When Sylvester Stallone starred in the Rocky movies, he was absolutely ripped. Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Rambo legend ushered in a new era of Hollywood, where the biggest action movie stars had to be exactly that: big.
While having a huge and imposing physique can help with presence, and it certainly set Sylvester Stallone and Schwarzenegger apart in their respective franchises, being a muscle man comes at a cost. For Stallone, that cost was very real, both in how it limited his diet and its impact on his health. Things got pretty rough.
Speaking with WSJ, Stallone recently revealed that while making Rocky 3, he only ate three things in order to maintain his ridiculously low body fat percentage: oatmeal cookies, canned tuna, and coffee. Yummy.
“I used to drink about 25 cups [of coffee] a day when I was doing Rocky 3. My entire breakfast would be maybe two [small] oatmeal cookies made with brown rice and 10 cups of coffee because I wanted to keep my body fat down to 2.8%,” said Sly. “I was eating just tuna fish.”
That on its own sounds taxing, and tough. However, it got worse for the actor, and the stress of his diet and the physical demands of his new movie began to take a serious toll.
“I was forgetting my phone number,” he said. “My memory was shot, it was completely gone. I was getting all kinds of debilitating physical effects. But it was for the cause.”
While you can’t condone the dangerous lengths that Stallone went to in order to maintain his shape, Rocky 3 would go on to be an enormous box office hit and crowd-pleaser.
Rocky 3, which is one of the best movies in the series, sees Balboa face off against Clubber Lang. It features the classic anthem Eye of the Tiger, and plenty of training montages, like all good Rocky movies. It’s one of our favorites, even if the thought of Stallone’s diet makes us queasy.
For more on Rocky, check out our Creed 3 review and see what’s happening with the Creed 4 release date. Or, find out what Stallone’s up to next with our guide to the Tulsa King season 2 release date, before seeing why he turned down a stupid amount of money for a Rambo sequel.