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Interview with Sylvester Stallone

Aired May 14, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE an old friend, a good guy, Sylvester Stallone, actor, writer, director, executive producer and star of the NBC reality show, "The Contender." Editorial director of the new magazine, "Sly," I have it right here. His new book is "Sly Moves, My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Willpower and Live Your Dream." We have that here to so there is lots to talk about.
How come none of these have to do with film?

SYLVESTER STALLONE, ACTOR: No, well, after a while ...

KING: What happened?

STALLONE: Well, because film has been very good to me and it still has but everywhere I have gone, I guess after "Rocky" and after "Rambo," usually the first primary question is just what do you do to stay in shape, what do you eat, how do you do this, do you live in the gym or whatever? And I thought, okay, it's a little premature at 58, I thought, okay, maybe I should just put it all down and see if there is something there that really does strike an honest chord or something that can be duplicated and I think there is and so that's what the book is really about, what has worked for me, what hasn't worked, some diet myths, just feeling good, because I think at 45 years old, 40, 45 years old, people have to make a choice, like, do you want to spend that second half of your life feeling a lot better than maybe you did the second half or do you just want to keep going downhill.

KING: But does that mean you gave up film or what ...

STALLONE: No, no, no, no, actually I'm doing -- I just signed to do the next "Rambo" yesterday and it's quite different than you think.

KING: Vietnam?

STALLONE: No, actually, very domestic. It is something that could happen to anyone here. He has settled into a domestic life.

KING: National security?


KING: Really.

STALLONE: No actually he works for, in the military right now there is a problem with drugs and usually like in bases, Ft. Bragg, right outside the place, meth labs, this that and so you have these police that infiltrate either motorcycle gangs, different kind of gangs and they find out what's going down ...

KING: So that's what Rambo does?

STALLONE: Well, that's him and his wife.


STALLONE: It's part of ...

KING: When do they shoot?

STALLONE: Well, I am going to be, hopefully it should be five months, six months.

KING: Are you excited ...

STALLONE: And there's also something go on, too, with "Rocky." I might end up fighting Rocky.

KING: Both those characters, of course, made you, Rocky, you don't have to work, right?

STALLONE: No, I don't have to work but I enjoy it.

KING: I mean, in the sense, curses ...

STALLONE: They're good curses, Larry.

KING: The movie you made with DeNiro ...

STALLONE: "Copland."

KING: That was a great movie.

STALLONE: Thank you very much.

KING: But people always think "Rambo" and they think "Rocky."

STALLONE: No matter what. When you hit with something like that and of course having done quite a few of them, it becomes your legacy or your identification.

KING: So you accept that?

STALLONE: Oh yeah. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't be here without it so I -- why are you looking a gift horse in the mouth? Usually a lot of actors and writers and I guess any artist wants to feel as though they are everything on the spectrum and they are multifaceted but there are certain sides to that facet that really connect to the audience and others don't as well. Comedy, whatever. So this is what it is. I am considerably, even though I made my life, the beginning of it, through words, through literature, through writing, I am known to be a physical, so I thought why not ... KING: By the way, to your ultimate credit, maybe it hasn't been written in a long time, you really bent the odds. The University of Miami told you the one thing you should not do is act.

STALLONE: Totally.

KING: Get out of this business. Get out of drama school. The ring theater, you don't belong here. The "Rocky" script could have been done by others. You could have made cash for the script and gotten out. You insisted you had to be in it and be involved totally with the production. Where did that gumption come from?

STALLONE: I think it was a naivete but there is also part of me knowing that I am never going to find a part for me like this. I was always the mugger, I was always the outcaste, I was always the fellow chasing Woody Allen down the street.

KING: That movie about Brooklyn ...

STALLONE: "Lords of Flatbush." But again, I was kind of the goon. I said, okay, this is the way people perceive me. You look in the mirror and say right away, oh, some slob. Here I am, the guy from "Notting Hill II" but no, the world perceives you a different way and so I had to be real, so I thought, okay, I am always going to be looked at as kind of this imposing kind of guy or threatening kind of guy but that kind of man can also have another side of him. We judge a book by his cover. We automatically assume a guy comes in in a leather coat, hat and cutoff gloves, stay away from him. Actually, when I was filming it, police pulled me over and said, what are you doing here? What are you doing in the neighborhood?

And we said, "We're doing a film called 'Rocky.'" "That creep must be 'Rocky.'" Automatically. Because they didn't know who I was. See that, the creep is "Rocky," that's exactly why I am doing this movie, but underneath all that creepism was a good guy.

KING: And a hell of a film.

STALLONE: Thank you.

KING: Boxing movies can do very well. There is one coming out, "Cinderella" about James Braddock. What does it depend on?

STALLONE: It depends on heart ...

KING: The story?

STALLONE: Boxing is sort of an inevitability. We know they are going to be pounding each other. That is the least exciting part of it because if you don't build up the volcanic explosion that's coming and usually if it's always done through the fighter's eyes it's not as exciting as, okay, let's do it through Adrian's eyes.

