Doing Whatever it Takes

Do you remember the dog in the Rocky film? Well, it was actually Sylvester Stallone’s own dog and the story of how he came to be in the movie is really quite touching. It turns out that Stallone had been trying to get a starring role in a movie for years, without success.

At one time, he was so broke that he could not even afford to feed his dog and so, as he was committed to doing whatever it takes to succeed, he apparently sold his dog for just $25. He said it was the lowest day of his life.

But eventually, his big break came along. Inspired by watching a Muhammad Ali fight, he got the idea for the first Rocky film and immediately after watching the fight, he wrote the script. He took it around a number of film companies and eventually one of them offered him $125 thousand for the script. You would have thought he would have ripped their arm off, but he said ‘no’ because he wanted to star in the film and they just couldn’t agree.

The movie company actually wanted Ryan O’Neill to play Rocky. What transpired was a negotiation. At first the company kept increasing its bid for the script, eventually offering him $325 thousand for the script, but Stallone wouldn’t budge on the matter of the leading role. So finally, they agreed that he could have the starring role and they paid him just $35 thousand.

Guess what he did with the money? Well, the first thing he wanted to do was to buy back his dog so he went to the place he actually sold him – a liquor store – and hung out there waiting and hoping to see the man to whom he had sold the dog.

After three days, he saw him and then another negotiation took place. It started with Stallone offering $100 to get his dog back. But the guy didn’t want to sell him. Eventually, Stallone paid him $15 thousand and, in addition, he also agreed to give that man a part in the film. While he was at it, he decided to put the dog in the film too.

Sometimes, doing whatever it takes is tough. Selling the dog must have been heart-breaking. But getting him back wasn’t easy either. In both situations, Stallone did what he needed to do and in the end the result was the right one. It’s a lovely story isn’t it? You can hear Tony Robbins telling the full story here.

2 thoughts on “Doing Whatever it Takes

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Will,

    Super inspiration here!

    We see the end result and forget the release it took to arrive at this post. Sly gave up much to become successful. I can only imagine how miserable he felt when selling his dog to barely get by. But in the end, look where the release led him. He was able to create one of the most inspirational movies of all time, and he got his dog back too.



  2. Joe Lee

    It was a inspiring story. Sylvester actually hold onto his dream. Honestly, I may have relented into selling the script, if I’m in that situation.

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