I had like $106 in the bank. Like I said, I had to sell my dog. Things were not looking very, very good. My $40 car had just blown up, so I was taking a bus to work.
I had no film history, no real film knowledge. I was just working from, I guess, instinct. I knew this was like the moment of truth. They said, “Sylvester, are you ready?” I said, “No, but Rocky is.”
So often, I had gone to fight films or sporting films. Yes, we’re going to go out there, we’re going to knock them out. You’re going to win. I said, “No, I’m not going to win. I’m going to get destroyed. But if I can just be lucid, if I can still be standing on my feet, you know what? Then Life isn’t so bad.”
I think, again, symbolically, at the very end of our lives, if we can still say you know, we were never humbled. We were knocked down but we got up, and I can say I lived life with integrity, and I took all the blows, and I still prevailed. I think that’s a good epitaph for anyone. That’s what I try to capture in this film.
But more importantly, you can’t be alone. To really succeed, no man really is an island. When you find the right components in your life, the right people that gel with you, then you feel as though you’re invincible.