Danish Interview with Sly

By: Jeremy Hart and Kim Kastrup Translated by Steen Ulrich

London [Ekstra Bladet]

“As Rocky I’ve had MUHAMMAD ALI and JOE FRAZIER as sparring partners, and that went well. But to race against a legend like MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, that can’t be fun,” says SYLVESTER STALLONE.

In his new movie “Driven”, he plays the tough race driver Joe Tanto in the special American kind of racing called Cart series. A race that looks like formula one, except that it’s often faster and driven in the so-called champ cars on specially built tracks all over the world.

SLY toyed with death as the hard hitting boxer Rocky Balboa and as the Viet Nam veteran John Rambo. And as Joe Tanto he flirts with death in the fast champ cars, that can drive as fast as 400 km/h, and where even the smallest mistake, can mean the difference between life and death.

“I practiced at the Derek Daly Academy racetrack in Las Vegas – I started out in smaller cars. It was really crazy. The fastest I’ve driven in a champ car, was 325 km/h,” SLY proudly said during the interview in London. “I was very nervous. And the heat is almost unbearable in a champ car from shear concentration and fear. But then your inner speed demon gets the better of you, and you push the car, as much as you can. I’ve probably raced off the track 50 times during practice and while shooting. But luckily I never got hurt,” says SLY, who during filming made his insurance people bite their nails furiously.

Death Race

“You can’t escape the fear, but you can learn how to use it, before it eats you up. Unlike other sports, you can meet other cart racers at breakfast, and then only hope you see them again at lunch,” said STALLONE, who is the writer, producer and the star of “Driven” which opens in Danish theaters on July 13th
.
The movie is about the young race driver Jimmy Bly [KIP PARDUE]. His ambitious brother De Mille [ROBERT SEAB LEONARD] has pushed him so hard the results are starting to fail. Jimmy’s boss, Carl Henry [BURT REYNOLDS] hires ex-cart star Joe Tanto [STALLONE] to get Jimmy‘s tactics back in order. Tanto was once on top, but a terrible accident put a stop to his career, and now Tanto has to once and for all make up with all the demons from his past, to help Jimmy. Of course there’s also a love story between Joe Tanto and journalist Lucretia [STACY EDWARDS].

“Driven” was filmed over a period of eight months during nine real races in five different countries. The plot and the characters blend in perfectly with the real intensity on the tracks, and hundreds of thousands of real cart fans serve as very realistic extras. In the movie there are also real race drivers like Dario Franchitty and Juan Pablo Montoya.

No to Formula One

SYLVESTER STALLONE, who has been a huge fan of racing for many years, originally set out to do a movie based on Formula One. And he spent two years studying various races and negotiating with Formula One king Bernie Ecclestone. “Bernie was actually interested, but he demanded these unrealistic amounts of money for the rights, even though I told him, that in Hollywood, you usually only pay 1 million dollars for the rights to for example a best seller book.”

He doesn’t regret though, that it ended up being champ car races, because on the screen it works much better. In a 180 minute champ car race the lead can change 124 times between 10 different drivers, whereas in Formula One it’s usually much less. STALLONE says he hasn’t made a super realistic race movie. There are some very realistic scenes, but of course I’ve also taken some liberties to intensify the action. Just as it’s interesting to see King Kong running around New York, we also took two champ cars to Chicago, where they end up racing in the streets, explains STALLONE.

He thinks that there are three elements that add to the fascination of extreme racing: “First of all the driver is almost on his back while driving, only a few centimeters off the ground, while he’s doing almost 400 kilometers per hour. Then there’s the intense sound and the fact that you have 900 horsepower behind your back. And last, when you accelerate, and your vision is reduced to blurry shadows, your adrenalin kicks in and makes the drivers one with their cars.”

Craig Zablo

SLY FEATURED IN VALLEY MAG

Sly Stallone is on the cover and in the feature article of the June issue of Valley“In the Driver’s Seat with Sylvester Stallone” is the title of the interview by Bonnie SteeleSly talks about Driven, racing, his career, advice to young actors, the 25th anniversary of Rocky, and Avenging Angelo and more.

This is not to be missed! Special thanks to SZoner Joe “Hummer” Tanto for the gratis copy! – Craig Zablo
(July 16, 2001)

TNT / TBS Pays $16 Million for “Driven” and…

TNT/TBS Pay $16 mil for “Driven,” 3 More Pix By John Dempsey

NEW YORK (Variety) – Warner Bros. Pictures has sold the network window of “Driven,” “Angel Eyes,” “Exit Wounds” and “The Dish” to Turner Broadcasting‘s TNT and TBS. Turner will pay a total license fee for the four movies of about $16 million and will start premiering them in December 2003.

