Sylvester Stallone Drops Sage Advice: ‘Be an Alligator’

by Michael Freeman
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Growing up and even to this day, one of my favorite animals is the alligator. Basically a modern-day dinosaur, there’s plenty to like about them, provided they don’t terrify you. Sylvester Stallone seems fond of them too and advises people to “be an alligator” in life.

While the advice may seem odd at a glance, the legendary actor provides sound reasoning for his words of wisdom. Uploading a clip to Instagram on the subject, he urges people to be more like alligators in that we should adopt their thick skin.

“Did anyone ever study an alligator?” Stallone begins the clip. “Or a crocodile? And wonder how they survived so many hundreds of millions of years? Thick skin. Almost impervious to pain. That is an element that I think is so necessary in this day and age to be successful.”

Continuing, Stallone notes the other obvious factors, but it all comes back to thick skin. “Talent? Alright, that’s a given, you have to have some of that. Ambition? Yeah, you have to have a hell of a lot of that. And this fear of failure, a good helping of that. Certainly inspires one to get out of bed in the morning (he chuckles). But the most important thing is the alligator hide. You have to be able to take criticism. I believe that some of the most talented people in the world fail because they can’t take criticism.”

Stallone goes on to say you have to go all-in with what you want. He was told hundreds of times to give up and he wasn’t cut out for acting, but he kept trying.

In short? Be an alligator. Or a crocodile if you like those more.

Sylvester Stallone Enjoyed Pranking Dolph Lundgren on ‘The Expendables’

Sylvester Stallone makes a compelling point to take on the qualities of an alligator when striving to succeed. What he didn’t mention though was taking on the traits of a prankster, which he apparently did while working with Dolph Lundgren on The Expendables.

Sitting down with Looper recently about his new film Castle Falls, Lundgren also reflected on working with Stallone in past projects. Having worked together previously on Rocky IV, the two had built a rapport. Unfortunately for Lundgren, that took away his immunity to Stallone’s shenanigans.

Talking about the first scene in The Expendables, Lundgren told Looper about a joke his character had to say. After four or five tries, Stallone wasn’t satisfied and asked him to do the joke again. After 15 takes, it was finally enough. Funnily, Lundgren said Stallone wasn’t done with him yet.

“He was like, ‘OK.’ Fine. I got over it. And then I show up for ADR — where you do like a little voice replacement. So it’s first up, and Sly is like [imitates Sylvester Stallone] ‘Guess which take?’ And it was the first one the whole time.”

As it turns out the first take was just fine and Stallone was just messing with him. America wins again.