Sly Gains Respect

Movie increases Stallone’s respect for Champ car drivers
By Mike Harris, AP Motorsports Writer
April 7, 2001

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — SYLVESTER STALLONE, the star and driving force behind a new movie revolving around the CART series, said his introduction to open-wheel race cars was not what he expected.

“I wasn’t aware that you basically lie down in the car, so it was very odd realizing that you go into the great unknown basically feet first and that was kind of unnerving,” said the man who starred in the “Rambo” and “Rocky” movies.

“Second, there was a rattling all the time I was driving the car, so I thought, ‘This car’s coming apart,’ until I realized it was my knees. So there’s a fear factor that permeates one, and I realized it takes quite a while to get your heart, your body, your adrenal glands to settle down.”

STALLONE, who did a lot of his own driving in “Driven,” which will premier in Los Angeles on April 16 and go into wide release April 27, said he spun out numerous times during his preparation at a Las Vegas driving school.

“It finally dawned on me about drift and precision and powering into an apex and speeding coming out so it’s just getting the actual flow,” he said. “It’s almost like music and you start getting into a hypnotic rhythm. Then you start to push a little bit more and push a little bit more, and I was captivated by that.”

The actor, who appears to be very physically fit, was also surprised by the G Forces a driver is subject to.

“The next day, I was totally aware of it when I had to have someone brush my teeth for me,” he said. “I couldn’t move my hand, I couldn’t form a fist, my neck, forget it, you could use my head for a lamp, I couldn’t move.”

He came away from the project with great admiration for professional race drivers.

“I try to explain to people that driving a race car is like speeding across an ice field.” STALLONE said. “The car is almost floating and that’s the skill of driving, maintaining this car while its barely having adhesion … to the track. It just puts you right to that ragged edge. That’s an extraordinary skill to maintain that balance and coordination.”

Sylvester Stallone Honored

Tuesday April 03 02:13 AM EDT

Clinton, Ford top Family Celebration
By Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (The Hollywood Reporter) — Presidents FORD and CLINTON, ‘N Sync, SYLVESTER STALLONE and the cast of Fox‘s “Ally McBeal” were all honored for their charity work Sunday night at the second annual A Family Celebration awards dinner and benefit concert.

“Whether you’re in politics or business or the entertainment industry, one quickly discovers that the true measure of a well-lived life is not the legislation that you pass, the stock options that you exercise … the weekly boxoffice receipts or even the Academy Awards that fill your resume,” FORD said. “Rather, it’s the family you love and the family that you are excited to live with.”

Held in the ballroom of the Regent Beverly Wilshire, the evening raised almost $1.5 million for various charities and honored people for giving to their communities.

FORD, who was presented the Special Giving Award from CNN‘s LARRY KING, received two standing ovations. His speech struck an emotional chord with the audience that numbered more than 700. FORD recounted how his mother left his abusive father and was remarried to a paint salesman. He said he learned that while his family was financially poor, it was emotionally very wealthy — something he has carried with him all his life.

“A household does not need fancy clothes or elegant furnishings to be successful,” FORD said. “Aristocracy is of the soul, not of the cloth. On the other hand, a household lacking in love and moral instruction can never be judged a success.”

The television drama award went to the cast of “Ally McBeal,” the creative achievement award was presented to SYLVESTER STALLONE and the lifetime achievement award was given to BOB NEWHART, who did a quick, updated version of his beloved phone comedy routine.

The Heart of Giving Award went to producer LOREEN ARBUS, while JEFFREY BONFORTE of received the Internet Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The Humanitarian Award was given to entrepreneur-philanthropist ROBERT LORSCH.

In receiving the Award of Merit presented by ELIZABETH TAYLOR, CLINTON pointed out that caring people can and should do more than government institutions.

“What I want you know is that the great strength of this country is not always primarily in its leaders or its government, but in its people,” he said. “In their minds, their hearts, their words and what they believe is important. The older I get — and these days that seems to be an irreversible process — the more I become convinced that the way your life turns out pretty much depends on what you think is important. I came here tonight to say thank you for believing that this is important and to ask you not to forget how important it is and what a precious gift it is to be in a position in life where you can give. Because everybody who can really give always comes out ahead in the end.”

An informal popularity contest was waged between CLINTON and ‘N Sync, whose members received the Harmony and Spirit Award. CLINTON, who received two standing ovations, scored big points when he joined legendary bluesman B.B. KING onstage and played the saxophone to a screaming audience.

N Sync had the support of shrieking girls, some of whom rushed onstage and danced with the band during their final song.

During ‘N Sync‘s performance, LINDA THOMPSON, wife of the evening’s musical director DAVID FOSTER, had her cell phone on so her children at home could listen to the pop group sing, while actor JAMES MARSDEN sneaked to the stage with a small camera to snap a photo.


Proceeds the benefit go to Alzheimer’s Lakeway Program, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Challenge for the Children, Locks of Love, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Wildlife Waystation, among others.

