When Sylvester Stallone created Rocky, he had a lot to prove to many people. He had to establish to his co-stars and the producers that he was a worthy lead for the film.

Veteran actor Carl Weathers, for example, acknowledged he was underwhelmed by Stallone’s performance when they first met.

Carl Weathers originally wasn’t wanted for Apollo Creed.

Veteran actor Carl Weathers

Some may find it difficult to imagine anyone other than Carl Weathers in the character of Apollo Creed. However, the actor was not the studio’s first choice to play the role. In truth, Weathers acknowledged that he was not the studio’s first choice.

“One would think when you do something that successful, you would think, ‘Oh, man, they must’ve really wanted him, he was that good in that,’” Weathers confided on The Rich Eisen Show. “Nope. They didn’t want me. They didn’t want anything to do with me because I was nobody.”

Weathers claimed at the time that he was just a rookie actor attempting to create a name for himself. When Weathers’ agents brought him the script for Rocky, he was told that the producers did not want to meet him.

Weathers was eventually able to read for the part after considerable wrangling and begging. However, the audition did not go exactly as Weathers had hoped.

How Carl Weathers told Sylvester Stallone he wasn’t a good actor to his face

Carl Weathers finally found himself reading the script alongside Rocky star Sylvester Stallone. However, Stallone was essentially unknown at the time. So when Weathers met his future co-star, he had no idea he was auditioning for the lead.

“I was introduced to him [Sylvester Stallone], the writer,” Weathers revealed. “He comes into the room, out of some vestibule somewhere, and he sits down. They introduce, ‘Well, this is the writer of the screenplay.’ So I’m reading with him.”

Weathers and Stallone would later start rehearsing lines from the script, with the former doing everything he can to secure Apollo.

“I’m standing up, I’m chomping at the bit,” he recalled. “I’ve got all this energy going. And at the end of it, the reading, it’s like, quiet. It’s like crickets, man.”

Weathers mistook his silent reaction for a negative one and lost the role as a result. Weathers would then blame Stallone early for his performance.

“I’m really nervous because I think I blew the interview and blew the audition. So I chirp out, ‘You know, if you get me a real actor I could do a lot better,’” Weathers remembered. “And Stallone looks up at me like, ‘This idiot, who’s he? Who does he think he is?’”

But Weathers believes that outburst might have further helped him clinch the part.

“As far as I know, as far as I’ve heard, one thing Sly always said was, ‘He was so arrogant, I knew he could do the role,’” Weathers recalled. “But I wasn’t being arrogant, I was being nervous, man. I wanted the role!”

Carl Weathers didn’t believe ‘Creed’ was a true sequel to ‘Rocky’

When Creed was released, Weathers had his own thoughts on the series.

Weathers believed he was a part of Michael B. Jordan’s sports drama even though he wasn’t in it.

“With this movie, I am close to it without being close to it at all,” Weathers told The Hollywood Reporter.

However, he didn’t look at it as a sequel to the Rocky films that he was once an integral part of.

“I don’t think I would call it a sequel,” Weathers confided. “In my mind, it is its own entity. I think it stands on its own.”