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Sylvester Stallone's History Working Odd Jobs Came In Handy On Samaritan

After achieving stellar success in the "Rocky," "Rambo," "Expendables," and "Creed" franchises, it would seem that film icon Sylvester Stallone is far beyond his thoughts of the days of struggling to get by in the hopes of breaking into acting. Much to the contrary, Stallone uses his experiences working odd jobs to help inform whatever role he takes on, particularly his performance in the Mythos Comics graphic novel-turned-superhero adventure "Samaritan," which brought him right back to the beginning.

Debuting on Amazon Prime Video Friday, August 26, Stallone stars as Joe Smith, a sanitation worker milling around day-to-day in the crime-infested metropolis of Granite City. Joe's past finally catches up with him, though, when a 13-year-old boy, Sam (Javon "Wanna" Walton), assembles enough evidence to all but conclude that Joe is really Samaritan — the superhero savior of Granite City who reportedly perished along with his brother-turned-adversary, Nemesis, in a massive fire 25 years earlier.

Finally witnessing Joe's superhero powers firsthand, Sam — the son of a working single mom, Tiffany (Dascha Polanco), who is desperately trying to keep her son from falling prey to bad influences — finds a new positive mentor in Joe. The trouble is, Sam is already indebted to Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a menacing gang leader who seeks to unearth the powerful tools of Nemesis and use them in his plans to overtake the already chaotic Granite City.

In a press conference for "Samaritan" attended by Looper, Stallone discussed how his character's occupation as a garbage man served as the perfect front for the superpowered character and how his various work experiences early in life helped inform the role.

Sylvester Stallone tapped into the emotions of his early jobs for Samaritan

During the press conference, Stallone said "Samaritan" required a character that could hide in plain sight for years after the fatal battle between Samaritan and Nemesis. Ultimately, the actor noted, Joe needed to find "what people considered the most anonymous job in the world — a garbage man."

"No one pays any attention to these people. Yet when you think about them, without them, we're in big trouble. So, there's all these metaphors in there," Stallone observed, referring to how Granite City devolved into chaos after the perceived loss of Samaritan.

To tap into the emotions Joe experiences as an anonymous garbage man in "Samaritan," Stallone said that he had to look no further than his memories of early life before his breakthrough as an actor and filmmaker. It's something Stallone refers to as a "boots on the ground experience," and those sensibilities melded perfectly with Joe's existence in the film. "I have been everything from a doorman to like a bartender to cutting fish as working in lions' cages to a movie usher where you have ... you're the third one who wears the same tuxedo. So, you have two other guys' BO, and people are blaming it on you," Stallone said. "I mean, you just ... I understand how the whole process works. And you got to be a little humble and eat a little humble pie to get through it all. But you learn. You really learn."

Being able to tap into his early years, Stallone added, not only has enriched him as an actor but adds to the "human experience."

"So, I think I enjoy acting now more than when I was 30, 35, [when] you think you know everything. You know nothing," Stallone reflected. "I think the soft spot in a man's head doesn't get hard until about 41. You just — you're still learning. You think you got it under control ... not quite."

Directed by Julius Avery, "Samaritan" debuts exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on August 26.