Let's do it through her point of view. So right away you take it out of this heavily testosteroned world and give it a feminine touch and right away become a bit more poetic and that embraces everyone as well as just guys. There are some great boxing films that are all male driven. That's the greatest mistake there is.

KING: You have to care.

STALLONE: That's the whole thing.

KING: Which you have done in "The Contender." I am not a big fan of reality of shows ...

STALLONE: Don't break my heart with "The Contender."

KING: I watched "The Contender," I think it is sensational television. You and Sugar Ray do great together. The shots, the editing is superb, the characters are so real, the kid that died, oh my ...


KING: What happened to it?

STALLONE: Well, what happened to it was unfortunately there were some decisions made to move it around and I think the first show started 20 minutes later after "Fear Factor" and a lot of people turned it off and next week it was moved after the "Apprentice," did very well but people were confused and a week later it is moved on Sunday night which is like limbo. People on Sunday nights are either putting their kids to bed, just getting home, but people are not watching boxing.

So it is going to be pulled. It's unfortunate and I feel sorry for all the participants in it because it was a great launching pad for all these young men getting another shot at their life.

KING: You are going to pay off for the million, though, right?

STALLONE: That's going to happen. NBC is certainly going to live up to that contract, but unfortunately it looks like "Contender" is going to go down for the count this year and it's too bad because it was really a good show and Mark Burnett and all the guys ...

KING: In the right spot would it have worked?

STALLONE: No question.

KING: The right spot was later?

STALLONE: In the right spot, right after the "Apprentice" for example, we doubled our numbers, so if we had been after "The Apprentice" we'd be singing a different song but it looks like there was a ...

KING: There was so much talent involved in there.

STALLONE: Well somebody let us down somewhere along the line but ...

KING: (INAUDIBLE) STALLONE: ... you don't know where to put the blame. It really is a very, very big complicated machine, I like all the participants, but whatever it was we ended up in quick sand in a rowboat with a lot of leaks.

KING: Sly Stallone is our guest. Lots to talk about. Health, fitness, a magazine, and Rambo's coming -- don't go away, we'll be right back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am not meant to be known, I always been walking right through the crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So basically, you don't trust anybody.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My family, if I died in bed tomorrow they have nothing but now this is giving me an opportunity to give them something to look forward to in life.


KING: We're back with Sly Stallone. Before we get back to the magazines and the fitness, tell me about Najiv Turpin (ph) and what happened to him.

STALLONE: Najiv Turpin was a very troubled kid in the way that he -- not troubled in the sense that he had mental problems but he had a lot of drive and a lot of goals to achieve and he wanted to do that in a very short time and he wanted to fight, that's all he knew how to do, that's how he believed he would get out of the ghetto.

But he also had a very, very strong sense of pride and I think something happened along the lines that when he didn't live he still felt he was going to do something strong, do something effective but when he went home I believe personal relationship went into it, something that got to his heart.

KING: Because he had a great little kid.

STALLONE: It was just, I think, a horrible, tragic emotional moment. Valentine's Day and I think just people were not being rational.

KING: One of your popular contestants, albeit he lost, dies.

STALLONE: Yes. So when I heard that I go, you're kidding. Oh my God. And I didn't think about the show, I just thought it was impossible. He's 23 years old, he's going to go places win or lose. He's got everything. And you start to really take account of your own life, you realize how fragile and brief and how lucky and we went back to the funeral and that's when your life really collides with his and you see what he had to fight to get out of where he was going, why he was motivated, you see his family, who are completely devastated and you walk -- this show, this is what I meant about reality shows, this is why I wanted to do it, because you're dealing with people in the real pressure cooker, you know what I mean, Larry.

It's one thing to be "The Bachelor," you go, yeah, it's great, but the hardest thing is which of these 20 beautiful people I am going to end up with. Not a bad thing. And money. Or you get off the "Apprentice" you go back to a nice job. These people, they go back to -- as tough as it gets.

KING: How much has your life changed by fatherhood?

STALLONE: I would say 1000 percent. The grass used to be green, now the grass is just full of weeds.

KING: You almost lost one of your children, that taught you a lot.

STALLONE: My God, Sofia, she had to undergo surgery when she was like three months old.

KING: You were on this show then.

STALLONE: Yes. I was on this show and I was doing "Copland" and I thought, oh great, this is going to be a new revelation and it hits you and you realize all the money, all the fame, all the connections you have means nothing and now you realize what a doctor is all about he is almost a deity, he is like as close as we're going to get to a religious figure, he is going to give life or take it. It is up to him. So I developed a profound respect for the medical profession.

KING: She turned out fine.

STALLONE: She's great. Now she nags me, so she is perfectly healthy.

KING: And your wife is an enormous success. QVC right? She owns QVC.

