Tessa Thompson: Stallone is still part of the DNA of Creed
Tessa Thompson says Sylvester Stallone "felt ever-present" on the set of 'Creed 3'.
Although Stallone's Rocky Balboa appeared in 'Creed' and its sequel, the 76-year-old actor did not return for the third movie in the franchise but Tessa believes he is still a big "part of the DNA" of the series.
She told The Hollywood Reporter: "This might sound like a line, but I sincerely think that he’s so a part of the DNA of this that he felt ever-present to me. It actually took me a minute to be like, “Oh shit, [he’s not here.]” There’s something about returning to these movies and all the history that we have with them, and Sly is so wrapped up in that. And in some ways, his absence makes him an even bigger figure in my mind, in terms of the franchise. He’s built something that is so strong and so durable that we were able to reinvigorate it and borrow from the universe and create something of our own. And in the success of this film, we also get to say that it’s durable, and that has so much to do with Sly.
"It’s a passing of the baton, but for whoever is left holding it, it’s warm because of the hands that were on it before."
Tessa, 39, also praised her co-star Michael B. Jordan for making his directorial debut with 'Creed 3'.
She said: "What really impressed me was how great he was with the crew. It didn’t surprise me because he’s a lovely human and is so well liked on set, but he has the kind of energy that lightens a set and makes everybody feel good. But you would never really know that he was also balancing performing, directing and the onslaught of decisions and questions that he had to answer. But I never observed him be short with anybody. He maintained a spirit of play and joy.
"But because we are so close in our way and have worked together for so long, I could tell when he was stressed in a moment. I would look at him and he would just give me a face. I would just look at him and think, 'Oh, he’s having a moment'. And he then would just say to me, 'Yeah'. And I would be like, 'All right, take a breath'. And he’d take a breath. So that would be a moment where he would let the air out, but never in a frustrated way. It was just in a, 'OK, you see me, you know me. This is a moment'. And I found that so deeply impressive. I also felt really lucky to get to be that kind of support. He was just so tremendous with the crew and everyone."