Cult $300M Movie Landed Stallone in Hospital After He Asked a Co-Star to Actually Hit Him

Cult $300M Movie Landed Stallone in Hospital After He Asked a Co-Star to Actually Hit Him
Image credit: Legion-Media

Acting can be (almost) deadly.

Rocky IV has become one of the most successful movies in the Rocky franchise, earning more than $300 million worldwide.

Although for Sylvester Stallone, filming the movie turned out to be a tough test. The actor admitted that he was seriously injured during the production and had to be hospitalized.

According to the plot of Rocky IV, a Soviet boxer, Ivan Drago, arrives in the US to challenge one of the best American fighters, Rocky Balboa.

Instead of Rocky, his friend Apollo Creed enters the ring.

Apollo cannot withstand Ivan's powerful punches and dies. Rocky decides to avenge his friend's death and fight Ivan in the ring.

A few years after the epic clash, Rocky and Ivan meet again, this time as mentors to two young athletes. In the movie Creed 2, Adonis Creed, the son of Apollo, fought Ivan's son Viktor.

The fisticuffs in Rocky IV came out great, and all because they were shown in a real, contact way, since computer technology was not very advanced at that time and the actors were forced to make the punches look as realistic as possible.

So, to increase the realism of the final fight, Stallone persuaded Dolph Lundgren, who played Drago, to throw real punches.

As a result, Sly missed some. Later that evening, Stallone was airlifted from Canada to Santa Monica, where he spent eight days in intensive care.

Lundgren hit Stallone so hard in the chest that it reached the heart, which began to enlarge from the blow, causing less blood to enter it and less oxygen to flow throughout the body.

The Soviet boxing champion, who spends every day in grueling training, Ivan Drago from Rocky IV has become a reference antagonist.

An emotionless boxer, looking like a perfect sculpture, with a terrible platform hairstyle and glistening muscles, Drago appeared as a serious test for Rocky Balboa.

The charismatic Dolph Lungdren says pathos and threatening phrases, and paints the image of the Soviet tough fighter – a cold "red machine" that is not so easy to disable.

But hey, it's important to remember that a movie is just a movie, and realism is not worth sacrificing your health for...

Still, the iconic Rocky movie is still loved and cherished by fans, so maybe this particular one was worth it after all.