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Sylvester Stallone Says Playing Tulsa King's Dwight Is Way More Relaxed Than Rambo

In years past, Sylvester Stallone was someone who basically thrived on chaos when it came to his movie roles, with John Rambo and the "Rambo" films probably being the best example. Looking back on the franchise and his other legendary action projects, he told The New York Times in a 1993 interview: "I, Sylvester Stallone, became synonymous with mindless, monosyllabic violence." When people saw the would-be "Tulsa King" star, it was often Rambo or Rocky Balboa that they were expecting — and for a while, Stallone bought into it.

"I was reduced to this prehistoric, bestial caveman," he explained to the outlet. "People were taking this fictional character [Rambo] and putting him in realistic situations. It was like defending your religion — you could never win. And the more I protested, the more foolish I looked." 

After some time, Stallone accepted his fate as a Hollywood brute and long suffered from it. "Over the years, it became difficult to tell the fictional and real characters apart," Stallone said. "When I try to exert some artistic leverage and show the other side of my personality, it's rejected." But with his more recent work, like "Tulsa King" — Stallone's first television show and arguably his most laid-back project in years — that doesn't appear to be the case whatsoever. 

Stallone says playing Dwight Manfredi in Tulsa King is actually quite easy

Sure, getting to play an iconic character like John Rambo sounds like an awesome time for any actor. But for Sylvester Stallone, the whole thing can be tiring at times. And that's precisely why "The Expendables" star enjoys doing "Tulsa King" so much — it's a welcomed break from Hollywood barbarism. 

"When you're doing Rambo, after a while it's like — you want to attack the pancakes in the morning, you want to throw your coffee against the wall, you actually breathe that kind of anger," Stallone explained to IndieWire in a January 2023 interview. "If you keep it going, it reflects in your eyes," he said. "So [Tulsa King] was not bad at all." 

Now, on the surface, it may seem like Stallone isn't giving it his best effort anymore when in front of the camera — especially since he's declaring "Tulsa King" and his portrayal of Dwight Manfredi as being "actually quite easy," per IndieWire. But his co-stars claim that isn't the case at all. 

"Nobody works harder than he does," said Dana Delany, who plays Margaret Devereaux. "I think that's what surprised me the most: that this guy, at this age, still wants to do it. He's still curious, he's still excited about it, he still knows everything that's going on on the set, and he's so present." Meanwhile, Max Casella told IndieWire, "I wasn't quite prepared for how dedicated he was — and how smart." Garrett Hedlund added, "His work ethic is fantastic. He's not phoning anything in. He's coming at it from the perspective of not only the world's hero or an icon, but as a director, a writer, an artist."