While the 76-year-old actor may give off a “don’t mess with me” vibe, it hasn’t always been that way, he said.
“No matter what, I just had that kind of face that people wanted to punch,” Stallone, who gained worldwide fame for his portrayal of professional boxing champ Rocky Balboa, told The Independent during an interview on Thursday 10 November.
“I would go to a dance, and there would be 300 people there,” he explained.
“There would be like three guys, and they would just zero in on me and go, ‘Hey get out of here.’ I go ‘Why?’ And he goes, ‘You don’t own the place, get out of here.’
“I turn around, and then they – bang – hit me in the face,” the Oscar-nominated actor said as he mimicked the motion with his hand.
“And then I had this ‘Rocky moment’ outside, and I go, ‘Am I going to live for the rest of my life knowing this guy punched me in the face? I can’t do it.’ So, I turn around and go back in, and it’s on.”
He added matter-of-factly: “All the time, I don’t know what it is. I just have a very punchable face.”
In June he announced he would not be reprising his iconic role as Rocky in Jordan’s directorial debut. Earlier this week, he addressed his absence, calling it a “regretful situation”.
However, Stallone is set to soon make his TV debut in Paramount+’s newest drama comedy series Tulsa King.
He leads the series as mafia capo Dwight Manfredi, whose boss exiles him to Tulsa, Oklahoma after his recent release from 25 years in prison.
Tulsa King premieres on 13 November on Paramount+, with new episodes released weekly.