Q: How about writing or quitting smoking?
A: I can’t quit smoking. I switched to cigars.
Q: Before you started shooting the first Rocky, you rode the rails from L.A. to Philadelphia with your flatulent, constipated, 125-pound bullmastiff, Butkus. Was this a highlight or a lowlight of your life?
A: Standing on a platform in Arizona, trying to appeal to his doggishness, trying to get his inner dog to do a dog doo, I realized I had no ability to be a dog trainer. Once we got to Chicago, we’re standing in the gutter in the rain, and his sphincter’s getting tighter than a vacuum lock on a sub. You could use him as a flotation device. People could see me squeezing him like a tube of toothpaste. Finally, off the train in Philly, he paused, dug a little with his foot, backed onto a lawn, and evacuated enough feces to build a pyramid reaching up to his anus.
Q: Who throws the meanest hook: Mr. T, Dolph Lundgren, Carl Weathers, or Estelle Getty?
A: Hulk Hogan. I thought, How athletic can this guy be? But he crushed me. I crumbled like a box of graham crackers. I literally thought I was dead. I didn’t want to look at my chest, because I thought I’d see my heart beating on his calves.
Q: When was the last time you ran up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art?
A: I’m a complete turtle. I take my legs out of mothballs just for films.
Q: You were born within an hour of President Bush. Has he seen the Rambo movies?
A: Oh, my god! Can you imagine? Rambo wouldn’t be part of the War on Terrorthere’s something in him that requires him to die in a blaze of glory. You know, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s a really good friend of mine, and we were talking literally yesterday about how there’s no such thing as a pure Republican, or a pure left of left. There’s great logic and wisdom in both parties. You have to embrace pet projects. Arnold didn’t do that in the beginning, and that was a big problem. You can’t be too insular. I think he’s turned out to be an excellent politician.
Q: If you ran for governor, would people stop thinking of you as a founder of Planet Hollywood?
A: No! I’m proud of that! “Two burgers in every garage!”
Q: Hey, not bad. Do people know you’re funny?
A: How do I phrase this? With a lot of comedians, one of their major attributes is that they look comedic, with a certain hangdog or manic expression. I look like the neighborhood bully. That doesn’t elicit laughter.
Q: What does an original Stallone oil painting fetch on the open market?
A: My last painting went for $75,000, which was about $74,500 too much. It was a portrait of Leonardo as a ghost, an image like a psychedelic Shroud of Turin. A painting only a relative would appreciate.