STALLONE: She is as levelheaded as you are ever going to find, incredibly generous and the worst insult I have heard ever about her, you know, your wife, let me tell you about your wife, your wife is too nice. You're right, I have got to work on this.

KING: She came to you with the idea of products and selling them on television, did you think ...

STALLONE: I thought it was silly and almost I still do. It's hard to believe. It's one thing if it's someone else's wife and you're -- then it's your wife and you're like, I don't believe it. But she's doing it. You don't believe that she has that extra switch inside and it's like ta-da. And she can sell anything. She can sell you bear traps. You need a bear trap. I'll buy it.

KING: She's really something. Are you competitive? STALLONE: Yeah, sure. Competitive, but not in the sense like -- I think there should be almost a moratorium on -- people talk about same sex marriages, I think it's same career marriages, like two actors marrying, really really difficult. But I don't have it. Jennifer feels that she is the single worst actress on the planet. She is like the antichrist of acting. She admits it. But she is a great pitch person. So there is nothing that really crosses over. The only time we have an argument, the only time we fight is like I miss my daughter's reciting "Three Blind Mice" and I can't get there on time.

That kind of thing. Commitment to the school and being there and being accessible.

KING: She's a good mother.

STALLONE: Oh yeah. The best. She is the lioness.

KING: When did -- were you always a fitness freak?


KING: Even in college?

STALLONE: Oh yeah. I started at about 12 only because I was not. I was picked on and I had tremendous issue and I don't think, Larry, we ever get over our issues. I think kids growing up, if they were picked on and feeling inferior at 12, they're going to feel that way at 72. You just deal with it better. I'm serious.

KING: If I get a picture of you looked at you at 12, not much different from now, just the situation changed.

STALLONE: Completely.

KING: Still Little Sylvester.

STALLONE: It's there. That's why a lot of guys, why did Mike Tyson -- even as tough as you are, he has issue when he was 10 and they are very fragile and they can implode and take you with them and I think where I had these great inferiority complexes and I thought I need something and when I saw Steve Reeves and I saw "Hercules" I was like, this is medicinal, this is like perfect medicine, now I feel like I can do something.

KING: Were you a body builder?

STALLONE: No, I was scrawny.

KING: Did you become a bodybuilder?

STALLONE: I became a bodybuilder. But back then bodybuilding was somebody had a cigar in the gym dripping ashes on your face, can I work in with you. So it really wasn't bodybuilding, it wasn't like ...

KING: Charles Atlas ...

STALLONE: Who's Charles Atlas?

KING: We'll be back and ask Sly Stallone about the magazine "Sly." I knew Oprah needed someone on the other side.


STALLONE: You seen anybody that impresses you so far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He may not be the greatest fighter but he cane be the greatest fighter.

STALLONE: You think he can do all the work?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he can be there with anybody.

STALLONE: Oh, really? Anybody. I'm talking about ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yeah, the De la Hoyas of the world.



KING: We're back with Sly Stallone. The announcement tonight that "Rambo" will return. This will be "Rambo" number what?


KING: But you lost Richard Kirner (ph).


KING: What a man.

STALLONE: Whoa, did I love him. He is an unbelievable guy. He used to come out with -- I should have brought this. There's me hitting him with a pie in "Rambo." He is like Colonel Crav (ph) and he's just aggravating me and so he comes out with Sly is my guy or hits me with a handbuzzer and I'm trying to stay in character.

KING: He was a wonderful actor.

STALLONE: Unbelievable.

KING: "Flamingo Kid."

STALLONE: First of all, he could do everything. He literally had a magnificent speaking voice, a radio voice, he could do it all.

KING: He went fast, didn't he?

STALLONE: And hard. He kicked it. So I thought. About his throat cancer and then he developed pancreatic.

KING: And that's -- Tell me about "Sly."

STALLONE: Well, I actually got the idea when Arnold Schwarzenegger became governor.

KING: He still is.

STALLONE: He certainly is. He's doing a good job. Tough job. He was made editor in chief with David Pecker of doing some of the other bodybuilding magazines like "Muscle and Fitness" and I thought, this is a great idea. I would like to do a magazine, but how do I approach it. Maybe I could put what has worked for me and what hasn't and then I looked, you know, the world needs one less bodybuilding magazine, and there are like 400 of them. And there are no secrets. To build a bicep you go up and you go down. It's been that way since the dawn of time. And this is the way it works and they tell you a hundred -- they tell you do it this way do it in the sun, holding a muffin.

It's up and down. That's the way it is. So let's -- we can have a few exercises in there but let's just deal with different ideas that are problems or questions that guys, 35, 40, 50 on up have because at a certain point we know the jokes of life and I love to write stories and little rants about what I think about female relationships, what we think about that ...

KING: Magazine is the most expensive thing to start up.


KING: So you need backers. How did this all come about?

STALLONE: I had known David Pecker, who was the star and ...

KING: But he knows his magazines.