The license fee amounts to about 15% of the domestic gross of each movie, which means STEVEN SEAGAL starrer “Exit Wounds” will cost far more than the three others, having grossed $51.8 million in U.S. theaters. “Driven,” starring SYLVESTER STALLONE, is heading toward a domestic gross of $34 million and JENNIFER LOPEZ“Angel Eyes” should wind up at about $25 million.

Sly in the Valley

SLY STALLONE is on the cover and in the feature article of the June issue of Valley.

“In the Driver’s Seat with Sylvester Stallone” is the title of the interview by Bonnie Steele. SLY talks about “Driven,” racing, his career, advice to young actors, the 25th anniversary of “Rocky,” and “Avenging Angelo” and more.

This is not to be missed! Special thanks to SZoner Joe “Hummer” Tanto for the gratis copy!

– Craig Zablo

Sly in Racer

Ernest “Jazzman” Resendes sent in the following: In the June 2001 issue of Racer there is a profile on racing movies by Adam Cooper entitled Last Action Heroes Some excerpts … “SYLVESTER STALLONEand director RENNY HARLIN faced a long , hard struggle to realize their pet project that originally began life with an F1 theme.”

“…Of course, STALLONE knows a little about sports movies. In 1976 he shot to stardom on “Rocky,” a project he conceived and fought to bring to life, and which earned the best picture Oscar. Will “Driven” be a knockout ?”

Text for pic … Former Indy 500 winner and formula 1 Champion Jacques Villeneuve makes a cameo appearance in “Driven.”

Thanks to Jazz for the tip! – Craig Zablo

“DRIVEN” DVD PACKED WITH EXTRAS

The May 25th issue of USA Today features an article by Scott Bowles about the extra bonus material found on DVDs. References to Driven are made which will excite most Stallone fans.

“After five takes of an elaborate race scene for his movie Driven, director Renny Harlin requested yet another shoot. The crew was growing tired and frustrated. Didn’t they have enough footage? ‘Yes, for the film,’ Harlin responded. ‘But we need more for the DVD.'”

Later in the article there is more…

“It’s enough to leave even veteran directors overwhelmed with choices. Director Harlin still isn’t sure what he wants his picture to look like on DVD. (No release date has been set.) Harlin shot 1.5 million feet of film – 150 times longer than the movie itself – and his first cut of Driven ran longer than 4 1/2 hours. You can’t see that race epic at the local cineplex, but you may on DVD, he says. Harlin also hopes to turn the disc into a video game of sorts, allowing viewers to take “virtual races” in the movie, as well as choose camera angles and character perspectives. “That’s the great thing about it,” he says. “You can make a totally different film if you want.

“Can you imagine how sweet this DVD will be? – Craig Zablo (May 27, 2001)

“Driven” DVD Extras

USA Today features an article by Scott Bowles about the extra bonus material found on DVDs. References to “Driven” are made which will excite most STALLONE fans.

“After five takes of an elaborate race scene for his movie Driven, director RENNY HARLIN requested yet another shoot. The crew was growing tired and frustrated. Didn’t they have enough footage? ‘Yes, for the film,’ HARLIN responded. ‘But we need more for the DVD…’ “HARLIN shot 1.5 million feet of film – 150 times longer than the movie itself – and his first cut of Driven ran longer than 4 1/2 hours. You can’t see that race epic at the local cineplex, but you may on DVD, he says.  HARLIN also hopes to turn the disc into a video game of sorts, allowing viewers to take “virtual races” in the movie, as well as choose camera angles and character perspectives.”

SLY IN HELLO

Ernest “Jazzman” Resendes is back with another scoop!

In the May 15, 2001 issue (#662) of HELLO! mag there is a feature entitled MICHAEL SCHUMACHER AND HIS WIFE CORINNA. The pic above appears (much smaller) with the caption: “A rare celebrity moment for Michael
as he poses with Sylvester Stallone while making the film Driven.”

Thanks to Jazz for the tip! – Craig Zablo (May 24, 2001)

SLY IN JUNE ISSUE OF RACER

Ernest “Jazzman” Resendes sent in the following:

In the June 2001 issue of RACER there is a profile on racing movies by Adam Cooper entitled LAST ACTION HEROES. Some excerpts …

Sylvester Stallone and director Renny Harlin faced a long , hard struggle to realize their pet project that originally began life with an F1 theme.”

“…Of course, Stallone knows a little about sports movies. In 1976 he shot to stardom on Rocky , a project he conceived and fought to bring to life, and which earned the best picture Oscar. Will Driven be a knockout ?”

Former Indy 500 winner and formula 1 Champion Jacques Villeneuve makes a cameo appearance in Driven.

Thanks to Jazz for the tip! – Craig Zablo (May 21, 2001)