Sylvester Stallone may be known as a Hollywood tough guy, but his Golden Globes win nearly left him down for the count.
Backstage at Sunday's awards ceremony, the "Creed" star told Access Hollywood's Liz Hernandez about his stunned response to hearing his name called for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.
"I almost passed out," Stallone said of taking the stage to collect his honor. "I couldn't even focus."
It was much more than the element of surprise that left him overwhelmed, however.
In the film, Stallone's character, Rocky Balboa, becomes a mentor and father figure for the son of his former opponent, Apollo Creed. The relationship not only mirrors an onscreen paternal dynamic, but an offscreen one as well.
Stallone recalled how reprising the iconic role of Rocky held deeper significance this time around, after experiencing the devastating loss of his son, Sage, in 2012.
"When I lost my son, that was [exhales]," Stallone began.
Despite his grief, the actor was able to push through and pay tribute to Sage in "Creed" at the suggestion of the film’s director, Ryan Coogler.
"It's a horrible situation and I didn't want to do it, believe me, I didn't want to do it," Stallone told Access. "But I thought, you know, [Sage] should be there. He should be part of it. … He was born when I did Rocky 1."
Coogler can likely relate to Stallone's emotional journey. The 29-year-old drew inspiration for the film from his own relationship with his father, an artistic choice which Stallone said he found helpful.
"If he wasn't making this as a love letter to his father, I never would have thought of this," Stallone said of the young filmmaker.
"It feels very heavy and very profound," he added of his Globes victory, which commemorates the seventh – and potentially final – time he's played Rocky.
"This could be the last one," he said. "And I thought, 'Okay, I have to do that.'"
-- Erin Biglow