Rocky III: Behind the scenes

Rocky III revisited:
hard punches and a strict diet

Photo: Facebook/RockyMovie

Sylvester Stallone gives some insights behind the scenes of the much-loved boxer drama

A boxing underdog story from Philadelphia made Sylvester Stallone a Hollywood star. With Rocky, the actor not only earned two Oscar nominations, but the film laid the foundations for a storied career. And Sly’s been taking a nostalgic look back.

Now the action star has unearthed some treasures from earlier times. Stallone posted old photos from the shooting of the third instalment of the Rocky saga on his Instagram account and entertained his followers with some brilliant anecdotes like…

  • the on set diet
  • the stars strange behaviours
  • Stallones encounter with Hulk Hogan
Read more

The biscuit and coffee diet

To get as muscular as possible, Stallone stuck to a strict protein diet during the shoot. His incredible menu consisted of a few oatmeal biscuits with brown rice, 25 cups of coffee a day and a few spoonfuls of tuna.  “At the time my body fat got down to 2.9 which is a really dangerous level. I may have looked pretty good on the outside but inside it was a very dangerous thing to do,” writes Stallone.

He was both dizzy in the ring and exhausted. During breaks, the actor tried to make blood flow to his head again by doing handstands.

Protein-packed recipes that will make your muscles pop

two ostrich steaks two and a half apricots half a spring onion 50 grams of fresh tomato purée half a tablespoon of Worcester sauce half a tablespoon of cane sugar half a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar half a teaspoon of Tabasco sauce salt, pepper, fresh thyme How to make it: Lean meat is always the ideal ingredient for any protein-rich diet.

The hard knocks of Mr. T

Stallone wanted the fights to look real. Therefore, Mister T who played Clubber Lang was told he should strike with all his strength. And he had plenty of it. “He was an All-State running back and hit with incredible force.

Actually, he threw so hard that he was damaging his fist when he caught me on the hip bone or on the elbows,” says Stallone. Despite Sly covering himself, Mr. T still sent his opponent into the ropes time and again. “He was a beast! Especially when he didn’t get his mint chip ice-cream on time,” jokes Rocky.

Mr. T’s favourite flavour

Rumor has it Mr. T aka CLUBBER LANG Is going to be on "dancing with the stars " Good luck because I was seeing shooting stars every time he Clubbed me . Like I said before we were on strict diet. Mr. T suffered and got into great shape. Not easy , He loves to eat and we were existing on barely nothing and he had already dropped 30 pounds. We would find candy bars hidden in his motorhome and laugh about it. Finally, We made a deal that we would tough it out and literally exist on tunafish , water , coffee and not much else until the fight was over. But the DEAL was on Friday when we finished , each of us would have a quart of ice cream. His favorite was MINT CHIP , he loved it! All week long he would be talking about the MINT CHIP ice cream. How slow is going to eat it, how it's going to melt in his mouth, Between punches, in clinches, between round he dreamed only about Friday night and his Beloved MINT CHIP ice cream .. I had VANILLA FUDGE ice cream waiting for me. By Thursday we were actually drooling , By Friday we were Clinically insane with hunger. Our stomachs ached !!When I finally yelled cut after throwing the last series of punches, the fight was over,and still dressed in boxing trunks we sprinted to his motorhome… we raced down the sidewalk necking neck like it was some sort of weird Olympic event! Arriving there, at our desired destination, Mr T Ripped open the door and like a rampaging elephant, he charged the freezer. Two seconds later I heard the man roar in agony! My ice cream was perfect… his was not – NO MINT CHIP!! He lost it! He was so disappointed! Crushed! This was going to be the greatest Friday ever! We brought the individual responsible for this unforgivable mistake, And though we are not proud of it, and being on the verge of starvation we felt it was only justice was to stuff the man' upper body into the freezer compartment. Truly. Luckily he didn't fit . Moments later, literally emotionally spent, we ate my ice cream in utter silence.. I didn't want to say a word… to this day I cannot look at a container of mint chip ice cream and not think of my buddy CLUBBER and his sad , very eyes.

A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on

“Like I said before we were on a strict diet. Mr. T suffered and got into great shape. Not easy,” says Sly. To stay sin-free, Rocky and Clubber made a pact only to consume water, tuna and coffee during filming of the fight scenes. After the last punch, both were allowed to try an ice cream.

“All week long he would be talking about the mint chip ice cream. How slow he is going to eat it, how it’s going to melt in his mouth, between punches, in clinches, between rounds, he dreamed only about Friday night and his beloved mint chip ice cream.”

After the last fight, both ran straight to Mr. T’s trailer still in their shorts. Then the shock; no mint ice cream in the fridge. “To this day, I cannot look at a container of mint chip ice cream and not think of my buddy Clubber and his very sad eyes.”

Sylvester Stallone meets Hulk Hogan

Stallone first met wrestler Hulk Hogan during filming and cast him in a scene in the movie. “I remember a violent move where he threw me into the corner, charged across the ring like an enraged bull and leaped so amazingly high above me, that his shinbone actually came down like a giant tree on my collarbone,” says Stallone, who thought his bone was then protruding from the shoulder.

“Hulk just didn’t know his own strength. Believe it or not when he jumped into the audience to fight with the stuntmen, three of them had to be treated at the hospital. Great guy, great friend, his presence made the film very very special.”

No part for “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier

Since people like the story about Hulk Hogan , maybe you will like this one which leads to the discovery of Mr. T who went on to give an incredible performance as CLUBBER LANG! In Rocky three I thought we should use a REAL fighter , just to push the envelope to where fighting films had never gone before. so I decided to use the legendary heavyweight champion from Philadelphia, Smokin' Joe Frazier to play the brutal CLUBBER LANG So he cheerfully came to the gym , Very excited, very happy, very brightly dressed all in green. Green pants , green shoes, green hat, green shirt, green suspenders! He wanted the part very badly , and believe me I wanted him to get it too ..Smokin' Joe Frazier fighting Rocky !? This would be seriously entertaining, actually unbelievable !!!!! SoI naïvely said why don't we get into the ring and move around a little and see how we look together. I didn't realize it at the time, but This was like going into a lions cage covered in steak sauce and asking " how do you think I will taste ?" This was a very Dumb idea… Very bad. Joe was one of the most punishing fighters that ever lived and other boxers would honestly say that after they fought Smokin' Joe, they were never , ever the same.… Of course I thought that was a slight exaggeration, and I wanted our movie to be special, very realistic no matter what the price… Again in retrospect, A very foolhardy, hazardous , and homicidal concept. Once in the ring, I figured I just move around and avoid his punches , and that idea work well for about two seconds .. Simply because the Next thing I knew there was a Thunderous left hook planted extremely deep in my body, And an overhand right that resembled a falling piano landing just above my left eye .. The world was now spinning in several directions at the same time… Anyway I felt bad for Joe and did not want him to hurt his hands anymore and decided to call it a day. In retrospect,It was a wonderful afternoon meeting The legendary Joe Frazier and getting six stitches but it was also A brilliant realization that I needed someone like Mr. T in my life, more about that later!

A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) on

In fact, Stallone wanted a real fighter for the role of Clubber Lang and chased heavyweight champ “Smokin’ Joe” Frazier for the part. “So, I naïvely said, why don’t we get into the ring and move around a little and see how we look together? I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was like going into a lion’s cage covered in steak sauce,” says Stallone.

He was able to dodge the blows of the professional boxer for about two seconds, then Sly was on the end of a beating: a left hook, a right jab and Rocky went down. Stallone got six stitches, and Frazier didn’t get the part. 

Read more
03 2017 The Red Bulletin

Next story