Thursday, August 26, 2010
When I more or less met Sylvester Stallone about ten years ago, the rumors about him were flying. They were about his sex life -- him needing a "pump" to get "it" up.
If you are shocked, don't be. The gossip world goes through atrocious, utterly inappropriate speculations about celebrities, and Stallone was a super celebrity. Is the pump idea uglier than what we think, wonder about, imagine about our current "stars?"
I'm not a trustworthy barometer. "Dirt," about Madonna, Mel Gibson, Sandra Bullock, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, catches my attention. Also Britney Spears because she's quirky-creative, and then there's Tiger Woods -- how's he doing? Why isn't he winning the tournaments? And other names you'd recognize -- new names -- they drift by me like sounds without pictures.
For instance, last night I heard some talk about the Kardashians and I have no idea who they are. Two-thousand-and-ten seems to be a year when "dirt" is needed. It keeps us from thinking about nuclear bombs, poisons, enemies that could end the good life that we're living, as we're mulling over the latest gossip.
Sylvester Stallone is "ROCKY," and that music, that vision of him in Philadelphia, still excites me, delights and inspires me!
Right now, Stallone is top news. "The Expendables," the new film he wrote, directed, and stars in, is number one at the box office. Plans are already underway for a sequel.
Well, I remember "Sly" Stallone at the Malibu Gym where I worked out with my trainer (Renee Rogers, you can check her out on Facebook). I'd watch him across the machine-filled room -- carefully -- I didn't want to be misconstrued as a "fan."
There's a protocol in Malibu, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills -- you pretend that you're ignoring the celebrities. You do not ask for autographs, or bother them. They're treated as ordinary people, living normal lives. (Yes, fans -- tourists -- often interrupt a celebrity at the post office, supermarket, or restaurant, but if you're resident, you look away quickly.)
But gee -- I wanted to see what exercises Stallone did when he worked-out, and ... well, I wanted him to notice me.
Most of the noticeable women at the gym were gorgeously attired, assiduously strengthening muscles above and below their D-cup boobs. I was the only A-cup female around with hair starkly pulled back, who looked and exercised like a dancer.
Though Stallone didn't have the heavy-muscled look of "Rocky Balboa," he was working with weights. I don't use weights. I was doing my split-stretches -- on the floor, then with one leg sideways, up on the wall, then in an arabesque, leg behind me, up along the wall, with my hands on the floor. (Renee and I called it "ef-ing" the wall.) Whenever I did that stretch, just about everyone in the gym watched me.
It was fun. I was writing full-time, certain my book, "Woman of the Century" was going to be published -- not performing but I was still capable of dancer-moves. And I was dying to say something to Stallone about "Staying Alive" a movie in which he directed John Travolta (the sequel to "Saturday Night Fever" that bombed.)
I loved that movie -- Stallone-the-director's eye for dance was amazing -- he knew what was worth capturing, what made a dancer great. Also, I loved his work in "Copland." Stallone-the-actor had created a heroic character that was a loser, not a macho winner -- a partially deaf sheriff of a small town in New Jersey, a guy who believed in right and wrong, and exposed the corruption of the Manhattan cops who lived in his town. Stallone's Sheriff was remarkably real -- a sympathetic, believable, genuine hero.
Well, I never said a word to Mr. Stallone. At that point there was too much stuff in the news about him and his women -- ex-wife, new wife, latest new girlfriend and the pump. He was fifty -- maybe none of it was true, and he was just finding out who he was.
And there I was making supper for John Cullum in my kitchen in NYC, and on my kitchen TV set -- Sylvester Stallone was being interviewed about "The Expendables."
What Shakespeare's Kent said -- "Fortune, goodnight --smile once more and turn thy wheel" keeps echoing.
So today I'm saying what I didn't say to him (for him and for you to hear): I admire you, Mr. Stallone -- I'm delighted that you're back in the news with a big hit.