I was pretty broke,” he said of his decision to hold out. But it ultimately paid off as Rocky went on to win 3 Academy Awards in 1976 including Best Picture.

The experience of attending the Oscar ceremony itself was like a scene straight out of a movie.

“Literally, I was parking cars 10 months earlier and now here we are [at the Oscars],” Stallone recalled. “I rented a tuxedo and on the way to the Oscars the tie broke and the driver goes, ‘You want to borrow mine?’ I go ‘nah, I guess it doesn’t matter,’ so I walk into the Oscars looking like Vinny Boom Bots, ‘how you doin?’ and people were like, ‘oh my god, what arrogance, how dare he?’”

The movie, made with a budget of just $1 million, also raked in $117 million in US box office alone and spawned fiver more sequels - all of which have been ringing the cash registers.

More under: gossips, inspirational
By: Maverine Lane

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