Yo, Adrian. He did it!
Almost 40 years since receiving his first two Golden Globe nominations, Sylvester Stallone won his first Golden Globe Sunday night for his recent reprising of the iconic role that made him a household name.
The 69-year-old screen legend won the award for Best Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture at the 73rd annual awards gala for his recent knockout performance as beloved “Italian Stallion” Rocky Balboa in Bay Area director Ryan Coogler’s smash hit boxing drama Creed.
Stallone – who beat out Paul Dano, Idris Elba, Michael Shannon and Mark Rylance – received a standing ovation from his peers as he walked up on stage to receive his award from presenters J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette.
Trying not to get emotional, Stallone thanked his wife of 18 years Jennifer Flavin and his daughters Sophia, Sistene and Scarlet, acknowledging their love as the greatest award in the world.
He also thanked legendary film producers Irwin Winkler and the late Robert Chartoff – both of whom produced all seven Rocky films including Creed – for giving him the opportunity of a lifetime back in 1976 when Stallone first portrayed Balboa in the first Rocky film.
After thanking a few more of his peers, Stallone saved the best for last:
“I want to thank my imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I ever had!”
Stallone said backstage that he talks to Balboa sometimes as an imaginary friend and while it sounds silly and odd, it’s helped him construct scenes throughout the Rocky movies:
“When you do a great deal of writing, there’s a point where sometimes I think as a writer you sit (and say) ‘How you doing, Rocky?’ You start to talk to him, like, ‘What do you think about this?’ and he would go, ‘Well, to tell you the truth, I would approach the world …’ Even though the majority of it is silly, just that much comes out of it and you go, ‘Thank you. Thank you so very much’ and then you begin to build a scene.”
Stallone, however, didn’t mention Coogler or his Creed co-star Michael B. Jordan during his acceptance speech.
Adam B. Vary, senior film reporter for BuzzFeed News, tweeted that after realizing he forgot to thank Coogler, Stallone acknowledged the Oakland native afterwards as a brilliant filmmaker.
Stallone also thanked Jordan and fellow co-star Tessa Thompson for all the hard work they contributed during filming.
Despite being previously nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Screenplay and Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama) for the original Rocky in 1977, the third time was indeed the charm for Stallone on Sunday night.
Serving as both a spin-off of the Rocky films and sequel to 2006’s Rocky Balboa – Creed tells the story of Adonis Johnson Creed (Jordan), the son of former world heavyweight boxing champion – and Rocky’s rival-turned-friend – Apollo Creed.
Even though he never met his famous fighting father – who died before he was born, Adonis dreams of becoming a professional boxer and heads out to Philadelphia to find Rocky in hopes that Rocky will take him under his wing and train him.
Since its theatrical release on November 25, the film has garnered more than $118 million worldwide – including more than $105 million domestically, according to Box Office Mojo.
The film has also received critical acclaim from fans and critics alike, earning a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Along with Stallone’s Golden Globe, Creed has garnered a total of 16 awards from various film organizations, including four from the African-American Film Critics Association for Top Ten Films, Best Director (Coogler), Best Supporting Actress (Thompson) and Breakout Performance (Jordan).
The film is also nominated for six NAACP Image Awards, including Outstanding Motion Picture, Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture (Jordan) and Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture (Coogler). The show will air live on TV One on Feb. 5 from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena.
Other big winners on Sunday included Leonardo DiCaprio, who won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for The Revenant, which also took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama.
Actress Brie Larson won Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for Room and director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi epic The Martian won Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy while the film’s lead star Matt Damon won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy.
Screen legend Denzel Washington was joined by his family on stage Sunday night as fellow screen legend and Philadelphia co-star Tom Hanks presented him with the Cecil B. DeMille Award – which honors extraordinary contributions to the entertainment world.
For a complete list of Sunday night’s winners, visit the Golden Globe Awards’ official website.