Sylvester Stallone is no stranger to taking a few on-screen punches. However, it turns out that one flick almost put him out of commission for good. In a retrospective for the classic action movie Rocky 4, Stallone told The Hollywood Reporter how his co-star, Dolph Lundgren hit him so hard that he ended up in intensive care.
Rocky 4, sees Lundgren take on the role of Ivan Drago, who ends up facing Rocky (Stallone) in the boxing ring. Stallone reportedly wanted the fight to look authentic and told his fellow actor to actually hit him as hard as he could – forgoing the two’s pre-planned choreography. It turns out that perhaps telling the muscular and athletic Lundgren to go in for a free-for-all wasn’t the best idea as, after the day of shooting, Stallone had to go to the hospital.
The actor went on to describe how getting hit by Lundgren felt like he had collided with a bus, and his injuries ended up landing him in the ICU. “Dolph Lundgren put me in the hospital for nine days,” Stallone said. “I knew I was in trouble when I showed up and nuns met you at the ICU.”
“Look, all I did was obey orders. He was the boss. I did what he told me.” While recalling the incident in an interview with the YouTube channel Invicta Fighting Championships, Lundgren explained.
“We finished shooting in Vancouver, we shot the Russian stuff, and I came back to LA. The producer was like, ‘hey Dolph, you got two weeks off.'” When the actor asked why, the producer for Rocky 4 reportedly responded with, “Sly is in the hospital.”
There is seemingly no bad blood between the co-stars despite the big blow. Since Rocky 4, Stallone and Lundgren have worked together again in The Expendables franchise, and have even been known to prank one another on set.
The two are currently set to appear on the big screen together once again in Expendables 4, which will hit theatres sometime in 2022. The next chapter in the Rocky franchise, Creed 3, is coming November 23, 2022.