Month: August 2012

  • DOG Sylvester Stallone’s Big Gamble

    In 1975, 29-year old Sylvester Stallone was out of money and time. His wife was pregnant; he hocked her jewelry and sold his dog for $50.

    In a desperate 24-hour writing spree, he wrote the script for Rocky. United Artists became interested, gradually raising their ofter to $300,000 to have either Burt Reynolds, James Caan or Ryan O’Neal play the role of Rocky.

    “I got a monumental headache,” Stallone recalls. “I didn’t know that much money existed. They kept insisting they needed a big name star. But the story was about not selling out, about having faith in yourself, about going the distance in a million-to-one shot.”

    The price went to $350 000. What did Stallone do??

    What would you have done?

    Stallone knew how low, low can be. Homeless for several days and sleeping at a bus station, he saw a notice looking for actors for an adult-video. He took the job, paying him $400 for four days work. “It was either do that movie or rob someone, because I was at the end, the very end of my rope,” Stallone said.

    So being that low, what did Stallone do?

    “I would sooner burn the thing than have anyone else play Rocky Balboa. Not for a million dollars,” he said.

    United Artists offered Stallone $25,000 to star in it. He got his wife’s jewelry out of hock, bought back his dog and the rest is history.

    To be honest, I would have taken the money and written another acting vehicle for myself. But that’s why you didn’t see me at the Academy Awards saying, “And to all the Rockys in the world, I love you.”

    Hindsight is easy. But we don’t always win when we take a risk. As Stallone said recently, “Sometimes you’re rewarded for risks. Sometimes you’re punished.”

    I guess we have to choose when and how much we risk.

  • GAVIN          John Gavin was James Bond

    After On Her Majesty’s Secret Service finished production, Sean Connery’s replacement for the role of 007 George Lazenby, decided not to do another Bond movie. This, once again left the role open.

    In 1971, the 6′ 4″ ex-Universal contract actor John Gavin was signed to be the next James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever.

    Gavin is best known today as Janet Leigh’s boyfriend in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and as Julius Caesar in the Kirk Douglas production of Spartacus.

    The 007 producers gave Gavin $50,000 in advance and he signed the contract to be the 3rd James Bond. Gavin didn’t just come close to the part, for a while, he was James Bond.

    However, when Sean Connery was lured back to play Bond by offering him 1.25 million dollars (astronomical for the times), the producers told Gavin to keep his advance and he stepped aside. He went on to be the President of the Screen Actors Guild from 1971 to 1973 and play more roles in films and TV.

    In 1981, President Ronald Eagan appointed Gavin as Ambassador to Mexico, serving for five years. Gavin’s mother was of Mexican descent and his father was descended from a high ranking family in Spain, so John Gavin grew up completely bilingual in English and Spanish.

    When asked if he regretted losing out on the role of 007, Gavin said, “No, because it might have prevented me from fulfilling my real childhood dream, to be U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.”

    This all proves that if we persevere though disappointments and life changes, we can ultimately achieve the larger dream that is inside us.

    And speaking of our ‘ultimate dream’, that’s what the James Bond Lifestyle is all about.

    You can read the first 30 pages at Amazon Kindle. 342 pages of techniques. Updated and expanded for 2012.