Sung Kang, who co-stars with Sylvester Stallone in the action flick Bullet to the Head, reflects on his own Rocky Balboa-esque story.
by Ada Tseng
Sung Kang can check one more thing off of his bucket list: co-starring in a Sylvester Stallone movie.
“I was a big fan of Rocky,” says Kang, referencing the famous rags-to-riches boxer film from the 1970s. His dad collected all the early Stallone films, and their family would often watch action movies together when Kang was growing up in Georgia. “Whenever I felt like the chips were down or if anybody was picking on me, I’d put on Rocky, and it’d always cheer me up. Rocky is all about a nobody having a chance, and I feel like that’s the story of my life.”
This “nobody” didn’t even have to audition for the role of Taylor Kwon, “a young NYPD detective who needs the help of abrasive hitman Jimmy Bobo (played by Stallone) in order to catch the bad guys who killed both their respective partners.
Inspired by Alexis Nolent’s French graphic novel Du Plomb Dans La Tete, the film adaptation Bullet to the Head, which opened Feb. 1, was relocated to New Orleans, and Thomas Jane had originally been cast for the role of Stallone’s sidekick. Later, when the filmmakers decided they wanted to switch up the typical (read: traditionally Caucasian) cop action genre by casting a minority actor to go up against Stallone, they called up Kang on Memorial Day weekend of 2011.