Sylvester Stallone has labelled himself “an old dog learning new tricks” as he returns to play Rocky Balboa in the new film Creed.
The actor, 69, has now played the boxer seven times since the original movie, Rocky, in 1976.
In the new movie by director Ryan Coogler, Rocky is tracked down by Adonis Johnson (Michael B Jordan), the son of his former rival Apollo Creed, and persuaded to re-enter the boxing world as the young athlete’s trainer.
Speaking at the film’s European premiere in London’s Leicester Square, Stallone said: “This fella here, Ryan Coogler, he’s a genius - he really is. Because he took something that lacked the element of surprise - people know Rocky, and so when you hear about it your eyes roll, you go: again?
“But that’s the magic of what he pulled off. I’m just an old dog learning new tricks.”
Stallone won his first Golden Globe Award at the weekend, picking up a gong for Best Supporting Actor.
After accepting the accolade and reeling off a list of acknowledgements, he concluded: “Last of all, I want to thank my imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I ever had.”
Recalling the moment, he said: “That’s why I was so shook up. I didn’t expect to win. I didn’t expect to be there.
“The last time I was there was maybe 1977. It was ten tables, it was indoors, it wasn’t televised. So you’d understand it was surreal for me.
“Here was my wife, my kids, and Rocky. He’s come through.”