‘I Didn’t Pay Enough Attention’: Sylvester Stallone Reflects On Prioritizing Career Over Fatherhood

Sylvester Stallone
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images for Paramount+

Sylvester Stallone is fresh off a marriage reconciliation and is reflecting on how he handled the balance of career and family responsibilities in the past.

The 76-year-old “Rocky” star opened up to Sunday Times about the current state of his familial relationships during a recent interview. He and his wife of 25 years, Jennifer Flavin, announced their split in August but called it off a month later.

“Let’s just say that it was a very tumultuous time,” Stallone told the publication. “There was a reawakening of what was more valuable than anything, which is my love for my family. It takes precedence over my work, and that was a hard lesson to learn.”

The father of five mentioned how his focus on his career affected his children and their relationship even now. Stallone shares two sons with his previous wife and three daughters with Flavin.

“I didn’t pay enough attention when they were growing up,” the Golden Globe award winner admitted. “I was so career-oriented, and now I go, ‘OK, I don’t have that much runway up ahead, and I want to start asking them about their lives.'”

While he regrets the mistakes he made in the past, Stallone told The Times he’s working on those relationships now, especially the ties with his daughters.

“I ask them about their day, and they started at first a little monosyllabic,” he continued.”Then I heard one say, ‘I was just thinking about you.’ Oh, my God. I’ve never heard that before in my life. When a daughter knows you care, she’s there forever.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the action star shared some advice for up-and-comers, urging them to prioritize physical safety.

Stallone said that the action film genre has “changed radically when it became possible to Velcro your muscles on,” and that current actors should use these changes to their advantage.

“Don’t do your own stunts, that’s the moral of that,” he advised. “But the special effects became more important than the person. Life is a matter of managing your ass-whipping,” he said. “That’s why I’ve always been a fan of defeated fighters. The undefeated boxer? I’m not interested.”

The actor also said he never expected Rocky and Rambo to be associated with politics. 

“I didn’t even know what a Republican or a Democrat was until I was 30 years old. I really didn’t until I went to Hollywood,” he explained. “I didn’t know wrapping myself in a flag in Rocky would throw down the gauntlet.”

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