Stallone’s Father Issues?

In his review of Rambo, film critic David Edelstein mentions something I had never heard before about Stallone, namely that he might have (or had) some father issues:

his impossible-to-please father thought his physique in the first Rocky looked puny – and did he show Dad

If this is true, it’s fascinating. Unlike Schwarzenegger, who started working out seriously as a teenager, Stallone didn’t start hitting the weights in earnest until he was in his thirties, and arguably didn’t peak physically until the mid to late-1980s, sometime between the releases of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rambo III, when he was training with guys like Franco Columbo, Arnold’s old workout partner.

Arnold, by contrast, peaked physically maybe ten years earlier, in the mid-1970s. Arnold has often mentioned that his father was a stern taskmaster, and it doesn’t take a psychology degree to deduce that he has (or had) some father issues, and that those issues might be partially responsible for his throwing myself into bodybuilding as a kid, but I’ve never heard anyone suggest as much about Stallone. Lou Ferrigno, yes, but not Stallone. Come to think of it, I don’t really know much about Stallone’s father. Can anyone confirm this?


One response to “Stallone’s Father Issues?

  1. Does “Stallone: A Hero’s Story” have any father talk in it? I don’t remember.

    And I’d actually argue that Arnold peaked physically *13* years earlier, in 1975. Stallone peaked in 1987/88 with Rambo III and experienced a brief renaissance with The Specialist in 93.

    Arnold had noticable upticks in 81 with Conan, 84/85 with Commando and Termintor, one last run in 90/91 with T2 and really nothing until he delivered a great-looking over-50 body in T3.


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