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Why Samaritan's Wanna Walton Geeked Out Over Boxing With Sylvester Stallone - Exclusive

It's rare to find an actor as young as Javon "Wanna" Walton who, besides having roles in such hit series as "Euphoria" and "The Umbrella Academy," has a side career in boxing. Perhaps even rarer, though, is the opportunity for an actor like Walton — who already has 80 bouts under his belt — to be paired with the quintessential movie boxer, Sylvester Stallone, on a project together. After all, Stallone's career shot to the stratosphere after playing the titular role in "Rocky," which earned the film three Oscars, as well as two other nominations for the film icon. 

Walton's boxing experience came in handy for his work on the gritty superhero adventure "Samaritan." He was 13 when he filmed the role of Sam Cleary, a scrappy kid trying to avoid the pitfalls in the crime-infested Granite City. At risk of falling into a life of crime with a local gang, one of Sam's few escapes is his attempts to unravel the mystery of Samaritan, the superhero savior of Granite City who died in battle with his brother-turned-enemy Nemesis 25 years before.

Sam is certain that Samaritan is alive, however, and is hiding in plain sight as Joe Smith (Stallone), a garbage man in his neighborhood. Once Sam discovers that Joe does have superpowers, he is mentored by the sanitation worker, but word of Joe's existence comes with a price. Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk) has unearthed Nemesis' weapons of destruction, and since Sam is indebted to the crime lord, Joe has no choice but to battle Cyrus with his superpowers to protect the teen, his mother (Dascha Polanco), and the innocent civilians of Granite City.

While Walton's job on "Samaritan" was first and foremost to act opposite Stallone, off set, he was thrilled to talk boxing with the "Rocky" and "Creed" star.

Walton was surprised how knowledgeable Stallone was about old-school boxing

In an exclusive interview with Looper, Javon "Wanna" Walton said sharing the same set with Sylvester Stallone was a thrill within itself. However, having a major role in "Samaritan" came with a huge bonus for Walton. Not only did he get to visit Stallone's house to chat about boxing, but he was also surprised to see some of the film star's prize artifacts of the fight game.

"I knew he was educated on boxing, but he knew a lot about old, old boxing, and he's a historian on it," Walton said. "Even going to his house and seeing all the old-school gloves and all that was really interesting — old boxing gloves were made with horsehair or something like that. It's really interesting. I even picked those up, and it was cool to be able to see that."

Stallone also shared old-school stories of the ring with Walton, which kept the teen actor-slash-boxer completely fascinated. "[He also told me about] one guy — he only had one eye and I forgot the guy's name — but it was interesting, man," Walton enthused. "It shocked me how much he knew."

Directed by Julius Avery, "Samaritan," adapted from the Mythos Comics graphic novel of the same name, is streaming exclusively on Prime Video.