“Itʼs a cool day in either November or December of 1978. My cousin Marion, my friend Eve and I are in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art hoping to catch a glimpse of Sylvester Stallone filming Rocky II. Not only do we get to see him, he actually uses us as extras in the movie. Weʼre in the scene where hundreds of kids run around the Washington Monument fountain, in Eakins Oval, and follow Rocky up the Art Museum steps.
“When we first see Stallone heʼs talking to a few associates and camera men. Then he turns to us and thanks us for showing up and tells us we can all be in the next scene. After the cheering quiets down he tells us what he wants us to do in the scene. Then he separates us into two groups by asking everyone who was born from January to June to run around the right side of Eakins Oval and everyone born in the remaining six months to run around the left side. After we run around the Oval weʼre to follow him up the museum steps.
“Actually, we have to do the scene twice. On the first run, Stallone is half way up the museum steps when a kid runs out from behind the bushes on the right side of the steps and ruins the shot. Cut! Take two: We follow Stallone around Eakins Oval and up the steps. When we reach the top we all jump up and down cheering along with him. Thatʼs a wrap! Later, they re-shoot the final moment on the top of the steps with smaller kids so Stallone can more easily be seen in their midst.
“It was an unexpected thrill to actually be a part of such a famous and iconic scene. The funny thing is, I must have watched the movie a dozen times hoping to catch a glimpse of my cousin Marion, my friend Eve or myself running around Eakins Oval, but there are so many kids in the scene and it goes by so fast that itʼs nearly impossible to spot individual faces. But Iʼll keep trying.
“If anyone out there knows the exact date of the filming of this scene, please let me know. Thank you very much.”
Louis J. DeBellis