Tenacity and focus, yes these two words describe notable American actor, screenwriter and film director Sylvester Stallone. This screen sensation is the perfect example of the “rags to riches tale”.
His inspirational story tells us one thing; embrace persistence regardless of your circumstance. Upon graduation from college, Sylvester Stallone set his eyes on acting, but his achieving his dream wouldn’t be so easy.
He auditioned countless times without success, so he decided delve into writing instead of waiting for his acting career to blossom.
His days were spent in libraries which birthed many screenplays. But this didn’t materialize financially as he could barely even feed his family and had to resort to washing lion cages, selling his wife jewelry, working as an usher at a movie theater amongst others.
Inspiration hit! One day, Stallone was sitting at home watching a fight between Weppner and Ali. As he watched, he was Weppner who was obviously on the receiving end pushing on undeterred, then it struck him – the power of sheer doggedness.
This was the basis for the script ‘Rocky’ which he wrote for over 24 hours straight. Even then, success was still far as he began trying to sell the screenplay to many producers but landed countless rejections, which went for months.
Eventually someone loved the script and said they would produce the movie but his insistence on playing the part of Rocky placed the contract on shaky grounds. Later on his wish was granted but it came with a prize – he would be paid far less than he deserved.
Persistence pays! ‘Rocky’ gained huge popularity landing an Academy Award for ‘Best picture’ in 1976. At the awards ceremony he read out all the rejection slips from those who said the film would be sappy, predictable and a film that no one would want to watch. (In your face he seemed to say! Lol).
Today Sylvester Stallone is undoubtedly Hollywood royalty. Cheers!