STALLONE: He knows his magazines. And he runs American Media and he responded right away and you are right. Here is a statistic. There is 7,500 magazines in the United States, 7,500 and they have magazines for the county, for the state ...


STALLONE: Exactly right. They have magazines for guys that like white shrimp. It's a niche thing. Every kind of magazine you can think of. And 2,500 magazines a year go down. So why would you want to do that? All the more reason to get into it. So we came up with a concept interviewing certain people, trying to be out of the box and answering questions and being more -- I have to be very accountable, in other words, the magazine has kind of an edgy -- it's a little -- I wouldn't say sarcastic but playful. There isn't just articles. There is an attitude to them.

KING: Are you hands on?

STALLONE: Big time. I probably do about ten articles for a magazine. KING: How long before this comes out?

STALLONE: It comes out right now. It will be monthly but it's every six weeks.

KING: Every six weeks and then eventually monthly.

STALLONE: Monthly, right.

KING: Its concept is health. Is that what ...

STALLONE: Yeah. It's health, it's also about mental health. It's about knowing is it worth -- is everyone having the same problems as me? I hope so. So you share in this magazine that you are not alone, that our thoughts are pretty similar and that you have kind of a whimsical or a funny outlook on life because really for those who think that life is a comedy, for those who feel life is a tragedy, you have got to think about it. It everything really gets to you, if you're so hung up in the past then it's over. So this -- and I say, guys, I have the same hang-ups you have, here's what I did to get over them and then we'll interview people like Brooke Burke and we've got Mickey Rourke, Phil Nichols (ph), and you've got Suge Knight. It's everything in there and I just thought let's just try to do something that is a little refreshing.

KING: Ninety percent male.

STALLONE: At first but not really. A lot of women read male magazines. Of course a lot of guys read female magazines but they've got another issue to deal with. But a lot of women read men's magazines and think, oh, this is what these guys are thinking? Studying up on the enemy here.

KING: What's been the reaction?

STALLONE: Fantastic. We -- usually, you do in your first issue like 30,000 magazines on the stand and we were over 175,000 so we were doing really well.

KING: Sell ads too?

STALLONE: Starting to sell adds.

KING: Like Oprah, you gonna be on every cover?

STALLONE: I don't know. I thought I'd be on the first few. I wouldn't mind. Why, you want to be on one?

KING: No, sir. I noticed, I just turned to one page, the Great Depression, Sly on depression.

STALLONE: No, but it's what I think about depression. By the way, it's going to happen. It's inevitable. Some days I am going to wake up and hate everything. No reason. I have a nice house, a nice bed, everything is wonderful. What gene, what thing in our subconscious, what in our primordial ooze of human past that we drug out of the swamps. Why, why, why do people just wake up in a bad mood? I don't know. No one knows. It isn't worth giving the courtesy of a shrink visits, it's going to happen again. Deal with it. It's okay. It will pass. Just realize you're not alone. That kind of thing.

KING: This whole idea is a great idea.

STALLONE: Isn't that great?

KING: Now, did the book come from this, this come from the book or did they just?

STALLONE: No. They almost came out -- the book actually was first because the book takes a much longer time and the book is -- the first part of the book is a little bit about my life, not the really seedy part of it but -- talking about Hell's Kitchen and why ...


STALLONE: Talking about how I felt as though certain movie parts or whatever pushed me to. I would eat differently for "Cliffhanger" than "Rambo" and then "Copland" and then I realize that food really does dictate a lot of your food and your attitude and how all diets don't work.

KING: They don't work. The book is "Sly Moves." Great title. Sylvester Stallone, written with David Hockman, it is published by Harper Collins. We'll be right back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why is it you never got married, Freddy?

STALLONE: All the best girls are taken.



KING: We're back. By the way, there's a line of products even involved with Sly Stallone. He stops at nothing in his quest to top...

STALLONE: Shameless.

KING: ... top his wife. And it'll wind up she's selling these on QVC and makes more.

STALLONE: I certainly hope so.

KING: That's the way it's going to go.

So we have the book, "Sly Moves." It deals with your life and then food related to your life.

STALLONE: Right. KING: Are you a health nut?

STALLONE: No, not at all. Oh, God, if you wanted to...


KING: Pasta, you'll eat...

STALLONE: Please. If you went into my icebox, you would think it belonged to an overweight mud wrestler. It has everything from Red Bull, to beer, to salami, to cheese. But then again, it'll have, you know, broccoli and pomegranate.

KING: So how do you...


STALLONE: It's moderation. I tell people, first of all, if you're going to lose weight -- I tell it to the boxers on "The Contender" -- you cannot expect me to go to Larry King and say, "Oh, yes. You know what? I want you to completely dress different. I don't want you ever to wear those suspenders. I want you take the tie off. And I want you to come in here and wear a tank-top every night."

You say, "I can't function. I don't feel comfortable." Well, same thing. You take people out of their food zone, and it's only a temporary situation. I believe that there are only about 25 foods that you basically eat and love, and you do it over.

