Sylvester Stallone, 76, is promoting his new series Tulsa King in New York City this week.
On Wednesday morning he came by Live with Kelly and Ryan to talk about his early years in the crime-ridden, penniless Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan.
Before his big break with Rocky in 1976, he lived in a temporary hotel and shared a bathroom with about 20 people. “It was disgusting,” he said. “You could lie on the bed – open the window, close it,” he said of the cramped living conditions he was living at the time.
Stallone on Live: The filmmaker joined co-hosts Kelly and Ryan on their morning show for the premiere of his upcoming television debut show Tulsa King
According to Celebrity Net Worth, he is worth $400 million.
He then talked about revisiting his hometown of Hell’s Kitchen.
In response to co-host Kelly Ripa asking if it would be emotional to go back to his old neighborhood and remember where it all started, he said yes.
“Yeah, it really is, because, you know, you don’t want to cry like I was there. You know, like taking a bath at that hydrant,” he said.
Rocky times: The Rocky actor told Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest about one of his early gigs in his decades-long career and how he taught himself about filmmaking
The movie that changed everything: He lived in a temporary NYC hotel before going big with 1976’s Rocky
He spoke of embracing his emotional inclination, ‘I hate it because I’m one of those guys who cries when opening a letter.
“I don’t know why or where that came from… but that’s my female.”
One of the first jobs in his early career was as an usher.
He would secretly record shows to study the dialogue later. “I’d listen to the tapes, and I’d say, let me try to write that line differently. Let me try to write that line.’
He started playing a game – ‘a kind of crossword puzzle’ – to discover and develop his own film style. “Isn’t that what you do when you have nothing to do?”
The actor told Kelly and Ryan that this is how he taught himself about filmmaking when he couldn’t afford to go to film school at the time. “Let’s face it, you watch a movie a hundred times and try to figure out the tricks.”
In his hometown where he lived as he struggled to break into the movie industry, Stallone revealed his part in making an upcoming Netflix documentary about the history of Hell’s Kitchen.
Tribute: The actor posted a throwback photo of himself meeting Queen Elizabeth II during his Rocky era
He later spoke about the throwback photo he posted to his Instagram as a tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II. He reminisced about the time he met the Queen around his Rocky era.
He described the interaction he had with his favorite queen. “She actually said, ‘Oh, that’s Rocky.’ And I was like, oh come on.’
During his Tulsa King press tour, Stallone also recently visited Italy. There he met and met another head of state: President Sergio Mattarella.
Looks good: The Tulsa King lead wore a gray blazer over his black turtleneck and pants when he arrived at the morning show Live on Kelly and Ryan
The Rambo actor was stuck in a parking lot for about three hours because the president was eating nearby.
‘Everything [was] blocked – the doors, the guards, everything.’ When Stallone finally came in to ask for help unblocking his vehicle, he saw “a knight in shining armor” guarding the president.
“When the president shows up, they always have this traditional knight hanging out, so I passed the knight and I was like, ‘Hey, how are you?'” Stallone told the president.
Stallone the Stallion: The silver fox wore a sports jacket and black oxfords for the taping of the morning show in New York City
The president then told him how to get out of the parking lot and Stallone left for his press event in Tulsa King.
The upcoming mafia drama will be the award-winning actor’s first television debut, but he said he still has a preference for movies.
Stallone said he no longer had a choice whether or not to work solely in movies: “The movie business as I knew it and grew up with it is gone.”
Much has changed. Today he finds that the film industry focuses on making ‘big, mega, tentpole movies like Marvel’. A ‘small’ movie like Rocky would never have been released, but streamed.
The new show in which he will star tells the story of New York mob capo Dwight “The General” Manfredi. The main character is released from prison and banned by his boss to set up shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
After growing suspicious of his mafia family, The General slowly builds his own crew from a group of unlikely characters to help him establish a new criminal empire.
The first episode will air exclusively on Paramount+ on November 13.