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The Underdog

Sylvester Stallone returns to the big screen in The Expendables, where the action hero fights against all odds to overcome the bad guys.
Marshall Fine
From the Print Edition:
Sylvester Stallone, July/August 2010

(continued from page 8)

As Stallone notes, longevity in show business-particularly for an action-movie actor-can be illusory: "I'm on borrowed time," he says. "My longevity will be predicated on being able to move on to directing, without me having to be in the film. That's the ultimate-to follow in Clint's footsteps. But yeah, the ticking clock-it's as loud as the gong on Big Ben."

Stallone stays in shape with twice-weekly workouts for 75 minutes each. If he's got a film coming up, he works out four times a week "to get into peak shape." But, he adds, 90 percent of it is diet: "My weakness is oatmeal cookies, the ones my wife makes. They give me heartburn but I can't leave them alone."

Part of his regimen includes human growth hormone, which he began using in his early 50s and continues to use: "I was reading about how it rejuvenated you and helped you come back from injuries," he says. "The more I read about the way it uses amino acids, the more I thought it was a step into the future. At the time, I was working out six days a week and the wear-and-tear was incredible. And that helped. When I broke my hand while I was getting ready for Rocky Balboa, I needed to heal quick and it helped a lot. There's this misconception that it's like steroids. But it's not-it helps you recuperate and gives you a sense of well-being."

Still, he knows he can't continue as an action star, no matter what good shape he maintains or what pharmaceutical advances may come.

"My wife cries a lot," he says, jokingly. "She cries at the thought that it will be embarrassing for someone my age to hearken back to his glory days. And she cries when I do something like tear the calf muscle off the bone.

"But this is my fate. Life didn't deal me a musical-comedy fate. I've got this physicality. When people look at me, they're not seeing Sylvester Stallone. They see Rocky. They see Rambo. They see a kind of philosophy, they see a certain idea. And they see what those things stand for."

Contributing editor Marshall Fine's work can be found on his Web site

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Comments   1 comment(s)

stantine972 October 9, 2010 9:01pm ET

Mr Stallone, I have enjoyed you through your whole career and still look forward to your next project. Thank you. Keep the movies coming and thanks for actually smoking a cigar for the cover of "Cigar Aficionado" magazine. Cigar Aficionado, thank you for interviewing a cigar smoker.

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