Craig Zablo

SZ and Warner Bros. “Driven” Contest Winners





1. SYLVESTER STALLONE plays Champ racer Joe Tanto in Driven. What is the name of the movie that starred SLY as a racer named Joe Viterbo?  DEATH RACE 2000

2. RENNY HARLIN is directing SLY in Driven. What is the name of the movie that first paired SLY and RENNY?  CLIFFHANGER

3. SLY wrote the screenplay for Driven. What was SLY‘s original title for the film?  CHAMPS

4. SLY is an accomplished actor, director, and screenwriter. What movie did SLY write that went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture?  ROCKY

5. SLY seems to like 5 letter names for his characters. Name three of his characters that have five letters in their last name and the name ends with an “o.”  RAMBO, TANGO and TANTO

6. Most people think that Rocky was SLY‘s first feature film screenplay that sold. It was his second! What was the name of his first?  PARADISE ALLEY

7. The “tag line” for Driven is “Welcome to the Human Race.” What was the tag line for SLY‘s last film, Get Carter“THE TRUTH HURTS”

8. SLY teams with an international cast in Driven. What actor made his US debut with SLY in Nighthawks?  RUTER HAUER

9. Actors and actresses who work with SLY quite often get noticed and move on to stardom [ANNE ARCHER, ARMAND ASSANTE, TOM SIZEMORE, BENJAMIN BRATT, etc.). Who was the actress who got her big break working with SLY in Demolition Man?  SANDRA BULLOCK

10. What is YOUR favorite SYLVESTER STALLONE movie, and why?  This one had no right/wrong answer and here are the movies that made the list (in alphabetical order): Cliffhanger, Cop Land, Daylight, First Blood, Lock Up, Lords of Flatbush, Over the Top, Rambo II, Rambo III, Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Tango & Cash.


The Winners!

1. Melissa Knollman 2. Marks Mail 3. Nicholas King 4. Kyle Riley 5. Tony Camm 6. Alan Sears 7. Jillian Decker 8. Troy Barwick 9. Crystal Coger 10. Mike Russo

I would like to thank Ms. Lifrieri and Warner Bros. for their assistance in making this contest possible. Winners can expect their posters in the next few weeks!

– Craig Zablo (April 1, 2001)


Sly Goes X-Treme

Doser [a regular SZ visitor] sent in the pic to the right and the info below:

“It was a very well balanced article. It dealt with the story line for “Driven”, and how it was filmed from the racer’s POV. They really want to put the audience in the driver’s seat. The publication is from a sports supplement company, so naturally there was emphasis on the conditioning that was needed for the actors to be in shape for their roles as race car drivers.”


Doser says: “I saw Rocky in the theater in 1976 at a very impressionable age. It changed my life. I was on the brink of heading in the wrong direction, but thanks to SLY, I didn’t.”

Thanks to Doser for sending us in the cover picture and article summary. Doser is quite often found on the SZ message boards carrying on thoughtful discussions.

– Craig Zablo (April 1, 2001)

Sly in “Total Film’s Top 50 [Twice]

The April 2001 issue of Total Movie, features “Going the Distance: ‘Rocky’ at 25.” The eight page article by Edward Gross [author of Rocky and the Films of Sylvester Stallone] provides an extensive look at “Rocky” [and its sequels] with over 25 photos [including the one to the left]. The article provides quotes from SLY, TALIA SHIRE, JOHN ALVIDESEN, ROBERT CHARTOFF, CARL WEATHERS, and others involved with the films.

The magazine comes with a DVD which provides a trailer for “Rocky” and a snippet of the interview with SLY that will appear on the “Rocky” special edition dvd. All in all, easily worth the cost of the mag!

[Now I’m REALLY psyched for the “ROCKY” Boxed Collector’s Set! Click |HERE| to check it out!]

Craig Zablo

The Real Deal on “ROCKY”

The April 2001 issue of CinemaSavant [an e-magazine] features part one of an article by Alex Ben Block titled “The Real Deal on Rocky.” The opening paragraph states: “On the 25th anniversary of its landmark release, we set aside the many myths, and delve into the little known true history of “Rocky.” We pull back the curtain on the behind the scenes wheeling and dealing which got SYLVESTER STALLONE‘s inspirational boxing drama made, and helped the United Artists release win an Academy Award…”

Want to get the full details? Click |HERE|.

– Craig Zablo

Sly in Premiere!

Premiere contains an article entitled “They Wuz Robbed!” which compares the results of two polls [one with 25 film professionals such as QUENTIN TARANTINO; and the other with 2,000 film fans] of who should have won Academy Awards during the last 25 years. The piece is accompanied with some spectacular artwork by ROBERTO PARADAshowing Rocky putting Travis Bickle in a headlock while Ghandi and ET look on! There’s also of SLY and ELIE SAMAHA

Harlin Talks Up Sly

On Friday, March 30, 2001, posted a very positive piece on “Driven.” The article featured several quotes from director RENNY HARLIN who talked about the problems that he and SLY had getting the movie started and why they teamed up to get it made.

HARLIN also says that his “goal was trying to do to car racing what “Matrix” did to hand-to-hand combat and that type of action movies – so the audience [would see] something that they don’t get on TV, but really use the the technology to make the film almost like a video game in the sense that when we are in the racing sequences the audience really feels like they are sitting in the car and they are steering the car and they really get what the driver gets. And then in the crash sequences, finding points of view and ways of showing that would hopefully be pretty mind-blowing for the audience.”

As to SLY, HARLIN states, “[STALLONE] didn’t want to make it a STALLONE racing movie like “Rocky” or something like that where he is the center of the story… I thought it was very interesting that he took that approach and very smart I think. HARLIN went on to say that the response to SLY in test screenings “scored through the roof because you really, really feel for him.”

Craig Zablo

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