'Hired! He Had It All': Sylvester Stallone Reveals the Late Carl Weathers’ Rocky Audition Story

His role “required incredible athleticism, brains, spirit, talent and speed

Published Time: 11.02.2024 - 03:31:05 Modified Time: 11.02.2024 - 03:31:05

His role “required incredible athleticism, brains, spirit, talent and speed. He had it all," Stallone recalled to Jimmy Fallon

Sylvester Stallone continues to remember his Rocky costar Carl Weathers, who reportedly died of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in his sleep at the age of 76 on Feb. 1.

Stallone, 77, detailed Weathers’ audition for Rocky to Jimmy Fallon on the Friday episode of The Tonight Show, revealing how the late actor landed the role of Apollo Creed in the popular film franchise.

The Rambo star told Fallon that his death was “shocking” and described him as “magnificent” before recalling when Weathers, who was still playing for the Oakland Raiders at the time, auditioned in the mid-1970s.

Rocky was a compilation of really great actors, almost born to play those parts,” Stallone said. “I couldn’t fill that spot for Apollo Creed because it required incredible athleticism, brains, spirit, talent, speed. Weathers had it all. I mean, he had it all.”

Stallone remembered Weathers being in a “bad mood” when he arrived at the audition, which he asserted was a good thing since Weathers would be playing opposite Stallone as Rocky Balboa’s boxing rival. 

Then, Weathers apparently took his shirt off, to which Stallone reacted with, “Oh, my God, am I trouble, because I kind of looked like Pooh Bear at the time -

, I did, and he looked like Adonis. He banged about three shots off of my forehead and I went, ‘Hired!’ ”

“I loved him. I couldn’t have done it without him,” Stallone concluded, before he shared behind-the-scenes footage of the pair rehearsing the final fight scene in 1976’s Rocky.

Weathers previously spoke about the audition in a 2015 interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

There was nobody to read with, and they said, 'You’re going to read with the writer Stallone,' " Weathers told the outlet. “We read through the scene and at the end of it, I didn’t feel like it had really sailed, that the scene had sailed, and they were quiet and there was this moment of awkwardness, I felt, anyway, so I just blurted out, ‘I could do a lot better if you got me a real actor to work with.‘ ”

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Weathers added: “I just insulted the star of the movie without really knowing it and not intending to. Sometimes the mistakes are the ones that get you the gig.”

Weathers reprised his role as rival-turned-friend Apollo Creed in Rocky II in 1979, Rocky III in 1982 and Rocky IV in 1985.

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