Sylvester Stallone’s unwavering commitment to delivering raw and intense fight scenes has often led him down a path fraught with challenges, especially during the filming of the fourth installment of the immensely successful Rocky franchise. In this movie, Stallone’s iconic character squared off against Dolph Lundgren in an electrifying onscreen rivalry. However, during the filming of the climactic showdown, disaster struck as a powerful punch landed Stallone in the hospital, where he remained for a grueling nine days.
The incident not only added a dramatic twist to the production but also highlighted the lengths to which the actor was willing to go to create memorable cinematic moments. On the other side, Lundgren received somewhat of a two-week detention from the set after the incident had occurred.
Sylvester Stallone Got Hospitalized Because of Dolph Lundgren
In a 2020 The Hollywood Reporter interview commemorating 35 years of Rocky, the actor Sylvester Stallone revealed the extreme lengths he went to nail each and every aspect of the film. That included being admitted to an intensive care unit while shooting a fight scene. Stallone commanded his co-star, the main antagonist of the movie Dolph Lundgren, to abandon playing pretend and instead deliver a few genuine punches to capture a certain fight scene with utmost authenticity. In The Hollywood Reporter interview, he revealed,
“Dolph Lundgren put me in the hospital for nine days,—I knew I was in trouble when I showed up and nuns met you at the ICU.”
He further stated, he told his co-star to,
“Just go out there and try to clock me,–For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all.”
While the actor initially felt no discomfort, the impact of the punch began to take its toll as the day progressed. And as the actor stated, upon inspecting the footage later on, he discovered that the punch, “caught the ribs and hit the heart against the ribcage.” Although the actor did not suffer from any major setbacks, the punch was indeed a power-packed one.
Dolph Lundgren Received an Ominous Message from the Producer After Sending Stallone to Hospital
On a separate occasion, Dolph Lundgren unpacked his side of the story. In an interview with Invicta Fighting Championships, the actor joked,
“Look, all I did was obey orders. He was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Subsequently, he received news that he wouldn’t be needed on set for a consecutive two-week period. This decision wasn’t a punitive measure but rather a necessity, as Stallone’s hospitalization had disrupted the remaining shooting schedule. He continued saying,
“We finished shooting in Vancouver, we shot the Russian stuff, and I came back to LA. The producer was like, ‘hey Dolph, you got two weeks off.—Sly is in the hospital.”
Despite the punches and hospital stays, there is no bad blood between the two, these buddies are still going strong, and will soon be seen together again on the screen for the fourth installment of The Expandables, named Expend4bles set to release on the 22nd of September 2023.
Rocky IV is available on Netflix to stream.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter