Sylvester Stallone says he almost died when filming ‘Rocky IV’

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sylvester Stallone says filming Rocky IV almost killed him.

The 75-year-old actor recently posted The Making of Rocky vs. Drago by Sylvester Stallone to his YouTube, saying actor Dolph Lundgren, who played nemesis Ivan Drago, went off script and nearly beat him to death.

“I got really injured during the fight,” Stallone said. “I had to be flown into intensive care to California from Canada.”

The Expendables star admitted that, before filming, he encouraged Lundgren to go all out and show his “dominance.”

“Well, he pulverized me,” Stallone deadpanned, noting the actor punched him right in the chest.  He didn’t know how badly he was injured until after the cameras stopped rolling.

“I didn’t feel it in the moment but, later that night, my heart started to swell, My blood pressure went up to 260 and I was going to be talking to angels,” Stallone recalled. “Next thing I know I’m on this emergency, low-altitude flight. I’m in intensive care surrounded by nuns.”

Stallone said his hospital stay lasted four days and, once he was discharged, he “had to go back and finish the fight.”

He said he was upset by the movie’s final cut because that punch that sent him to the hospital was left on the cutting room floor. “How could you take that out?,” Stallone quipped.

We could soon see it, however. As previously reported, Stallone today releases a director’s cut Rocky IV, titled Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago, promising 40 minutes of never-before-seen footage.  The film is coming to Fathom Events theaters today only before it’s released to digital on demand Friday.

The original Rocky IV premiered in theaters in 1985 and earned $300 million during its box office run.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.