In some ways, the story of Rocky parallels Stallone’s own rise from an essential nobody with a speech impediment to the iconic actor, writer, and director that he is today. After his parents divorced, Stallone was partially raised in foster care before moving in with his mother and stepfather. Emotional and academic struggles led to several school expulsions, leading to graduation from a school of troubled youth. Stallone’s real financial troubles came as he attempted to pursue his acting career, forcing him to take jobs like a movie theater usher, adult film star, and cleaner of a lion cage at the Central Park Zoo. Despite walk-on rolls in two Woody Allen films, Stallone didn’t hit fame until he wrote and starred in the rags-to-riches boxer tale, Rocky.