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Stallone II

After years of muscling his way across the screen, Sylvester Stallone seeks a different label: serious actor.
Gordon Mott
From the Print Edition:
Sylvester Stallone, Mar/Apr 98

(continued from page 1)

I was doing the movie F.I.S.T. and it seemed that the character should appropriately be smoking a cigar. So I started, in 1977. I had a neophyte's approach to smoking, but I enjoyed it. It was very odd, but as soon as I had a cigar in my hand, it would catapult me much faster into the character's sensibility than without the cigar. I guess that's very odd. But it makes a cigar an unusual tool. A cigar does that because we've grown up seeing cigars as having a connotation of power or prestige, or at least the man who smokes them seems to be very glamorous and almost monolithic compared to a cigarette smoker. A guy who smokes a cigar seems to be a very confident human being. After that point, I went back to cigarettes once or twice and then I quit totally. Cleaned out my lungs for three years and then went back to smoking cigars intelligently, for lack of a better term, from a connoisseur's point of view.

CA: Have you used a cigar to help you get into character in other movies?

Stallone: No, it was primarily in F.I.S.T. I smoked it in one or two scenes, but it was eliminated because of directorial editing. I've primarily smoked in my private life. Quite often, early on, people were shocked if I was smoking a cigarette. I actually had people come up and blatantly chastise me on the street about smoking a cigarette. A cigar, however, was held in some kind of civil abeyance and people wouldn't do that. Right away there was less of a stigma.

CA: I asked because I haven't seen you associated with a cigar in the way Bill Cosby or Arnold Schwarzenegger are. They're both quite public with their cigars. But you haven't been. Any particular reason?

Stallone: I don't know whether that's conscious or not, but I feel sometimes that smoking is, believe it or not, more of a private affair. It's something that I look forward to, that I covet. Therefore I will purposely deny myself several cigars during the day so that I look forward to that evening cigar with greater relish. I could never continually smoke--I could but I wouldn't be as excited about that expectation at the end of the day or while playing golf. I know when I play golf--golf for me is equated with cigars--I look forward to smoking. Going to the golf course, I know I'm going to light up there. The smoking isn't going to bother anyone and I can have a good old time.

CA: Do you have any particular place you light up during the round? At the start or the middle?

Stallone: Usually it's right after a good hole. So it can be a long time. Sometimes it'll be like the sixteenth. Sometimes it'll be on the first.

CA: Do you have a favorite cigar?

Stallone: I'm very partial to Fuentes. I think the whole Fuentes package is wonderful, but the [Fuente Fuente] OpusX for some reason seems to push all my buttons.

CA: Any particular thing about it?

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