HomeAmerican EntertainmentPeople‘Rocky’ Star Dolph Lundgren Responds to Putting Sylvester Stallone in the Hospital

‘Rocky’ Star Dolph Lundgren Responds to Putting Sylvester Stallone in the Hospital

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)

All of the Rocky movies pack quite a punch with Sylvester Stallone at the helm, playing Rocky Balboa against his foes. But when he went up against Ivan Drago, played by Dolph Lundgren, that was a challenge. Over the years, there has been some scuttlebutt around whether Lundgren’s punches put Stallone in the hospital. You might say that there are different opinions about the situation. Stallone has been open about getting punched by Lundgren and how much they affected his health.

“He pulverized me and I did not feel it at that moment but later that night my heart started to swell,” Stallone once said. “He had bruised the pericardial sac, which is when the heart hits the chest – like in a car accident when your chest hits the steering wheel. My blood pressure went up to 260. They thought I was going to be talking to angels…Next thing I know, I’m on a low-altitude plane to the emergency room, and I’m in intensive care for four days. And there are all these nuns around.” 

Dolph Lundgren Said There Were ‘No Hard Feelings’ With Sylvester Stallone In Making Of ‘Rocky IV’

Sylvester Stallone had his hands full in making the great movie Rocky IV. But one thing that he said that he needed to do was to find a superhuman being as an opponent. He needed it to be someone who would be overwhelming. So, Lundgren walked into the picture. Stallone said, “I hated him immediately.” He said that he would imagine that they would create someone who is literally perfect as an athlete. Some of the attributes Stallone pointed toward Lundgren included indestructible, shoulders, calves, and forearms. In other words, the perfect specimen for Rocky to face inside the squared circle.

OK, with all this said, what was Lundgren thinking about when taking some shots at Stallone? After all, they really had to make those fight scenes look pretty dang real. “We shot those 15 rounds over two or three weeks, eight or 12 hours a day, so you’re throwing thousands of punches,” Lundgren said of Rocky IV, according to Express. “If you don’t connect, it looks a bit fake, but it doesn’t mean you want to hurt the other guy. But there were no hard feelings.” Did Lundgren really send Stallone to the hospital? He said all these years later, “I don’t know. He keeps talking about it, so maybe he’s right. He did go to the hospital, but I don’t know whether it was my punches or the fact that he was so overworked as the director, actor, and writer.”