Sylvester Stallone was unsure about attending the Oscars this year out of respect for “Creed” director Ryan Coogler and his co-star Michael B. Jordan.
Despite earning a supporting actor nod and a Golden Globe Award for his reprisal of legendary fictional boxer Rocky Balboa, Stallone considered sitting out the ceremony in solidarity with those partaking in the #OscarsSoWhite-fueled boycott.
But a conversation with Coogler changed his mind.
#OscarsSoWhite: Full coverage of the boycott and Hollywood’s reaction
“I said, ‘If you don’t want me to go, I won’t.’ He said, ‘I want you to go.’ That’s the kind of guy he is. He wanted me to stand up for the film,” the three-time nominee said at the Oscars nominees luncheon on Monday.
“Adaptation and evolving is definitely necessary,” Stallone said.
The 69-year-old felt that Coogler was responsible for his nomination and that Jordan, whose titular character played Rocky’s mentee in the film, made him better in the role.
“I do believe that things will change. It’s a matter of time. Eventually, all talent will rise to the top. It’s a matter of getting a new paradigm, a new way of thinking. But I owe everything to these two young men.”
As for landing the nomination four decades after he first appeared in the role, Stallone looked at it as “the most serious obstacle” that has presented itself to him.
“I never thought I’d be able to cross this threshold again,” he added.