Sylvester Stallone had already been a film and television actor for several years before penning the script for Rocky - the movie that would change his life forever.
The actor had bit-part roles in a few productions before taking it upon himself to control his own destiny. He wrote, directed and starred in Rocky, which earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay.
The plot of Rocky's rags-to-riches story mirrored Stallone's own life.
"I just wrote about what I knew. I was writing a lot about this little kind of mentally challenged guy who happened to have a lot of heart," he said at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"I wanted to write a movie about a guy who says, 'I'm not great at all, never will be. I fight great fighters. But I just want the opportunity to go the distance.'
"I didn't have the bones to be a Shakespearean actor. It's important as an artist to know what your strengths are, but more important to know your weaknesses."
Stallone had booked a meeting with producers Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff and went about writing the screenplay for Rocky in just THREE days.
"I had this opportunity with Chartoff and Winkler, and I wasn't going to let it slip by," he previously recalled to GQ.
"I was young, and I had an incredible amount of energy, and I wrote it in a fury. I was very excited about the whole thing. I had a feel for the streets, and I loved films like Mean Streets, Marty, and On The Waterfront, and I felt inspired."
The Expendables 4 released this week
While previous entries have included cameos from the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis and Harrison Ford, this promises to be more of a low-key affair, unless some surprise cameos are being kept under wraps.
The official premise reads: 'The Expendables are assigned on a mission to stop a terrorist organization headed by Suarto Rahmat from smuggling nuclear warheads that will ignite a conflict between Russia and the U.S.'
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy García.