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Sylvester Stallone on Howard Stern- 3/7/2005

Porn Valley- Yo, Sylvester Stallone was on the Howard Stern show this morning primarily to talk about the long-awaited boxing reality TV series The Contender which airs tonight.

Stallone also talked briefly about his “porn” film, though he didn’t refer to The Italian Stallion aka The Party at Kitty and Studs by name which is now being distributed by Arrow Productions, Besides the reality show, Stallone is also flogging a protein pudding product which is available at GNC.

As the interview started, Stallone was telling a story about the time he tore a pectoral muscle in a bench pressing contest with Franco Columbu, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s best friend. Stallone said he should have known better because just the week before, Columbu won a strong man contest by running on the beach with 600 pounds stuffed in a refrigerator. “I figured he was 5 foot- three- I’ll overwhelm him with size.”

Stern wanted to get on the topic of women. “You’ve had them all.” To which Stallone said the stories were highly overrated. It was noted that Stallone’s past amours never seem to go away. “It’s like the La Brea Tar Pits,” he agreed. When Brigitte Nielsen’s name was brought up, Stallone said, “Popping up is really the buzzword, here.” Stern said he could now see how crazy she is. Stallone said he was ready to call George Romero. “Do I have a star for your next flick.” Asked if he watches Nielsen’s reality show, Stallone said his wife Tivo’s it frame by frame. “The show lasts longer than my marriage. I can’t take this any more.” Stallone’s wife Jennifer Flavin keeps rubbing it in by asking him what was he thinking. Stallone’s response to Flavin is that it goes to show that people are always changing.

“You go with what you think you’re worth at the time,” said Stallone. “And obviously I thought I was worthless.” In all fairness, Stern said Nielsen was gorgeous at the time Stallone was with her. “Then you get to know her and you realize she’s wild.”

Stallone was asked if he was one of those guys who falls in love instantly with a beautiful face. Stallone said he was dyslexic in love in that he would date nice girls and marry tarts. It was also noted that Stallone’s mother warned him against marrying Nielsen. “Mommy know best,” said Stallone. “Women know. They know more than men. I really believe that men are built in the first half of their life to win and in the second half they completely screw it up.” To which Stern had to bring up the fact that both he and Stallone shared Angie Everhart.

“She says I’m the best lover she ever had,” Stern commented. “I’m a sexual contender, and the fact that Angie used to date you and then dated me and said I was the best lover she ever had, you don’t understand. That’s a big deal to me.” Stallone said the only thing that proves is that Everhart is a psychopathic liar. Stallone said the only thing that proves is how overblown his image is. “It kind of gives me a slap in the face of humble pie.” For him, Stern said that was his Rocky moment.

Stern then went on to provide Stallone’s alleged bedsheet resume, noting that because Stallone could have any woman. “It’s got to be a scary proposition to give up the gravy train and settle down with one broad.” Stallone agreed stating that you can never believe you’ve hit the bullseye. Stallone also admitted that once he had broken up with Flavin by sending her a fax that he had panicked and was a coward.

“There’s got to be something wrong so you begin to look for flaws,” he said. “Then you realize that grass is greener theory? It’s not. There’s a lot of dog dew on the other green grass.”

Stern said it’s hard for him to break up with a girl, that he just stops talking to them. Stallone said breaking up with a woman is one of the more dangerous things. “It’s like sticking your head in a lion’s mouth.” When he was younger, Stallone said he’d hide all the sharp objects during the breakup and would look for firearms in the neighborhood.

In the fax, Stallone said he wrote that he was completely unworthy. When asked about the meaning of that, Artie Lange interrupted by saying Stallone wouldn’t know, that his assistant wrote it. “It was dictated,” Stallone laughed, noting that he subsequently groveled to get Flavin back. “I became an earthworm, a mud slug.” Flavin at the time was engaged to a billionaire, according to Stallone. Stern assumed Sly was probably worth that much as well.

“Please, yeah, in yen,” said Stallone who always coughed up more than half. “My ex wives are the richest women I know.” Stallone said that his first divorce cost him the proceeds from Rocky 1, 2 and 3. Stallone also noted that he gave up living in Florida. “There should be a billboard as you cross the Florida county line if you are married, turn back now!” Comparing living in Florida akin to parrots ripping out their feathers, Stallone said his wife was going through a similar thing that she started ripping her hair out living there. “Hot chicks can implode.”

