He's always known to be able to beat his opponents to a pulp and save the day. But with this group of students he surprised, he definitely was kind and made their day.
It seems almost impossible to imagine Rocky Balboa being played by anyone other than the talented Sylvester Stallone. When you look at the actor's physique, watching him play a tough role like those in the movies Expendables, Demolition Man or Rambo is no surprise. But when it comes to the man himself, beneath the tough exterior lies a truly kind and warm heart. And that was proven in his most recent interaction with some high school students.
According to CNN, students from Eastside High School's Culinary Arts, Hospitality, and Tourism School (CAHTS), Paterson, New Jersey, were heading back home from a field trip when in Philadelphia, they decided to make a stop at the statue of Rocky Balboa, from the classic 1976 Rocky film series, near the bottom of the state's Museum of Art's steps. "When the students first arrived at the museum, they went to the statue and somebody said, 'Hey, you just missed Sylvester Stallone,'" said CATHS Principal Edgard Nieves in a statement reported the news outlet. "Nobody believed he was there, and then two black SUVs pulled up."
Unbeknownst to them at the time, settled within one of the two SUVs was none other than the star himself, Stallone. Jumping out of the vehicle and running through the excited gaggle of students, he jumped up on the statue much to the pleasured surprise of the kids. “I see Sylvester Stallone actually walking toward me,” vice-principal John Super III told NJ Advance Media. “I’m saying ‘No, no, this isn’t really him. This is probably just a lookalike.’” But it wasn't. It was the Rocky star, in the flesh.
In an Instagram video that has since been removed, the 73-year-old said, "Suddenly appeared some of the GREATEST fans in the world! I’m a lucky man thanks to you guys!" according to USA Today.
In that particular video, the students are seen as being shocked that the great Sly was next to them. Taking time out to pose with the students, he encouraged them to raise their fists in the air as a tribute to the iconic scene from the first Rocky film.
“The kids were just floored. For a moment there, everyone was saying ‘Is this really happening?' He just seemed so down to earth,” Super said, according to NJ Advance Media. “It was a joy and blessing not only for kids but the adults that were there. It was a great moment, it really was. He took the time and was respectful with the kids.”
Maria Rodriguez-Mendez, a student of the institution, told CNN she's been a fan of the star since she was a child, following her parents' love for him as well. "It was a shocking moment, really," she said. "It was like reliving my childhood."
After taking one group photo with the youngsters, the father-of-five ran back to his car. But before he could leave, Darin Johnson, an instructional assistant with the school, ran up to the car to let him know that these were high school students. Upon hearing that, the actor jumped right back out of his car to take another round of selfies with the kids.
When the real Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) showed up at the "Rocky" statue, here's what happened. https://t.co/xn9erew2mk— USA TODAY Life (@usatodaylife) December 18, 2019
"Some people say you should never meet your celebrity heroes because you'll be disappointed," Johnson told CNN. "But in this case, I'm glad to have met Mr. Stallone." And the kids too must have been more than excited to meet him as well. This might be a small incident but it's little moments like these that show the humility and kindness that stars have. And it seems like Sylvester Stallone had it in abundance for these kids. It was certainly a meeting they weren't ever bound to forget.