The struggle is real if you are working hard to reach a dream. Just ask Hollywood A-list actor and Oscar nominee Sylvester Stallone who went through cripplingly difficult times before making it big in tinseltown.
Bit player Sly.
Stallone, then a down-on-his luck struggling actor in the 1970s, dreamt of having his screenplay featured on the big screen. Having only played bit parts in movies, notoriously in porn, Stallone still held fast to his dream of selling his script for “Rocky.”
Hitting rock bottom, the broke Sly was hungry and homeless.
His only companion was his beloved dog, Butkus.
Left with no choice, the desperate actor had to resort to selling Butkus to make ends meet.
“I tied my dog up at the store with a sign that asked for a hundred bucks. I got $50 from this guy called Little Jimmy.”
Brokenhearted, yet resolute, Sly shopped his script for Rocky among producers and studios. He staunchly refused to sell the script to anyone if they didn’t include him as the lead character.
Finally, a week after he sold his beloved pet, he got lucky with a pair of producers who expressed interest in “Rocky,” but insisted on substantial budget cuts to meet his demand of starring in his own film.
Exhilarated, Stallone hightailed it back to Little Jimmy to buy Butkus back.
Only to be told the pooch wasn’t for resale.
“When I sold the script for Rocky, I went to see Little Jimmy and begged him for giving the dog back. He lined up his children and said, ‘Oh my kids love the dog’. I said, ‘You’ve only had him for a week…’”
Little Jimmy was gearing up for a fight over the dog. Despite wanting to grab his pet and run, and risk getting arrested, Stallone offered to pay the man $3,000 instead. Plus a small role in the first “Rocky” movie.
Thankfully, he got Butkus back, even if he had to pay 600 percent more than what he sold him for.
Butkus also stars in “Rocky,” by the way.
The rest is history. Sly continued on to star in many more big budget Hollywood movies, including the “Rambo” and “The Expendables” film series.
Stallone in the first of the seven “Rocky” films.
“Accidents happen with all of us, if you take them as your weakness, you’d never succeed in life and if you make them your strength, there’s nothing in life, which you can’t achieve.”
You tell ’em, Sly!