Asked if he still had the itch to roam, Stallone said not at all. “I’m terrified.” Stallone explained that you know now what’s ahead. “It’s all repetitive.” Stallone said Flavin has a life of her own and is a very successful businesswoman, running a skin care line. “She makes a fortune.” Stallone’s current generation of kids are ages 8, 5 and 2. Stallone joked about his first kids being all older than him. “I don’t know what happened. My mother is three years younger than me. It’s very odd.”

Stern then said Stallone has had Pam Anderson, and Stallone jumped on that comment saying it wasn’t true. Stern also ventured to say Cindy Crawford and Stallone denied that vehemently as well. “Are you crazy?” Stallone said he had a confrontation with her, though. Stallone said he did know Pam Anderson from the fact that they worked out in the same gym. Asked who he hangs out with, Stallone replied, a lot of guys from Serbia. He also mentioned that he and Arnold used to hang out at one time. “Until he left us in the dust for rarified air. We were friends. We were antagonistic because it’s a good antagonism. When this person has a talent and they get a jump on you, it makes you work hard. It’s a good jealousy.”

Stern attempted to fuel the fire noting that Stallone wrote his own screenplays. “You wrote Rambo. You wrote Rocky.” By the same token, Stallone said look at what Arnold. did. “He networked a body building career and he’s knocking on the White House door. Not bad.” Asked why Arnold has more money, Stallone explained simply that Arnold has stayed with the same woman. “It’s not that complicated. And he was very focused. He likes to be the monarch of all he surveys- in a good sense. He would go to Santa Monica and start buying up buildings. Before you know it, it became Arnold Land.” Stallone said he bought real estate as well but lost it in the divorces. “It became the feminine side of the relationship.”

Stallone was asked about the time he threw a 30-pound weight through a dining room table that was carved in the face of Brigitte Nielsen. Stern hastened to remind that Nielsen seduced Stallone. “No pre-nup with her,” said Stern. Stallone said it happens. “It’s biblical- Samson & Delilah. Do you think we’ll learn. That’s why I started a magazine to write these rants about situations like that. We don’t get it.” Stern then mentioned Stallone has having done Naomi Campbell. “Are you kidding me?” said Stallone, noting that there was a National Enquirer article about how he allegedly bought Campbell a Mercedes.

“You dated Janice Dickinson,” Stern added. “There is something to that,” Stallone replied. Stern asked about another model, Christie Turlington. Stallone said no, never, that Flavin knew Turlington from the gym. “Christie is a nice girl but I haven’t seen her since 1985.” Stern assumed by the answers that Stallone is not the sexual predator he’s made out to be.

“I’m a total sexual disappointment,” Stallone replied. Asked about Lisa Gastineau, Stallone said he had seen her on TV, but disavowed any knowledge of a relationship. “She likes to promote that,” he said. “Lisa will say Sylvester Stallone, John Gotti and Abe Lincoln.” Stern suggested that Stallone make it easy by just telling him everyone he’s had sex with. “Anyone who gets a reality show has been with Sylvester Stallone,” Stern joked.

Asked if the actors coming up give him the proper respect, Stallone replied, sarcastically, that in their hearts they actually believe they’re making a big, big difference on the planet. “That they’re going to alter the genetic disposition of the evolutionary process.” Stallone said they’ll learn otherwise when their agents don’t pick up the phone.

Asked if the Hollywood studios afford him respect, Stallone quipped, “They respectfully respect your banishment. They will respect your privacy. They’ll never call you. Hollywood is a very simple process. Everyone uses everybody and when you’re not that useful or you don’t fit into that plan, it’s business.” Stern suggested why not write another great movie. Stallone said he has. “We’ll see.” But Stallone said he’s so content at the moment doing other things. Stallone was also quick to admit that he didn’t come up with the idea for The Contender.

“I had an idea- I was working on Rocky VI at the time. So the whole boxing scenario worked.” But Stallone said he heard that Jeff Walt, his former manager, had gone to Dreamworks and pitched the idea. “Mark Burnett was brought in. He was the guru of all this. He had the formula. He had the infrastructure.” Stallone asked why did they need him, why don’t they get George Foreman or somebody else. “Then it becomes just a boxing show,” he was told.

