Good Celebrity: Sly Stallone talks about the atrocities in Myanmar

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I don’t exactly consider Sylvester Stallone to be the epitome of tact and grace, but he actually has some interesting and thoughtful things to say about the atrocities in Myanmar right now – where he’s spent several months filming the latest installment in the “Rambo” series.

“Sylvester Stallone says he and his Rambo sequel movie crew recently witnessed the human toll of unspeakable atrocities while filming along the Myanmar border. ‘I witnessed the aftermath — survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land-mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off,’ Stallone told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday. ‘We hear about Vietnam and Cambodia and this was more horrific.’

“The 61-year-old actor-director returned to the U.S. eight days ago from shooting John Rambo, the fourth movie in the action series, on the Salween River separating Thailand and Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Stallone said he was in Thailand for six months, most of it along or on the river. ‘This is a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams,’ Stallone said. ‘All the trails are mined. The only way into Burma is up the river.’”

[From USA Today]

I wonder why they chose to film in Myanmar given that it’s such a hotbed of danger right now? I know the guy is an action and adrenaline junkie, but it seems like he has a decent appreciation for how dangerous the place is right now. I don’t know the Rambo movies at all, so maybe it’s integral to the script – though my general impression is that they’re not exactly super plot-based. Even if he wanted to set the movie in Myanmar, he could still have chosen to film it somewhere else.

“Stallone also claimed watching refuges fleeing from Myanmar to Thailand during his stay at the location. Actor-director Sylvester Stallone has revealed that he received a series of death threats while filming upcoming sequel John Rambo along the troubled Thailand-Myanmar border. The 61-year-old star said that his crew was filming on the Salween River when they were warned that they would be shot if they did not leave the place immediately.

“‘We were on the Salween River and we were told to get out because we were going to be shot,’ Contactmusic quoted him as telling American TV show Entertainment Tonight . Stallone also claimed watching refuges fleeing from Myanmar to Thailand during his stay at the location. ‘It’s the most brutal regime in the world and the most secretive. It has an oppressive regime that (keeps all riches) for themselves. Everyone is forced into drugs or prostitution or slavery,’ he said.”

[From the Times of India]

Why I don’t quite understand why he’d chose to film there and endanger his life and the lives of his cast and crew, I’ve got to give the guy props for speaking out about what’s going on in Myanmar. Some decent celebrities have shown that they can bring a lot of much-needed attention, even political attention, to otherwise ignored causes. Had most of us heard about Darfur, until a bunch of big names threw their weight behind the “Save Darfur” campaign? Hopefully the situation will change on it’s own, but I appreciate a celebrity (if you still want to call Sly Stallone a celebrity… hey we’re bitchy here, I had to get that in) throwing their weight behind something good.

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