Sylvester Stallone doesn't have many "really special moments" left.
The 69-year-old actor is delighted to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the upcoming Academy Awards for his role in 'Creed' and is savouring his first recognition at the prestigious ceremony since 1977.
He said: "This is a really special moment in my life because there are not that many moments left. You know they are really getting very special."
But Sylvester admitted he almost turned down the role in the 'Rocky' revival movie.
He explained to Robin Roberts for the ABC News special 'Journey to the Oscars': "I never wanted to do this movie. I thought sick Rocky is exactly what is so counter-intuitive to what the optimistic aspect of what Rocky really is designed for ... If you're afraid of something, that's the commitment of the artist. That's his duty to pursue the unknown, to go someplace where he's literally at odds with himself."
Despite his years of acting success, the veteran star struggled in the early days of his career, with his lowest point coming when he was turned down as an extra in iconic movie 'The Godfather'.
He laughed: "I couldn't even get cast as an Italian. I'll never forget, there's a party scene - it's 300 guests! They said no. I said, 'What part of me didn't pass the Italian identification aspect?' "
But instead of giving up, he decided to pen his own screenplay and wrote the script for 'Rocky' in less than four days, before refusing to sell it unless he could star in the title role.
The movie went on to be nominated for 10 prizes at the 1977 Academy Awards, scoring wins in the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing categories.