Stallone said he owns a piece of the show. “The ol’ slice of the ol’ meringue pie. It’s a Donald Trump show.” Stallone explained that if you took the top accountant from Price Waterhouse and put him on The Apprentice, the show would be over. Stallone said The Contender is based on the fantasy of Rocky and the Adrian factor, getting behind the scenes to see the women behind the guys and that life away from boxing is what pulls you in.. “A lot of these guys are very delicate. When you see these guys cry, when you see them play with their children, when you see them do everything you can relate to outside the ring, trust me, now you’re on equal footing.”

Stern explained the concept, in that 16 boxers are split into two groups much like Survivor. “Each week someone decides who’s going to fight who. These guys all know each other. We know them. We’re vested in what they’re vested in,” Stallone added, noting that his participation in the show is one of being a guide, commentator and advisor.

Stern suggested that Stallone have a catch phrase, like Trump, something to the effect that Stern was the better man in the Angie Everhart scenario. Stallone said that would be something to substitute on a dollar bill instead of “E Pluribus Urine.”

Asked what a typical day for him is, Stallone said it begins with the kids and doing everything in the first hour and a half in the morning before school. “They sit there and play chess. They shoot a couple of games of pool. They play the piano. They recite two poems for diction and then they hit the punch mitts for about a minute and a half.” Stallone said he has daughters that will knock you out cold. He also mentioned that his close friends in Hollywood are generally people not in the business. “Have you noticed that actors don’t get along with actors as a rule?” Stallone explained that’s because there’s an unwritten law of egotism.

With the mention of his brother, Frank, Stallone said they get along and that Frank found all the fighters for the show. Stern then wondered if Sharon Stone was a big pain in the ass. “I don’t get her.”

Stallone said he thought so in the beginning. “Sharon Stone is very strong and very bright.” Stern suspected that Stallone banged her. “In the film [The Specialist] I did,” said Stallone saying that this was another rumor that warranted a lie detector. Stern said in the film it looked like he was actually doing her. Stallone explained that Stone didn’t feel like being completely exposed in a shower scene. “Can you hit some spider-like pose. I became like human pantyhose.”

Stern suspected that Stallone got aroused. He said just the opposite. “I would probably be the world’s worst male performer because if you’re not somehow emotionally attached, intellectually attached, when you’re sitting there with guys eating cream-filled doughnuts and throwing down trail mix and everybody’s breath is filling up the room and it’s kind of stenchful…” Stern found that hard to believe that he got aroused when he did his movie Private Parts. “I would be back in my dressing room pleasuring myself between takes.” To which Robin Quivers brought up the “rumor” that Stallone had been in a porno.

“What that was” explained Stallone, “as they call it explicit but no penetration, nothing.” Stallone said there were attempts to blackmail him for a million dollars over it and that he told those people to bring it on. “Basically I was walking around naked. I was broke. And that’s what I did. I was stupid.” Stern also suspected that because he had a good package it wasn’t an embarrassment. “I wouldn’t exactly say it was a battering ram, but it was okay” Stallone replied. “It’s not bringing down the walls of Jericho. Let’s just say that.”

Stern couldn’t imagine a greater success story than Stallone’s. “Your mom and dad used to fight on this show- it was the greatest thing ever.” Stallone said you should have seen it live. Stern noted that Frank almost went totally beserk. “It was a horrible childhood. It was definitely difficult to manage, emotionally. The you’re some guys doing odd jobs and you write the Rocky script for nine hundred grand. It’s one of the biggest movies ever made.”

Stallone said he also wrote the first Rambo which is based on a book. Stallone said they were attempting to cast lab animals before they would consider him, that DeNiro, Nick Nolte and Zippy the Monkey had been up for the role. Stallone said the original concept was going to be a career killer.

“When we did it it was so bad- at least I thought- even my manager, we both went out and I think we both retched together in the alley. We tried to buy it back and burn the negative. Originally it was three hours long. I stayed an hour and a half in the woods chasing guys. Plus I was pontificating throughout the thing.” In one scene, Stallone shoots an owl calling it a mouse-munching motherfucker. “Then there’d be lines like, the cop pulls me over, ‘ Where do you think you’re going?’ I go did you ever see Easy Rider? Well, I’m easy walker.” Stallone said the good idea was to cut out all his dialogue. “And have other people talk about you. Other people fill in the blanks like a Greek chorus. I think that works.” Stallone said the movie was pared down to 90 minutes as a result.

