MOVIES

The 5 Most Important Roles Of Carl Weathers

There is no other place to begin a list of Carl Weathers’ most iconic roles than with Apollo Creed, the character who launched him to stardom and remains his most famous to this day. Nobody could have anticipated the box office hit that “Rocky” became, nor the massive impact it still has on American pop culture. But even before anyone knew it was going to be a smash, capturing the character of Apollo was no small feat.

It’s hardly a secret that Creed was partially based on Muhammad Ali, down to the pretty face, flair for performance, and quick wit in the media. Ali remains one of the most singular icons in the history of professional sports, and while no fictional character could ever measure up to him, Weathers’ performance takes inspiration where necessary while constructing a unique persona all his own.

Over the course of the first four Rocky movies, Apollo goes from bitter rival to stalwart friend, only to be killed off brutally in “Rocky IV.” It’s a shame that Weathers was never given an opportunity to reprise the role in any of the modern-day Creed movies, which follow Apollo’s son Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) on his own boxing journey. Still, the success of those films is in part a testament to the lasting appeal of Weathers’ character. In a 2023 interview with The Detroit News, Weathers called the Creed franchise “a part of my legacy, in a sense.”

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