Tulsa King's Sylvester Stallone Wanted Dwight To Seem Like A 'Pet Tiger'

Sylvester Stallone has portrayed many personas during his career, with most of the characters all having a certain trait in common. From the Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa to the war-torn soldier Rambo, they all tend to lean toward the tough guy formula. But Sly surprisingly opted to go a different route than expected for his first TV show, "Tulsa King."

The Paramount+ series has been a hit with viewers and critics for several remarkable reasons. James Croot for the online outlet Stuff praised the actor's effort, writing in his review that Stallone "displays a heady mix of vulnerability, machismo, and magnificent comedic timing." And he wasn't the only one that commended Sly for changing things up. Ben Travers from IndieWire wrote, "Stallone playing a fish out of water who's also a bull in a china shop proves perpetually entertaining."

Stallone definitely wanted his mob boss performance to stand out, but it wasn't a bull or fish that he had in mind when developing "The General." "Well, the challenge was to be radically different [from] the actors that have come before me that have played, masterfully, gangsters," Stallone said during an interview with The Wrap. "So I thought, 'Huh, the one thing I've never seen is a gangster who's a little off-kilter, has a sense of humor, is a prankster and very loose' — not intimidating, but you know he's a gangster." The actor added, "It's like having a pet tiger, 'Oh, he wouldn't hurt a fly,' yeah, he would, he's a tiger; he can purr and all that, but beware."

While the domesticated jungle feline approach to his Mafia capo personality has worked out, some might find it interesting which signature traits the actor just couldn't shake.

Despise the kitten approach, Stallone was very Sly about Dwight's Alpha status

A considerable amount of effort was put into ensuring that "The General" didn't come off as an unwelcome copy of the numerous performances from stars in gangster films that had previously been released. Despite many commending the actor's distinctive take on Dwight, Sylvester Stallone couldn't help but give the character some good old familiar Sly treatment. "I tried to make it as close to my personality as possible," Stallone said regarding tweaks it took to cultivate as much of himself into his "Tulsa King" character. "The idea is: They come up with an idea, a concept, but if you're a writer, you know how to tailor things to your strengths and deflect your weaknesses."

It seems abundantly clear that "Tulsa King" provided Sly a fortunate opportunity to take advantage of what he's good at and not let any flaws hinder his abilities, which really factored into his decision to take on such a daring yet authoritative role. "At this point in my career, I might get to play a grandpa walking down the road with a fishing pole, you know? [laughs]," the actor said about what drew him to the Paramount+ series. "The fact that I'm playing a gangster with the gray hair who's still aggressive, and still an Alpha, is pretty exciting to me."

Not only is the seasoned actor's run on the Paramount+ series proving to be a satisfying challenge, his achievements in crafting a crime boss character like no other arguably prove it is quite possible to teach an old tiger some new tricks.