Sylvester Stallone’s Oscar-Nominated ‘Creed’ Performance Praised By Former Foe Carl Weathers

Victoria Miller

Sylvester Stallone has received a thumbs-up from Apollo. Actor Carl Weathers, who played Stallone’s foe-turned-friend in the original Rocky movies, said his longtime peer’s Oscar nominated turn in the franchise’s latest movie was a result of the actor’s personal maturation over the past 40 years. In an interview with people, Weathers said he saw a new side of Stallone in Creed, and that some of that new side comes due to the actor’s maturity.

“We all have an opportunity as we grow in our work and as we grow as human beings, to mature. That maturation allows us to see things from a vantage point that we could not have had earlier, because we’re looking back on a lot of history. I just saw a tremendous talent utilizing all that and bringing all that into his work. And as a result, the kind of nuance that existed then in this movie couldn’t have existed 40 years earlier when we did that”.

Sylvester Stallone was only 29-years-old when he made his movie debut as Rocky Balboa in 1976, while a 28-year-old Weathers played his boxing rival, Apollo Creed, in the first film. But four decades and seven movies later, a 69-year-old Stallone has grown into the role of the beloved Italian Stallion, giving what his former co-star describes as “a performance that was probably one of the best performances he’s ever delivered.”

Weathers recently presented Stallone with an award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and he told Entertainment Weekly that he’s a fan of Stallone and not just a co-star.

“He clearly knows that I’m a fan. I have such admiration and appreciation for all that very first screenplay allowed me… So what can I say except he deserved the award, and I have tremendous gratitude for being a part of the whole adventure.”

Carl’s comments come on the heels of a rumored rift between him and Sylvester Stallone. The actors were rumored to be at odds with one another because Weathers was reportedly hoping to reprise his role in more Rocky films, but his character was killed by boxing rival Ivan Drago at the end of the fourth film. Carl briefly appeared in Creed, which is the seventh installment of the film franchise, but it was just via archival footage from the first four Rocky movies. But when TMZ caught up with Weathers last year, the actor refused to comment on the seventh Rocky movie, which tells the story of an ailing Rocky Balboa training Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), to be a professional boxer.

But now all seems good between the former co-stars as Weathers praises Sylvester Stallone’s performance in Creed. The performance earned Stallone his first-ever Golden Globe Award, 40 years after he was last nominated for a Globe as the original film’s director. In his acceptance speech, Sylvester thanked everyone he’s every crossed paths with in life.

“I am the sum total of everyone I’ve ever met, and I’m so lucky I’ve absorbed some of it.”

For the Oscars, Sylvester Stallone is up against some pretty heavy competition with Christian Bale, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance all up for the Best Supporting Actor trophy. While Sylvester is the underdog favorite to win, if he doesn’t get the Oscar, he can take comfort in the fact that 40-years-ago, his first Rocky movie earned him the top screenplay prize, beating out such heavyweights as Taxi Driver, Network, All the President’s Men, and Bound for Glory for the best Picture Oscar in 1977.

Watch the video below to see Sylvester Stallone’s emotional Golden Globe acceptance speech.

[Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Santa Barbara International Film Festival]