Sylvester Stallone: The might of unswerving will

Life is not about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit, how much you can take and still keep moving forward.

Sylvester Stallone always wanted to be an actor. But there was a small problem – he was born with his lower left face paralyzed. His speech was slightly slurred. Not exactly the ideal qualities in an actor, right?

But Stallone was persistent and after dropping out of college he moved to New York to pursue his acting career. Though he auditioned for almost every casting agent in town, he failed to get a break. The longer he went without work, the more he found himself struggling to make ends meet.

His financial condition headed for a steep decline. He was even forced to sell his favorite pet dog to a random man he found in front of the local liquor shop, for all of $50.

While roaming the streets of New York on one cold winter day, in an attempt to keep himself warm he wandered into a library. This later went on to become a routine and during these visits he got accustomed to the works of great writers like Tolstoy. It was during this period that Stallone penned down the script of Rocky. He was so involved with the script that he couldn’t visualize anyone else playing the title role.

After taking his script to many producers, he finally found someone who loved it and was willing to produce it. They offered him $125,000, but there was a catch. They didn’t want him as an actor. For a man writhing in poverty and desperate enough to sell his loyal pet, this was indeed a handsome sum. But Stallone did the unthinkable, he rejected the offer!

Weeks later, the producers approached him again and raised their offer to $400,000. But Stallone was adamant. They could have him play the title role and get the script or else mind their own businesses!

The producers had absolutely loved the script and eventually let him have his way, but on one condition. They would pay him only $35,000. Stallone happily agreed to this.

He soon tracked down the man he had sold his dog to. He had to pay a sum of $15,000 to get his pet back, which he did without hesitation.

Rocky went on to make $200 million and has 6 sequels. Sylvester Stallone also became the third man in history to get two Academy Awards nominations for the same film, for the Best Original Screenplay and the Best Actor for his work in Rocky!

Action Summary:

  • Persistence and strong will pays.

  • The biggest challenge in life is to recognize one’s inner potential and believe firmly in it without giving up in adverse conditions.

  • Sometimes we get extravagant offers at the cost of giving up our dreams. But sticking on to one’s passion always rewards in the end.

~ Gitanjali Banerjee