"I couldn't even get casted as an Italian. I said, 'If there is one movie I can definitely get into, it would be "The Godfather" because there's a party scene and there's three hundred guests,'" Stallone said in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts for the ABC News special, "Journey to the Oscars."
"They said no," Stallone said.
Stallone then decided to take matters into his own hands and wrote the screenplay for "Rocky" in three and a half days. Though he said he was offered $360,000 for it, Stallone refused to sell the screenplay unless he could star as Rocky.
"I just didn't understand how the rules of life were played at that point but this character I understood," Stallone said.
The resulting film not only won an Oscar for best picture in 1977, but it also gave birth to a franchise and made Stallone a movie star.