Sylvester Stallone recalled his near-death experience on the set of "Rocky IV" in a new documentary.
In "Sly," Stallone said he was punched in the chest so hard that his "heart started to swell."
"Next thing I know, I'm in intensive care where I'm surrounded by nuns. I thought, 'Okay, that's curtains.'"
The film tracks the actor's inspirational underdog story, which saw him become one of the most successful and celebrated stars of the 1980s, but also reveals the personal cost of Stallone's ambition, namely the injuries he attained from doing his own stunt work.
The actor recalled a near-death experience while filming the fourth installment in his "Rocky" franchise after taking a powerful punch from his costar, Dolph Lundgren, during the boxing match between his character, Rocky Balboa, and Lundgren's Ivan Drago in the 1985 film.
"Dolph Lundgren, he pulverized me," Stallone says in the documentary. He also added that he was hospitalized for nine days.
The incident saw Stallone rushed from the film's set in Vancouver, British Columbia, to a hospital in Santa Monica, California, per an interview he did with Ain't It Cool News in 2006.
"Later that night, my heart started to swell, which happens when the heart hits the chest. And then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels," Stallone said in "Sly."
He continued: "Next thing I know, I'm in intensive care where I'm surrounded by nuns. I thought, 'Okay, that's curtains.'"
In The Hollywood Reporter's 35th-anniversary retrospective published in 2020, Stallone reportedly told Lundgren to forget the choreography they planned on the day of the big fight scene.
"Just go out there and try to clock me," he said, per the outlet. "For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all."
Reflecting on the experience in "Sly," the Oscar winner said: "I push it, that's why I've had five back operations. I knew."
"You should know after the first back operation not to do it again," he laughed. "Probably end up with another one 'cause I know. I say, 'I'll never do that again,' but I do, I do. I don't know why, but I do."
Elsewhere in the documentary, Stallone spoke about being hospitalized while filming another action movie, the 2010 ensemble film "The Expendables."
Stallone said he broke his neck shooting a fight scene with the wrestling star "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. His injury resulted in an operation for a hairline fracture, and a permanent metal plate was inserted in his neck.
"Truthfully, I never fully recovered," Stallone said of the injury. "It did such a number on my body, I've never been the same. Never."
With the distance of nearly 14 years, he said he's asked himself, "Was it really worth it?"
"Are you doing this for people's approval? Really, that's almost like a child needing a pat on their head by their father," he said. "That's constant encouragement. But it's true."
Read the original article on Insider