Sylvester Stallone Hoped Aging Robert De Niro Could Punch For ‘Grudge Match’
Sylvester Stallone actually hoped Robert de Dniro could throw a punch successfully for filming Grudge Match.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Grudge Match release date is on Christmas day, which is fairly odd even though it’s a boxing comedy.
Grudge Match features Sylvester Stallone getting back in the boxing ring once again to face off against Robert De Niro. The last time the actor strapped on the gloves was for the 2006 drama Rocky Balboa. And it’s not like De Niro is a stranger to boxing movies. He once starred as self-destructive fighter Jake La Motta in director Martin Scorsese’s 1980 classic Raging Bull.
But this movie is a boxing comedy, not a serious drama like they’re used to. In fact, Sylvester Stallone initially thought the idea of doing a boxing comedy was “absurd” and didn’t want to be involved in the project. But De Niro had liked the idea when he first heard about it from director Pete Segal and he managed to talk Stallone into joining in.
Besides the obvious reference behind the movie’s title, the film is mostly about people getting old and staying in shape. Stallone wanted to “prove that you don’t have to be crawling around at a certain age, or that you’re obliged to start winding down.” But the plot also focuses on finishing your goals in life:
“I think a lot of people, as they reach 60 and above, think, you know, I have some unfinished business. Unfortunately life does not afford you the opportunity to go back and kind of right the wrong. So this is the beauty of fantasy and imagination, to be able to have these guys go and correct the moment in their life that will make them feel somewhat fulfilled. That’s the fantasy, and I think that’s where the empathy comes in with the audience.”
The interesting part is that Stallone and De Niro trained separately from each other, one on the west coast and the other on the east. Although Stallone “couldn’t wait to fight Bob” he was also worried aging actor might not be able to throw a punch in the ring:
“We couldn’t get together, so by the time we finally got in the ring together, I was thinking, ‘Oh, God, I hope he looks good, I hope he can punch.’ With the Rocky films it was five or six months of preparation, with the [other] guy, and you’re working every day. But we didn’t have that opportunity, so I have to give Bob a little credit for his professionalism.”
After all, these guys are getting pretty old. At least Sylvester Stallone can go back to his painting if he throws out his back or something…