Sylvester Stallone was Sent to the ICU While Filming "Rocky IV"

Published April 29, 2021 14,226 Views

Rumble There are moments when creating movie magic puts an immense real-life strain on actors’ bodies—like Jared Leto’s dramatic changes in weight between roles or the time Brad Pitt tore his Achilles heel playing Achilles. But one of the most dramatic instances of real pain onset occurred during Rocky IV when a heavyweight blow from Dolph Lungren sent Sylvester Stallone to the ICU.

There are moments when creating movie magic puts an immense real-life strain on actors’ bodies—like Jared Leto’s dramatic changes in weight between roles or the time Brad Pitt tore his Achilles heel playing Achilles. But one of the most dramatic instances of real pain onset occurred during Rocky IV when a heavyweight blow from Dolph Lundgren sent Sylvester Stallone to the ICU.

It was his co-star’s uppercut, Stallone later realized, that put him in intensive care. Initially feeling fine, it wasn’t until that night that Stallone began to feel something was wrong. At the hospital, doctors informed him that his heart had collided against his ribs—an injury typical of head-on vehicular collisions. Reflecting on the Swede’s size, Stallone joked that he’d “hit a bus, of sorts.”

In the later interview, Lundgren joked that he was just following orders. “He was the boss. I did what he told me. We came back to Los Angeles and the producer was like, ‘Hey Dolph, you’ve got two weeks off — Sly’s in the hospital.'”

Stallone would, of course, eventually recover and go on to have a fruitful career. Younger Netflix watchers might better recognize him from The Expendables or Disney’s Marvel movies. Stallone made his MCU debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as Stakar Ogord. Or they might know him from his trending friendly jabs at Arnold Schwarzenegger on Instagram— where he also gave a sneak peek of the upcoming director’s cut of Rocky IV.