At 68, Sylvester Stallone says he’s still viable as an Expendable
By CINDY PEARLMAN Big Picture News Inc. August 14, 2014 5:44PM
Sylvester Stallone (right) cracks up Antonio Banderas on the set of “The Expendables 3.” | LIONSGATE
Updated: September 16, 2014 6:16AM
LOS ANGELES — Sylvester Stallone has an exit strategy. Ask him: Exactly how long can you be an Expendable?
“When you wear Depend-ables, you really might be expendable,” says the 68-year-old screen icon, laughing.
Until then, he’s in no mind to retire. “Age is a state of mind,” says the veteran action star. “I’m not ready to sit at home and play with Pomeranians 12 hours a day. I’m just not ready. Remember in old vaudeville when there was a cane that ripped you off the stage. I’m waiting for that moment.”
He’ll know when it’s time. “You get to a point when you’re old enough that you forget how old you are,” he says. “You walk around in a fog and find yourself watching ‘Teletubbies’ drunk. I’m sorry. What was the question?”
“The Expendables 3” (opening Friday) pits Stallone against his enemy Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), an arms dealer he plans to capture with the help of friends played by Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Terry Crews.
Q. You have a scene in “Expendables 3” where you go mano-a-mano with Mel Gibson, who has his crazy Martin Riggs look from “Lethal Weapon.” What happened when Rocky met Riggs?
A. It was good. You know, there are situations in actual sports where you have two rivalries get together. In this case, you have two people who have done really well in their own worlds. You go, “I wonder how they go against each other?” When it happens, it’s an event. And yes, contact is made. You do get contact while you’re punching each other while standing in freezing water. When the director says, “We’re going to do another take,” you really do say, “Oh my God.” I do have to say that Mel is a great athlete. Being punched by him was great. If there is anyone I ever wanted to shoot holes in, it’s Martin Riggs.
Q. Which of your former characters would make a great Expendable?
A. I’m not going to say Rocky. Too much heart. I do think Rambo would fit in. Then he would turn around and kill them all. That’s the downside of working with him.
Q. In our current culture do you worry about violence on the big screen?
A. Yeah, I do, but there is no blood in our film. “Expendables” is so over the top. Yet, violence is a sensitive thing. I really don’t know the answer. There was a time that violence was part of our mythology. Now, it’s part of our reality. What I try to do in a movie is make it look like a fantasy. It isn’t real. People won’t see “Expendables” and think, “Oh, I can do that.”
Q. You’re about to do a film about an infamous Italian gangster in “Scarpa” about the former capo and enforcer for the Colombo crime family. Ever worry about portraying stereotypical images of Italians?
A. Rocky did a lot for positive Italian images. And pizza has been keeping it going. We invented pizza, so that can’t be bad. Then you have “The Sopranos,” which is the biggest Mafia franchise ever. I think it’s important to do projects that can be a bit controversial. The Mafia story is part of American culture. It’s a mystique. As long as you have good music in a mob movie like they did in “The Godfather,” it’s OK with me.