“He hit me so hard he almost stopped my heart”: Actor Who Nearly Killed Sylvester Stallone in

In the movie business, there are very few celebrities who can call themselves an icon, Sylvester Stallone is one of them. However, before becoming an icon of the industry, he started out as a struggling actor, living on the streets and working in small gigs. But things changed for him when got his big break by working in the popular boxing franchise, Rocky. The multitalented actor not only wrote one of the most moving and inspiring stories of an underdog boxer but also played the role of Rocky Balboa.

Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone’s role as Rocky Balboa became an important piece of cinema history. The character has left a lasting impression in the minds of the audience and even after almost five decades of the first film, fans love to watch the Rocky films. However, while filming Rocky IV, the Italian Stallion almost died in the scene where he was fighting Dolph Lundgren.

Also Read: Sylvester Stallone’s Haunting Decision to Sign Shady Deal Cost Him as Much as 2 Dwayne Johnsons

Sylvester Stallone Almost Died In Rocky IV

When Sylvester Stallone was writing the role of Ivan Drago, he made sure that the character was menacing in every aspect, as he was showcased as a strong and intimidating figure with a ripping physique. Stallone knew Dolph Lundgren was perfect for the role because he despised him from the moment he saw him, firmly believing Lundgren was the villain he was looking for.

During an exclusive interview with Fox News, Sylvester Stallone stated how he wanted to make the fights as real as possible. As a result, he suggested his co-star, Dolph Lundgren to let loose and hit him for real which did not age very well.

Rocky Balboa vs Ivan Drago in Rocky IV
Rocky Balboa vs Ivan Drago in Rocky IV

“He hit me so hard he almost stopped my heart. I told him, ‘Why don’t we just do it? Just try to knock me out. Really cut loose as hard as you can.’ That was a really stupid thing to say. Next thing I know, I’m on a low-altitude plane to the emergency room, and I’m in intensive care for four days. And there are all these nuns around.”

Dolph Lundgren’s portrayal was perfect as he was over six feet tall and had a ripping physique, and he would strike fear in his opponents with just a look. However, him giving a near-death experience to Sylvester Stallone was not a fluke as he had a fighting background, participating in boxing and judo competitions as a teenager.

Also Read: “Now he’s getting older, so he’s getting hurt even more”: Sylvester Stallone Felt He Must Return to His Action Franchise as He Was Not Happy With How He Ended His Movie

Dolph Lundgren’s Fighting Career

Dolph Lundgren’s acting career is prominent leaving a lasting impression on the silver screen in his iconic role of Ivan Drago. But before he made it big in Hollywood he was a karate champion and he started his judo training at the young age of 16, then he switched to playing ice-hockey before switching to karate.

The Swedish actor started practicing the traditional Japanese style of Goju-Ryu but soon switched to Kyokushinki, the more powerful style developed by Mas Oyama, a Japanese Karate legend. He kept training throughout high school, polishing his techniques. At the age of 19, after completing his mandatory military service, he participated in non-contact point fighting, where he lost four out of five fights.

Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren

In 1979, while serving in the Swedish Marine Corps, Dolph Lundgren was chosen to participate in the 2nd World Open Karate Tournament held in Tokyo. Though only a green belt, he borrowed a brown belt to participate in the tournament, where he knocked out his first two opponents with Hiza-Geri or a knee-kick to the face. 

These two fights put the audience’s attention on him, but it was the final which made the audience go nuts for the Universal Soldier actor. He went against Makoto Nakamura, a 2nd-degree black belt holder for the prestigious title. His opponent went for attack straightaway immediately but Lundgren caught him with a roundhouse kick. Sadly, Lundgren lost because of a controversial decision.

Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren

However, he went on to win the BKK British Open Knockdown Heavyweight title back to back in 1980 and 1981, also becoming the Australian Open Champion in individual and team events in 1982. Dolph Lundgren was a Shodan or a 1st-degree black belt holder at the age of 23. He went to Australia to study Chemical Engineering, and during this time, he went to Gleasons Gym, where some of the best boxers in the world used to train.

Several managers noticed his talent, and well-built physique believing that he will be a great puncher. Now Dolph Lundgren is a 4th Dan Black Belt, staying in close contact with Kyokushin karate over the years.

Also Read: “Because he’s now in a wheelchair”: Sylvester Stallone’s Greatest Regret isn’t Rambo 5, It’s an Unforgivable Sin in $300M Rocky 4

Rocky IV can be streamed on Netflix.

Source: Fox News

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