Sylvester Stallone has booked a surprising TV guest role. The star of the Rocky films will join the cast of the NBC drama This Is Us. And it sounds like it could be more than a one-off cameo. This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman announced Stallone’s guest role at a Television Critics Association panel, according to The Wrap, revealing the actor will be part of Kevin Pearson’s (Justin Hartley) Hollywood movie storyline.
“Kevin’s character is shooting his big movie and we needed a big co-star with him,” Fogelman told reporters.
“And so Sly Stallone is going to come and do a part on the show as Justin [Hartley’s] co-star/father figure on the film.”
Sylvester Stallone has a previous connection to This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Hartley’s father, Jack Pearson, on the show. Ventimiglia worked with Stallone in the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa, playing Rocky’s son, and he has remained on friendly terms with the 71-year-old actor. Ventimiglia reportedly helped NBC cast the movie icon on This Is Us.
“Milo obviously knows him really well, and that was a big reason why he’s doing it,” Fogelman said of Stallone.
“We have a great script for him, I think it’s going to be really exciting.”
In an interview with E! News, Milo Ventimiglia detailed how This Is Us producers got him to reach out to his Rocky Balboa dad. Milo said Fogelman teased there would be “a movie idol that Justin’s character was going to be working with,” and then added, “someone like Sly.”
Ventimiglia got the hint that Fogelman wanted him to ring up his Rocky Balboa co-star, so he agreed.
“I did Balboa a long time ago and I hadn’t seen Sly as often…But every time I saw him, “Hey, kid. How you doing? What’s going on? Call me anytime,” Milo revealed.
“That’s how he always was and is with me, so I felt comfortable reaching out to him… I basically called and said here’s something that might be fun and I’m sorry that you and I aren’t going to get a lot of screentime together, but I want you to know how much this impacts my character.”
Fogelman added that Kevin Pearson will be working with Sylvester Stallone on a “very fancy film.”
“And it’s a war film, so Stallone is basically coming in as himself in the show, but playing a character in the film who’s kind of this mentor figure who starts bringing up some stuff for Justin’s character involving Jack and his relationship with his own father,” the This Is Us creator teased.
Because Kevin Pearson’s movie will be an ongoing storyline, it’s possible Sylvester Stallone could appear on more than one episode of This Is Us. As of now, Sylvester is only scheduled to appear in one episode of the show.
Sylvester Stallone has been a major movie star since 1976. Ahead of his big-screen debut as struggling boxer Rocky Balboa, Sylvester logged a few minor TV credits on Police Story and Kojak, but his IMDb page lists almost an entire resume of movie roles, including the Rocky franchise films, the Rambo series, and more recently, Escape Plan.
Of course, Sylvester Stallone’s upcoming cameo won’t be the first time a famous actor will appear as himself on This Is Us. Kevin’s movie storyline kicked off last season with a cameo by Ron Howard, who invited him to join his big film after seeing him in an off-Broadway play. In addition, comedian Seth Meyers made a cameo earlier last season when he stopped to see if Kevin and Randall (Sterling K. Brown) were hurt after he found them brawling in the streets of New York, while Katie Couric played herself in a dream sequence. And in one of his last TV roles, the late Alan Thicke appeared as himself in the This Is Us pilot.
You can see Milo Ventimiglia and Sylvester Stallone in Rocky Balboa below.
This Is Us Season 2 will premiere on Sept. 26. at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
[Featured Image by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for FIJI Water]