You go to a restaurant and you say, "You know what? Tonight, I'm going to try the Boston scrod."

KING: Forget it.

STALLONE: You're not.


STALLONE: You're going to go, "I'm hear for a steak. I'm hear for this. I came to this restaurant because I like that." And usually, if you're a pasta guy, it's only a certain kind of pasta. That's what you like.

KING: So what do you tell people?

STALLONE: So I tell people, when they buy these diet books, and they see like, "Seven Days," and it's orange ruffie (ph), and then take Laughing Cow string cheese to work with you, and have that at 2:00 -- you're not going to have it. It's not going to work. It's ridiculous.

So whatever you're doing, if you're eating nine pizzas a day, eat eight. And then a beginning -- I say for the first five or six months, just reduce. Even if it's horrible food you're eating, try shrinking that. At least they can deal with that. They don't have -- I mean, you don't have to go running into the supermarket, and throwing everything out of their cupboards, and you know, jumping up and down on Lays potato chips...

KING: Come on. You can eat half a baked potato instead of a whole baked potato.

STALLONE: That you can deal with, right? That you can say, "I can deal with that."

KING: Right.

STALLONE: But if I tell you, "No, I want you to have a candied yam and a brussel sprout, but one olive, take out the pimento." You're going to say, "You know what?"


You can't do it. So all I know is this has worked for me. I have gone to diets that are so radical where milk, and water, and fish -- and I got down to 2.4 body fat. Mr. Limpy (ph) at that time was 4, OK? I got to the point that I was an anatomy chart. I had veins in my hair. I couldn't remember my name. I was a drool cup.

I was a total -- I mean, I would sit there -- I would lose a spelling bee to an orangutan. I was gone. I had nothing. But I was sure good for "Rocky," I'll tell you what. It was perfect for the part.

But I fell apart. And then I got into a spiraling situation where I didn't want food anymore. I became almost bulimic, all right? I just lost it, which is a first. I've never been to that, but I almost did.

And I said, "Whoa, what is happening now?" Now, it's taken over, this vanity thing, that you don't want to lose it. Well, no one can maintain that. It's a temporary situation. You have to get back to eating real food.

So then I went the other way, you know, in "Copland," gaining 40 pounds. And I understand what ravaging down carbohydrates. All of a sudden -- in four months, I went from like best abs to like a giant bodice (INAUDIBLE) I was, you know, seriously the Michelin dude.

And I developed sciatica, heart palpitations. I had a ulcer.

KING: But boy, it was a good role.

STALLONE: And boy, I'll tell you what, and it was all worth it, OK?


I would go into the Canadian Pancake House where -- for a lot of people don't realize it. They would serve pancakes that double as oxen's wheels. I don't know if you've ever saw it. KING: No.

STALLONE: Oh, oh, my God. You never saw it? Twelve pound pancakes. Two six-pound pancakes. Obviously, they went out of business.

KING: Who were these people?

STALLONE: And they had more homeless people hanging outside of that place, because you knew that they'd need it.

KING: You notice how you said, "We always revert back to what we were"?


KING: You said, "Icebox." You're making me...


STALLONE: Don't bring it up. My wife does that, too.

KING: "Icebox."

STALLONE: No, you don't.

KING: That's right out of the east...


KING: ... Italian and Jew grew up in the east, you had an icebox. And it came by with the ice...


STALLONE: I can't believe I said that.

KING: I heard you say "icebox."

STALLONE: What is it like -- what is the word we use for, like, you know, the single-engine plane?

KING: And you also said you were bulimic, close to being bulimic?

STALLONE: Yes, close. I almost went that far.

KING: Throwing up your food?

STALLONE: Yes, on "Rocky III," to get down -- yes, to do such a drastic change in one's body, you have to almost alter the whole chemistry to it. And doing that, you're starting to mess with the brain. And you don't want to do that.

So I realized that diets could be incredibly dangerous. And you find yourself falling into that pattern. And I saw it. So I went -- I swung the other way.

KING: Now, also in this book, of course, is exercise.

STALLONE: Exercise...

KING: I think it may be the hardest thing for people to get into a program of.

STALLONE: It is. It is, because I think that exercise -- you have gain without pain. I don't like pain. And I've done -- again, the same as what I told you before with the food. I've gone to the 60 sets a day, seven days a week, to the point where my body broke down. It can't work.

The body needs to rest. It needs a lot less exercise than you think. It needs to have it in a regular -- I do it three times a week an hour. That's not so hard. If you do that, in conjunction with shrinking the amount of food you have -- not changing your food, just shrinking -- and something you enjoy, and start casually -- I don't care if you're in the gym for six minutes.

KING: Well...

STALLONE: Yes, seriously. Open a letter. Do something.

KING: Walking is a terrific exercise.

STALLONE: That, strangling your toothpaste tube, do something, you know what I mean?

KING: Everything burns calories.

