Frank Stallone Documentary Presents the Case That He’s More Than ‘Rocky’s Brother’
The uphill battle of being the brother of the Rocky star is the focus of Stallone: Frank, That Is, directed by Derek Wayne Johnson and dropping on January 19. Lots of celebs were interviewed for the project (which counts Frank Stallone as one of its producers) to give weight to the idea that this almost-famous star deserves to be more, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Billy Dee Williams, Billy Zane, Richie Sambora, John Oates, and yes, Sly himself.
Ahead of the film’s premiere, we chat with Frank Stallone about who surprised him in the doc, working out with Schwarzenegger, and more.
Siblings in the same line of work, no matter what it is, can probably relate to what you’ve been through.
Frank Stallone: My experience took place on a worldwide scale because my brother was so famous. “Not as good as your brother.” I also had that on my shoulder. I tell people in similar situations to just be who you are. Be the best you can be at what you do. Don’t worry about the other stuff. I got hammered. If I took everything people said about me to heart over the 45 years, it would have been bad. But I had a lot of faith in what I could do. Sly was the same way. Even though he was broke, he believed in himself and Rocky. You have to have that belief to be successful.
Did you ever consider changing your name early in your career?
I thought it would have been ridiculous. The die had been cast. People saw me in Rocky. They saw me in all these TV shows. Even though there wasn’t social media back then, I think I would have gotten hammered worse with the reactions.
Anyone surprise you by agreeing to participate in the film?
I must admit — my brother. I’d say the two were Arnold and Sly. Having them meant a lot.
Arnold didn’t just sit down to be interviewed, you worked out together, as seen in the credits. Was that planned?
I used to go to that Gold’s Gym every day and see Arnold there. It’s where he wanted to do it the interview. I was really happy he participated.
Was it difficult to revisit some of the more disappointing moments?
When I was talking about getting screwed out of my Oscar nomination by a Barbara Streisand song. Then there were certain things about my childhood.
What about seeing your late mom Jackie in the film?
I haven’t seen the film since my mother passed [in September], so I don’t know how I’ll be when I see it again. I know I’ll be emotional. There are five people who have actually died before the movie comes out.
So you say you didn’t see the interviews until you sat down to see the finished product. A lot of people said a lot of nice things about you — how did it feel?
After 45 years of being used to people saying bad things about me, that was a nice change.
Stallone: Frank, That Is, January 19, Digital and VOD