Thursday 17 January 2019

'Mark Rylance couldn't even comb his hair' - Sly's brother Frank Stallone apologises for tirade against Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner

HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 11: Actor/writer Sylvester Stallone (L) and actor Frank Stallone attend the premiere of Lionsgate Films'
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 11: Actor/writer Sylvester Stallone (L) and actor Frank Stallone attend the premiere of Lionsgate Films' "The Expendables 3" at TCL Chinese Theatre on August 11, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Patrick Smith

Like his brother’s iconic film boxer Rocky Balboa, Frank Stallone clearly doesn’t pull his punches. The 65-year-old actor-musician, in light of the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor going to Bridge of Spies' Mark Rylance instead of his older sibling for his steely work in Creed, has directed a torrent of abuse at the Academy on Twitter.

“The Academy should be ashamed of themselves,” Frank Stallone wrote. "It’s as clear as the nose on your face that Sly won. Mark who? It’s total Hollywood bulls—.”

He added: “If I was Mark? I would have been embarrassed” and “Mark Rylance couldn’t even comb his hair for Christ sake this is the 3rd time Sly’s gotten ripped off.” These tweets have since been deleted.

Fifty-six-year-old Rylance, who is regarded as one of the finest stage actors, had already won a Bafta for his glassy portayal of a Russian spy in Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies.

Sly Stallone and Mark Rylance. PIC: Sly Stallone Instagram.
Sly Stallone and Mark Rylance. PIC: Sly Stallone Instagram.

However, Sylvester Stallone, 69, was considered the clear favourite going into the 88th Academy Awards, having won rave reviews for Creed, in which he reprises the role of boxer-turned-trainer Rocky Balboa for a sixth time.

Asked whether he was aware that Stallone was tipped to take home a gold statuette, Rylance told the BBC: "I'd heard the same thing. And Sylvester has had a long career as an actor. Doing thrillers and dramas and things like that which have given people an enormous amount of pleasure. So I was seeing absolutely every reason why he should be celebrated for this incredible Rocky character that he made, back when I was a teenager."

On Monday night, Frank Stallone tweeted an apology to Rylance. “I will always defend what right but I was wrong to put down Mark Rylance and I apologise," he wrote. "He is a fine actor but I thought Sly deserved it.”

However, he not only continued to retweet fans who agreed with his original stance, but wrote the following: “Thanks to my fans for supporting I’m done responding to idiots. If you don’t stick up for your family then who are you as a person.” He then added, “Now I’m having a Meltdown? When you stick up for your beliefs and family from nasty tweets. It’s called fighting back. No PC here.”

Today, Stallone has been more contrite although he managed to call Mark 'Michael': "Not enough words on Twitter to apologize to Michael Rylance," he wrote. "I'm an artist as well an we should cherish art not criticize it."

Sylvester Stallone, meanwhile, used Instagram to address his brother’s tirade. “I’m very happy and please understand my brother is so emotional because he is just very protective and only wants the best for me," he wrote. "Life is good!”

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