STALLONE: Everything burns calories. You know, scream at the neighbor. Like, let it out.

KING: What do you tell people, though? I mean, isn't it hard to make that -- when you open your eyes in the morning, you don't want exercise. Nobody wants to exercise.


KING: You feel great after you exercise. Nobody says, "Wow, I can't wait for the treadmill."

STALLONE: No. And therein lies that choice where you go, "OK. I don't want to do this. That must mean it's good for me, because if I want to do it, it's got to be easy."

So right away, I know if I don't want to do it, it's good. It's like because the brain -- and I realize my brain is not working in conjunction with my needs. My brain is going, "Don't do this. I don't want to sweat. Let's go down and have some coffee. Let's be cool. The papers are downstairs. Come on!"

And then there's the other side going, "Then you're going to hate yourself in the afternoon. Take that 15 minutes and go"... KING: And boy, you will.

STALLONE: And there it is. And there's the battle. And when you do that 10 minute thing. And here's what I recommend for people in the morning, is just five minutes of just -- put on the CNN and just try to touch your toes. If you can just get your hamstrings loose in the morning -- just your hamstrings -- you're coming out of the house feeling like, you know, Ray Bolger in "The Wizard of Oz." You're clicking your heels.

Just your hamstrings. I'm not talking about sitting there working up a lather. Approach it gradually, and then you're going to want more.

KING: Our guest is Sylvester Stallone. The book is "Sly Moves: My Proven Program to Lose Weight, Build Strength, Gain Willpower, and Live Your Dream." The magazine is "Sly." We've got other things to talk about. We'll get to that right after this.


KING: We're going to touch some other bases with Sly Stallone.

By the way, is this "Rambo" movie at all going to be political? You know, a lot of them complained the early ones were kind of...


KING: ... right-wing, gung-ho.

STALLONE: No, because he's past that. He's really assimilated into the, I guess, the tapestry of America.

KING: He's got a job?

STALLONE: Right. He's got a job. But see, his job has put a lot of pressure on the wife. And now he's taking the family away to a secluded cabin and little does he know...

KING: Trouble.

STALLONE: Big time. Because you know, when you go in these certain areas, there are certain pockets in America that these people lived there like 150 -- like "Deliverance." Think that.

KING: Oh, boy.

STALLONE: You're out of your...

KING: White supremacists, too?

STALLONE: Well, white supremacists have been done. But they are that kind of group, they're very clan-ish. And you know, this thing is going -- they run things...

KING: They take him on. STALLONE: They do.

KING: That's a great -- I like that concept.

What about women boxers? Do you like the idea?

STALLONE: You know, I -- again, it's not a bad idea, because I think women are more ferocious than men. I really do. You know, I've seen women when you push their button and you just want to hide every sharp object in the house because they just take you, the house and they just go completely implode, like, do not -- I mean, they can really get wound up.

So I think there's a -- and they're incredibly competitive. I mean, you just put -- what is it? There is a -- I don't know if it was Balzac or something. When you see two women hugging each other, it's like -- I get the same feeling, like, when two fighters are touching gloves before a fight. You know what I mean?

KING: "I don't like you."

STALLONE: Yes, "How are you?" But you know there's that thing. And I interviewed a female boxer in my magazine, the one that actually was in "Million Dollar Baby"...

KING: And knocked her out?

STALLONE: Yes, and I said...

KING: She's some fighter, right?

STALLONE: She's unbelievable. She's fighting Ali's daughter. And I said, "In reality, did you ever have a situation where your boyfriend were like" -- "Yes, yes, I had to knock him out." I said, "Did that kind of put a cramp in the relationship?" "Well, he was a karate instructor."

I said, "Wait a minute. You knocked out a karate instructor?" She goes, "Yes, but we hadn't learned to communicate."

I said, "That's not the point." For you to understand -- I don't want to go out with a girl who can smash my ribs in. I really don't.


KING: Were you ever a boxer?

STALLONE: I was a -- I could move well. But I thought I was a boxer until I got into the big ring with Roberto Duran.

KING: You got into the ring with...

STALLONE: I could into the ring with him and Joe Frazier. And they took my arms, and they became like bad finger paintings.

KING: Just hitting your arm? STALLONE: Oh, forget it. And it got to the point where they were so good that Duran got tired of hitting me -- when he started making sounds of where he could hit me. I said, "Stop with the beeping, all right? You can get me whenever you want to."

And moving with Ray Leonard, there's a part of me saying, "You know, I bet I could give him a run for the money." And then you watch him beat up (INAUDIBLE) can you beat Pete Sampras? No. Can you beat -- why would you think -- and you realize how good they are.

KING: Did you like "Million Dollar Baby"?

STALLONE: Yes, it's a fantastic -- I did.

KING: That's good moviemaking, right?

STALLONE: It's great moviemaking. And it's simple. It's simple. Again, you're, you know -- it engages the audience. And I wish we had a little bit more of that, you know?

