Jean-Claude Van Damme reveals why he once snuck onto Sylvester Stallone's property
As Jean-Claude Van Damme will tell you, there are three times in his life he has crossed paths with his idol, Sylvester Stallone.
The first time, the Belgian-born former karate champ was a struggling actor, newly arrived in Los Angeles, desperate to crack into the film business. So he did what any industrious young wannabe would do: he purchased a “Star Map” and tried to sneak into Stallone’s Pacific Palisades home to meet the Rocky and Rambo star for a little career advice.
“I was around his house, and I see this blonde lady — it was his first wife [Sasha Czack] — coming out with a bicycle,” Van Damme, now 58, told Yahoo Entertainment during our Role Recall interview (watch above).
It was then JCVD got a boost from his friend and scampered over the fence surrounding Stallone’s property. “I was trying to go above his wall. … [Czack] saw that, she called the cops. They came right away. But I [said], ‘I’m a big fan. I just want to do karate with Stallone.’ They [heard] the accent, they saw in my eyes I was innocent. They said, ‘Move on.'”
The third time was some 30 years later when the two worked together on The Expendables 2 (2012), the second chapter in Stallone’s all-star action hero series. Van Damme leaped at the chance for the sequel after he passed on his chance to work on the original Expendables in 2010.
“At that time I wanted to make one more martial arts movie called Tower,” Van Damme explained. “[Stallone] called me and I heard his voice and Expendables.’ I said, ‘But I’ve got something for you! This movie Tower.’ So he’s calling me to ask me to be in Expendables, and I’m asking Stallone to be in my movie. So he called the producers. ‘This guy’s whacked, you know.’
“So I made a mistake, I guess. So he didn’t talk to me.”
Van Damme and Stallone ultimately patched things up, thanks to their mutual friend, a Ukranian oil and gas magnate. That paved the way for Van Damme to join the follow-up and finally do a fight scene with his hero.
As for the second time? It involved a female, which is all we got from Van Damme.
“It’s embarrassing,” he said.
Look for our full Role Recall interview this Friday, March 1.
Jean-Claude Van Damme currently stars in We Die Young, in select theaters and on demand March 1. Watch the trailer:
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