- Sylvester Stallone said he didn’t know what a Democrat or Republican was until he was 30.
- The actor spoke to The Sunday Times about how his famous characters are linked to politics.
- He also opened up about his childhood and said he had “the worst father in the world.”
Sylvester Stallone said he didn’t know anything about America’s major political parties until he was 30 years old.
In an interview with The Sunday Times’ Stephen Armstrong published Saturday, the action star said he had no idea that Rocky Balboa, the underdog boxer he first portrayed in 1976, would resonate with politicians at the time.
“I didn’t even know what a Republican or a Democrat was until I was 30 years old,” he said. “I really didn’t until I went to Hollywood. I didn’t know wrapping myself in a flag in ‘Rocky’ would throw down the gauntlet.”
Stallone told Variety in 2019 that people assumed he was a Republican because he played “patriotic” characters like Rocky and John Rambo. He added that he grew up in a “politically agnostic” household and said he didn’t vote in the 2016 election, despite telling the outlet that year that he loved Donald Trump for being a “great Dickensian character.”
Despite his portrayal of gun-slinging soldier Rambo, The Daily Beast described Stallone as “the most anti-gun celeb in Hollywood” in 2017. He told The Sunday Times that “you can’t take guns away” but believes they can be managed more responsibly.
“I don’t see a purpose in hunting with a 40-round magazine. If you can’t hit something in five shots, then you’re not a very good hunter. To be able to buy a weapon that I can change in one second to automatic? I don’t see it,” he said. “You can’t take guns away, they’ve been ingrained for 250 years, but you have to take the irresponsibility out of it.”
Stallone also opened up about his turbulent relationship with his father. The “Expendables” actor said he wrote the screenplays for Rocky and Rambo out of frustration with his family life, calling his dad “the worst father in the world.”
“I was raised by Rambo. I had a very tumultuous upbringing, and I could have gone two ways. I could have gone feral — a really bad, self-abusive drug addict — but I went the other way. I developed a sarcastic sense of humor,” he said. “‘OK, I got the worst father in the world. Hooray for me. Thank you, Dad. Appreciate it. It was tough coming up, but you allowed me to play a character that I think was pretty well-rounded.’”