One for all, and all for one. Sylvester Stallone almost gave up his seat at the 2016 Oscars out of respect for his Creed director, Ryan Coogler, and costar Michael B. Jordan.
The Rocky actor, 69 — who was last nominated for an Academy Award nearly 40 years ago, in 1977 — told reporters at a luncheon for nominees on Monday, February 8, that he considered sitting out the big event on behalf of his colleagues and in solidarity with the #OscarsSoWhite boycott.
“I remember I spoke with Ryan Coogler when this [#OscarsSoWhite controversy] happened. I said, ‘Ryan, how do you want to handle this? Because I really believe you are responsible for me being here,'” Stallone, who is up for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, recalled on Monday at the luncheon, which was held at the Beverly Hilton and attended by celebs including Room’s Brie Larson and The Revenant’s Leonardo DiCaprio.
He also gave credit to Creed‘s star, whose performance earned raves but no accolades. “Michael Jordan, every time I looked in his eyes as an actor, I said, he was making me better. I think he should’ve been given a lot more respect and attention,” Stallone said.
The Expendables star felt so strongly about it, in fact, that he let Coogler decide whether he’d attend the February 28 ceremony. “I said, ‘If you want me to go, I’ll go. If you don’t, I won’t,'” Stallone shared. “He said, ‘No, I want you to go.’ That’s the kind of guy he is. He wants us to go and represent the film.”
Stallone noted, too, that he’s hopeful about the Academy’s plan to make changes to address the diversity problem. As previously reported, the Board of Governors has pledged to double the number of minority and female members by 2020.
“Eventually all talent will rise to the top. It’s just a matter of, I guess, a new paradigm and a new way of thinking,” Stallone said. Then, turning the spotlight once more to Coogler and Jordan, he added, “I really owe everything to these two young men, for sure.”
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