Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Sylvester Stallone Reveals His Inspiration for the Name ‘Rocky Balboa’

Sylvester Stallone Reveals His Inspiration for the Name ‘Rocky Balboa’

Nearly 50 years after the original Rocky first hit theaters, Sylvester Stallone opens up about the inspiration for the main character’s name. 

Rolling Stone reports in the upcoming documentary, Sly, Stallone spoke about the origin story of Rocky’s name. In the documentary clip, the actor recalls first coming to Los Angeles in the early ‘70s and struggling with car issues. He was eventually rescued by fellow actor, Henry Winkler, and was able to move into his apartment. Unfortunately, he ends up living in a not-so-great apartment near Balboa Boulevard. The street’s name is now the key inspiration for Rocky Balboa’s name.

“This story perfectly encapsulated the same themes I observed in Stallone’s early days,” the documentary’s director Thom Zimny told the media outlet. “Which remain relevant today: self-belief, the power of dreams and ambitions, the inherent beauty of making mistakes, and the serendipitous moments of being in the right place at the right time.”

Zimny also stated that Sylvester Stallone had a “knack” for seeing the world as a source of creative inspiration. This is despite his early days in Los Angeles circumstances. “Stallone had such talent for finding creative inspiration in the world around him.”

The filmmaker went on to add that he hopes the audience of Sly will take away a new “understanding” of Sylvester Stallone as not only a man but as a filmmaker and artist. “ I wish for them to recognize how Sly’s movies have woven into the fabric of their lives, while also fostering an understanding and appreciation for his work and dedication to storytelling.” 

Sly is premiering on November 3rd through Netflix.

‘Sly’ Director Says Sylvester Stallone Really Opened Up About Fame in the Documentary 

During a recent interview with People, Sly director spoke about making the documentary and how Sylvester Stallone really opened up during the film’s interviews. 

“There were tons of moments in our interview where things he shared with me were just never talked about or shared in print or the research that I did,” Zimny explained. “I would have the sessions where we would talk for four to five hours.” 

Zimny further pointed out that Sylvester Stallone has worked on himself to understand who he is as an artist and a family man. “From the experience of being around the household and getting a sense of their home while filming, the filmmaker in me recognized that he had great love for his family and great love for his wife [Jennifer Flavin].”

The filmmaker went on to add that the “core” of his discussions with Stallone he saw constant was the actor’s desire to create.