What I do has its ups and downs. The downside is when work is sparse on the ground, you end up envying people with a regular income. But the upside is that you do get to do some genuinely fun things. Back in August I went along to London’s lavish Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane in Mayfair to meet Sylvester Stallone, director of The Expendables, and cast members Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham. The suite was packed with members of the press as the trio answered questions on the film. Stallone was the most vocal of the three and he admitted that there was a lot of pressure for him.
“Sometimes you come onto a film and you’ve got a major turkey and it’s not even Thanksgiving but this time it’s the other end of it where there’s a great expectancy and you’re thinking ‘jeez I didn’t expect this when we started making it.’ So you begin to think: ‘Is this going to live up to its ideals.’ It’s complex. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
Statham echoed this. “All the expectations were on Sly. That’s why you choose to work with people who know what they’re doing. A lot of the time we don’t get such a luxury in that choice,” to which Stallone quipped: “You’d better go with Christopher Nolan now!”
Dolph Lundgren agreed with his two co-actors. “This movie is like the World Championships and you feel like you just want to live up to it.”
Stallone and Lundgren appeared together in Rocky IV twenty-five years ago and the conference was wondering whether the dynamic had changed between them and how Stallone prepared to appear on screen with Lundgren again.
“That’s a good question,” Stallone responded. “For the first part, I’ve never trained harder than I did for Rocky IV. Dolph is a world-class athlete so we got to know each other pretty well. Then time has changed. We’ve gone through ups and downs, marriages and then meeting this time was really a pleasure because of all the actors I’ve worked with, he’s remained the most grounded and humble. Plus I’m dying to kick his brains in!”
The conference lasted for around 20 minutes and then they were led out. Stallone stuck around outside the hotel to sign autographs, pose for photos and admire a group of very expensive sports cars that were parked outside the hotel. The charm offensive for The Expendables obviously worked as talk is afoot of a sequel already.