Sly Stallone: Richard Gere Thinks I Started Gerbil Rumor

Sylvester Stallone, readying for his reemergence as Rocky Balboa, answered a few questions recently for film site Ain’t It Cool News. In response to a query about the 1974 film The Lords of Flatbush, Sly revealed that his would-be co-star Richard Gere believes to this day that Stallone was the source of one of the most famous urban legends of all time — Gere’s alleged trip to the hospital with a gerbil:

Stallone_gereStallone: “Yeah, the original part of Chico, which was played by Perry King, was originally supposed to be played by Richard Gere, but we never hit it off. He would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table. One day, during an improv, he grabbed me (we were simulating a fight scene) and got a little carried away. I told him in a gentle fashion to lighten up, but he was completely in character and impossible to deal with. Then we were rehearsing at Coney Island and it was lunchtime, so we decided to take a break, and the only place that was warm was in the backseat of a Toyota. I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, ‘That thing is going to drip all over the place.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ I said, ‘If it gets on my pants you’re gonna know about it.’ He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me. He even thinks I’m the individual responsible for the gerbil rumor. Not true… but that’s the rumor.”

I dunno. All that macho posturing and talk about dripping fluids, hotdogs, and the warm back seat of a Toyota makes me think that the gerbil tale isn’t the only fantasy Stallone has been holding on to after all these years.


  1. Khem says

    Stallone = Gross!!! And sour grapes even as he hasn’t really aged all that gracefully.

    Gere = Super Yummy!!! I’ll be more than happy to be that gerbil urban legend or not.

  2. Jonathon says

    Stallone should just hang it up. He’s got nothing on Gere – who is still just dead sexy after all these years.

  3. mark m says

    I skimmed the article too quickly and got the words “strut”, “grabbed me”, “backseat of a Toyota”, “dripping” “thigh”

    I’ve heard of Freudian slips but this was a Freudian Synopsis.

  4. Wayne says

    I now believe that Sly WAS the gerbil that climbed into Gere’s ass! Or he at least wished he was the gerbil!

  5. burnssuit says

    Anyone else kinda grossed out by the new Rocky trailer? Reminded me of a dirty YMCA locker room in the bad part of town. I could almost smell the foot fungus. That, and can Stallone still be considered an “actor” when we can’t understand a damn thing that comes out of his mouth?

  6. gabe says

    Sly Stallone, with that nip-tucked face should just zip it. Richard’s better looking, a better actor and is better at accepting aging gracefully. He looks better now in his 50s than Rambo ever did in his 20s.

  7. pbnyc59 says

    While the first Rocky was watchable, Best Picture?? Over Network, All the Presidents Men, Bound for Glory and Taxi Driver??? What the hell were the members of the Academy Awards thinking?? It kind of takes the sting out of last years BBM loss.

    Rocky II thru VI ??? You have to either be brain dead or on some serious drugs.

    The trailer is painful enough. I love the fact when they played it here in NYC, people laughed out loud, even more so when someone yelled out, “Stella!!!! Stella!!! I mean Adrian!!!”

  8. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Funny how every major city has it’s own local-version of who it was. Where I was living at the time, one of the local TV primetime news-anchors was alleged to be the “gerbil-racer”, and it ruined his career and reputation in town…especially as he wasn’t “out” at the time. Ironically, one of the other TV stations had an afternoon children’s cartoon-and-variety show where the host actually staged gerbil-races with prizes for call-in contestants. It was years before the anchorman could show his face in town without some “pointing”.

  9. JR says

    It’s crazy how that stupid rumor has lasted as long as it has. But seriously, Sly is tired and embarassing. Look at that face! WTF???? But I guess that can be said about a lot of people still trying to hold on in Hollywood. Oh well, just another day in La-la land.

  10. freddie says

    Richard will of course take the high road and will totally ignore the rantings of this sinking star.

  11. CaliNexus says

    Why do you have that crazy ass picture of Stallone, looking like a cross between Liza’s exGay, David Gest, and Jack Nicholson in The Shining?

  12. Frank L says

    Ridiculous (borderline absurd) anecdote from Stallone — redeemed only by Andy’s awesome riposte in the final graf of the post.

  13. says

    hate to be a bitch, but since Sly started it…
    Now we know where Sly’s plastic surgeon got his inspiration from; the make-up used by DeNiro in Dick Tracy.

    WTF??? Can I please get a job saying no to H.W’d exec’s and actor’s? Can I? The franchise of Rocky is about to get taken down- badly.

    BTW, I thought Gere couldn’t get any better looking than he did in ‘Internal Affairs’. But Hubba, Hubba, Hubba. The rumor has worked wonders.

  14. Cory says

    Richard Gere had been a practicing Buddhist for well over a decade who generally refrains for gossip and maintains a “live and let live” mentality. Gere is an incredibly handsome man who was maintained dignity and poise throughout the majority of his career. I highly doubt he even gives such rumors any thought and especially any credence by making claims that Stallone started such rumors. Stallone, on the other had is a washed up, out of shape 80’s action “star” who appears to be attention starved. Perhaps Stallone has seen the reviews for his pathetic attempt at a comeback with Rocky XXI: Nursing Home Heavyweight and is scrambling for publicity. Stallone should take a cue from Gere and live and let live…

  15. resurrect says

    “a picture is worth a 1000 words” and more. but what about Perry King? HE was a total hottie and came off the screen as a completely realized gay man.

  16. steve says


    I can understand it being a blimp on the blog, but 24 comments???

    Who cares about these 2 over the hill oldies.

    BTW i love it how the men now are scrambling and desperate for work (Sly) whilst all the old women keep recieving some of the best work in the business