It has been almost 16 years since the city of Philadelphia, and the world, has seen Rocky Balboa. The last memory people have of Rocky is his bloody street fight with young boxer Tommy Gunn in Rocky V. Since that fight, Rocky Balboa has left the limelight and has left eager fans waiting for more.
In the coming months Columbia Pictures will begin filming the sixth installment of the Rocky series, and they have just started looking for local Philadelphians and actors to be part of the film. On Saturday, Dec. 3, Heery Casting, located between 2nd and Race streets, held an open audition for anyone interested in being part of the new movie. People began lining up early in the morning, and by noon the line was filled with hundreds of young actors and Rocky fans screaming the famous phrase “Yo Adrian!”
The casting agency informed all auditioners that Sylvester Stallone himself will choose each person he believes should get a role. The auditioners were taken in large groups of about 40 people, and were then photographed by a casting agency photographer and put on file.
Everyone from theater actors to grocery store clerks were allowed to fill out a form and leave a picture for consideration. For one man, who wanted to be known as Zio Louie, acting has been a life-long dream. “I worked for 62 years and I always wanted to go into acting, but I never could do it. After I retired at the age of 72, I said I was going to take a shot, and this is my shot,” he said.
For Christine Phelps, an employee of the supermarket chain Pathmark, this opportunity was more than just living a dream to be an actor, but a dream to be involved with a hero she grew up with. “You know, Rocky. An opportunity to be in a Rocky movie; I mean I grew up on that, so it’s kind of cool.”
Though many dreamed to be in a Rocky film, some took this opportunity to enhance their acting resume and start fulfilling their career dreams of acting.
“I heard about this through a professor at my school and I am a theater major so I thought getting a small part in Rocky VI would be a good way to get some exposure,” said Mike Sheehan, a student at Rowan University in Glassboro, N.J. The movie itself will be filming through January and February, so it may not be long before people start receiving phone calls telling them they will be in the new movie. Rocky is a symbol of this city, so for Columbia Pictures to film the movie right here rather than in a Hollywood studio, gives all Philadelphians a chance to be part of the story of their hometown hero. Now anyone who loves acting or just loves Rocky has a chance to be part of what could be something great.
Dan Cappello can be reached at email@example.com.