Yes, then the CGI has done some wonderful things, but it's also made it a little...

KING: You're talking about the computer?

STALLONE: Yes, you know, to me, the biggest problem was in a lot of ways is when a guy could zip up a rubber suit with muscles on it -- it kind of took the...


STALLONE: You know, now you don't even have to get in shape for it, you know what I mean? And when you don't get in shape for it, sometimes you don't feel it quite as much. A lot of people say, "Well, what is this, sour grapes?" I'm just telling you what I think.

When you get in shape for something, you have to work really hard, you spent six months doing it, you're committed to that.

KING: What was it like doing that movie in the mountains?

STALLONE: Oh, it was...

KING: What was that movie again?

STALLONE: It worried me, for one...

KING: What was the name of it?

STALLONE: "Cliffhanger."

KING: "Cliffhanger." Now, that wasn't done with computers, right?

STALLONE: No, I wish. I wish.

KING: You swung through the...


STALLONE: Yes, it was like a mountain, put a guy on it, and...


STALLONE: ... and you go. And what happens is, I was very scared at first, really scared. I'm not a heights guy.

KING: You're kidding.

STALLONE: No, I'm not. But what happens is, it's sick. After about a month, you start getting silly. You start doing goofy things, like guys do. And before you know it, it's like, "Hey, can you stand on one foot here and catch a football leaning over the edge?" And they do it.

And then I realized it wasn't just me. The stuntmen during their lunch hour would hang a crane over the side and bungee jump. Understand, the bungee jumping, when the rope would eventually play out, there's still 7,000 feet down. So they've got to climb back up to bungee -- it was like, OK. It was a tough one.

And then these white-out storms would roll in. And the temperature would drop...

KING: What was that shot?

STALLONE: That was shot in the Austrian-Italian border of Cortina, which is the Dolomites, it's called.

KING: The villain was great, it was...

STALLONE: Oh, isn't that great? John Lithgow.

KING: John Lithgow. I hated him.

STALLONE: You kill two people, they call you a murderer...


JOHN LITHGOW, ACTOR: ... kill a million, and you're a conqueror. Go figure.


STALLONE: ... go figure.


KING: That's what he said.


KING: When you signed on to that, you knew it would be... STALLONE: I knew it would be high, but I didn't know it would be so, like -- I didn't know at that time they were expecting us to actually hang off the sides. No, really. I didn't think -- and there was Michael Rooker and a couple guys enjoyed it. They would really push the -- oh, I mean, enjoyed it. They like thought it was funny.

Some people are born with that...

KING: Crazy.


KING: Who directed that?

STALLONE: Renny Harlin directed it.

KING: Now, where did he have to be when all this was going on? Where's the director when you're shooting scenes in mountains? Where is he?

STALLONE: Well, he sure wasn't on the edge.


KING: I mean, do you hear him?

STALLONE: No, actually, all you hear is that inner voice going, "Get the check. Make sure you're getting paid for this, because it's" -- no, you just get into the cold...

KING: And you haven't been seriously injured?

STALLONE: Yes, a lot.

KING: A lot?

STALLONE: Oh, yes, yes. Actually, in the book, I had a -- I'm the first, like, bionic guy you probably ever met. I have a huge cable here where I tore out my chest getting into a bench-pressing contest with one of the strongest men in the world. It was ridiculous.

I've gotten -- these fingers are all shattered, the knuckles are gone...

KING: From movies and otherwise?

STALLONE: Yes, usually, for movies, there have been some real bad injuries. Real bad injuries.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with our remaining moments with Sly Stallone. And we're going to delve into some -- a product he's got. Watch. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KING: OK, now I have in front of me "Stallone High-Protein Pudding," vanilla creme. Twenty grams of protein, low carbs, sugar- free, 108 calories.

STALLONE: What a misprint. How dare them do that.

KING: One carb. Is this a whole line of products?

STALLONE: You know what? Again, I believe that what nature takes away you've got to put back. And regular food is not going to do it, unless you sit there, and you're raised on a farm, and you have that kind of biotanical grocery store next to you.

I believe supplements are the key for people. It's really important, for energy, for breaking down, for burning thermogenics, for losing weight. And I thought, you know what? The one thing -- I've seen a thousand of these protein bars, protein bars. Well, it would take 30 of these cans to equal one protein bar amount of carbohydrates. So I said -- and yet I get the same amount of protein.

So I thought, "Why don't I try something like pudding?" And I go, "Pudding, I mean, kind of kooky, pudding, whatever." Then I thought, "Yes, pudding. That hasn't been around for a while." So a guy started working on it, and we all got together...

KING: So only pudding? It's the only product so far?

STALLONE: Well, yes -- no, no, no...


STALLONE: ... I do a thing called lean fire (ph), which is for energy. And I thing for male testosterone, which is forcity (ph), which really -- I mean, I'm warning you right now. This could be hazardous to your health.

KING: Put Viagra in...