Asked about his art collection and whether he was duped in some schemes, Stallone said he couldn’t answer or risk being put in jail. “Or at least in a litigious situation.” That being said, Stallone said you trust certain people. “I’m in Rambo- I’m on a horse when I get the phone call. I’ll agree to anything.” But when he got home, Stallone said the painting he bought for a million, three was lumpy in the middle. “You realize it’s a canvass full of straw and tar. I call up the artist.” Stallone said the artist told him it was “evolving”.

“It’s evolving?” Stern went back to Stallone’s childhood, Stallone saying his parents had their moments but they also did some great things as well. “A lot of people had it a lot worse off than I had.” Stern then brought up a Stallone quote that he was in a household full of aggression and conflict: “When my mother left I hung on to her leg- I was in convulsions. Then the terrible court battles began. My brother became so repressed they thought he had leukemia. I became a loose cannon. I ran away to Philadelphia to be with her. The courts brought me back. I had an unformed ego- a misplaced aggression. I sought chaos. I was like a dog wanting to be beaten. Acting was almost a psychological requirement for me.”

Stallone said there’s something to be said for keeping your mouth shut. “Silence is golden.” Stallone said those comments were written from an 11 year-old point of view during a parental divorce. “You do have episodes.”

Stern said what was also remarkable was the fact that Stallone had regular guy jobs along the way. Stallone said he cleaned lions’ cages and cleaned fish heads and worked in a deli. “And I was an usher. Ushers are the unsung heroes of the world. They have to sit there and look at a bad film seven thousand times.” By the same token, Stallone said he knew he was not cut out for the work force in a normal way. “I just knew my attention span was off. You feel like a misfit, but I did have a sense of humor.”

It was noted that Stallone wrote Rocky when he was dead broke but that the studios didn’t want him as the star. “They go, look, man, you’re nobody.” Stallone said that was true and turned down money for them to buy the film. According to Stallone, UA first wanted either James Caan or Ryan O’Neal. “They wanted to put Nick Nolte.”

Stallone was being told that he was crazy for turning down $360,000. “I really mastered the method of living on nothing,” he said. “Of eating basically cobwebs. It’s okay.” Stallone said he knew he would have killed himself had he sold the rights and held out three months. But Stallone also notes that the movie’s producers went against the system and had to mortgage their homes to get the money up and get the studio behind them. “Try that today. Good luck.”

Stallone was finally told by UA they would do the film with him in it provided they had a 14-day period in which they could fire him at any time. Another stipulation was that he also had to do the movie in under 30 days for nine hundred grand. Stallone said the entire movie was shot in 28 days. Stallone explained when you have nothing, things become more fast acting and visceral whereas now when you’re more pampered, things on a set drag out. “You lose your edge. There’s no doubt about it.” Stallone said it might sound pretentious, but it took him three days to write Rocky. “Of which ninety percent was terrible. But the germ of the idea was there. After that it took me 25 re-writes.”

Stern then brought up the controversy over one of the contestants, Najai Turpin, in The Contender committing suicide. Stern wondered if that was going to affect the show. “I think it can,” said Stallone. “But I also think it can be a positive thing in the sense that his family will see him in an incredible performance and what he does. I don’t know if you can find anything positive about that.” Stallone said he had become friends with Turpin who was a Philadelphia guy who aspired to the Rocky ethic. “He was like a real live Rocky. He came from a tough place and almost emerged from it.”

Asked to speculate on Turpin’s death, Stallone thought it had do with Turpin’s private life. “You’ll meet his child and girlfriend. There was something very emotional. I think it was a moment of weakness that if he could go back and re-visit that, I don’t know if the same thing would happen. Sometimes you just do something in the heat of passion.”

Stern wondered if Stallone ever took his wife to strip clubs. To which Stallone joked about never seeing his wife naked. “All the women- why do they have to tie bath towels around their waists? They can weigh 12 pounds and still tie towels around their waists.”



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