Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Sly: I didn't want to mock Rocky

Robert De Niro talked Sylvester Stallone into doing Grudge Match

Sylvester Stallone has admitted he originally didn't want to make Grudge Match as he thought it might be sending up his iconic character Rocky Balboa.

He and Robert De Niro star in the boxing comedy as Henry 'Razor' Sharp and Billy 'The Kid' McDonnen, two veteran boxers whose rivalry brought them fame and fortune, who reunite 30 years on to settle their score once and for all. The film includes nods to Stallone's Rocky and De Niro's Jake LaMotta from Scorsese's 1980 film Raging Bull.

But De Niro had to talk his pal into signing up.

Sly revealed: "I thought it was going to be a skit, I didn't want to do it.

"I was being very precious with what we'd built up over the years [with Rocky], but Bobby kept calling and breaking my chops. He said, 'C'mon, you've got to do this movie, don't be an idiot'. I said, 'I dunno, is it going to be like Raging Bull versus Rocky The Flying Squirrel?' I didn't know how they were going to sell it, but he convinced me."

De Niro added: "If Sylvester wasn't part of it then the movie wasn't going to happen."

But now they've done it , the pair are up for reuniting on screen again.

De Niro said: "If something had come along, we would've done more before, so you never know if it'll happen in the future."

Stallone joked: "He's got a little talent, a few days left in him. I'm trying to use them up as fast as I can, because guys like this come along once in a generation."

:: Grudge Match is in cinemas now.

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