STALLONE: Yes, it's like that. You'll be jousting up and down the street.

KING: Where do you obtain these products? Where do you obtain these products?

STALLONE: Right now, they're at GNC and other...

KING: Well, let's try it.

STALLONE: Yes, let's try it. Yes, I got the easy one.

KING: Some of these things...

STALLONE: I know. Mine is broken. You did get the crappy one. You see, this is where bodybuilding comes in handy.

KING: This is good. STALLONE: It's not bad.

KING: No, no, no, not bad?

STALLONE: Thank you. This is, again, 20 grams of protein, and it's in a pudding form. So children eat it, you eat it. You can take it to work. It's like a meal...

KING: And only 100 calories.

STALLONE: A hundred calories.

KING: Twenty calories from fat, twenty fat calories.


KING: It says 20 fat...

STALLONE: It does say 20 fat calories, right. That's it.

KING: Two grams of total fat.

STALLONE: Right. And about 1.5 carbohydrates, which is nothing.

KING: A lot of potassium.

STALLONE: It's fantastic. Potassium is what keeps those muscles firing.

KING: And no sugar? Now, how do they do that?

STALLONE: Isn't that amazing?

KING: And it comes in chocolate, vanilla, other flavors?

STALLONE: Well, yes. We just developed banana, lemon, whatever. I mean, I'm starting to feel like a traveling salesman. But I'm really proud of this stuff, because...

KING: You can have four of these a day.

STALLONE: ... it is, you know, really.

KING: And you get it at GNC?

STALLONE: Exactly right.

Coming up next on the next segment, nasal hair. We'll have nasal hair remover. Thank you very much.

KING: Sly will be back next week. Nasal hair remover.

STALLONE: That's right. Bug sweepers.

KING: Also gets it out of the ears.


Why did we bring up this when we're eating?

STALLONE: Ah, but you know what? To take the onus off of eating, to take the -- you know, I enjoy this...

KING: It's a great snack.

STALLONE: Thank you. And your kid will eat it. And I thought, "Why not?" You know, it's one thing -- it's great. I'm really appreciative about films and having that -- taking that journey. And I still want to take it some more.

But I thought, you know, Arnold was really smart. I'm serious. Arnold, some of the other actors from by-gone eras who took their celebrity and moved -- remember how Cary Grant was one of the Faberge, and he went to go on to different things?

And I said, "Why not? Why just" -- is there some kind of religious experience of just being...


KING: Supposed to be, it's a putdown.

STALLONE: No, but it's not true. I'm looking today and I'm -- when Laurence Olivier stepped out and did Polaroid, all bets were off.

KING: Correct.

STALLONE: All bets were off. And I say, "Why not? Why not use the entire experience?"

KING: De Niro and American Express.

STALLONE: Please. Julianne Moore and -- I mean, you see them all. You see them on DTV (ph). And I thought, you know -- because at first, I was incredibly stand-offish about it.

KING: You were?

STALLONE: Yes. But I'm going, "You know, excuse me. Aren't you pulling yourself a little holier than thou?"

KING: Anything you want to do you haven't done?

STALLONE: Not really. I mean, I wish I could go back and change a few things. But you know, that's the bane of everyone's existence, is like the frustration. But I would like to -- I wish "The Contender" could have gone on more, only because -- not that it's such a financial bonanza, but it really served a purpose.

It's where I live. I love coaching. You know, I love seeing people step up and do things that are extraordinary. I love that. Since that is what it is, I think the next thing will be, "I enjoy this." Again, it's all about, you know, trying to make lives a little bit better. And I'm trying to figure out what to do, you know, keep that family going. You know, having a great time.

KING: Want more kids?

STALLONE: Not more kids, I just want to get as much quality life out of our lives while we're here, you know?

KING: You want to see them grow-up and...


KING: How old are you now?

STALLONE: I'm 58 and a half, three-quarters. Actually, about eleven-twelfths.

KING: Well, you'll see them grow up. Those good genes, you have good genes.

STALLONE: Yes, I've got good genes.

KING: Because how long did you dad live?

STALLONE: I think he's like 86 now, 85. My mother is 41, so I won't go there.

KING: No, I know your mother.

STALLONE: I think she's actually losing time.

KING: She thinks she is.

STALLONE: My mother will be 12 in a couple...

KING: How's Frank?

STALLONE: Frank is great. Frank is very, very good for -- he was responsible for picking a lot of the guys on "The Contender." He's good.

KING: He did a good job.

STALLONE: Frank is going to be one of the...


KING: The book is "Sly Moves." The magazine is "Sly." The product is "Stallone High-Protein Pudding."

STALLONE: Did we forget anything?

KING: Jennifer will be selling all this on QVC a week from Saturday.

STALLONE: It's shameless, but I love it.

KING: Sly Stallone. STALLONE: Thank you, Larry. Oh, thanks.


KING: Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Stay tuned for more news around the clock on your most trusted name in news, CNN. Good night.


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