When divining the reasons for why Sylvester Stallone has partial face paralysis a lot of people would lean towards the reason being Botox injections. While those were never proven the reason for the facial paralysis has been a known fact for a long time. When he was born Stallone’s mother underwent complications during the birth and two sets of forceps had to be used to bring Stallone into the world. Unfortunately the process managed to sever a nerve that gave him the unique snarl he’s had for so long and caused his speech to be somewhat slurred as it’s been as a result. So really his slurred speech and customary snarl have nothing to do with rumored face lifts or anything else, it’s a result of what happened so long ago that unfortunately couldn’t be avoided.
You can see how he’s made it work for him though since in almost every film he’s been a tough guy of some sort that has needed that snarl. His speech patterns aren’t the worst in the world since he can be understood if one takes the time to listen. As an action star though that look and the voice have worked. As Rocky Balboa it really worked since it made him seem uncultured, uneducated, a street tough that made his living in a way that was highly unscrupulous and painted him as little more than a bum.
But when he started getting noticed that same image made him someone that people could somehow identify with and start to cheer for. Despite the attitude of the time that the hero character had to look chiseled and be someone of high station Rocky Balboa became a symbol for the underdogs of society that could be looked up to and idolized in a way. He never gave up, he never backed down, and despite how bad things got he kept moving forward despite it all. That was the power that Stallone had as an actor back then and it’s still there when he chooses to use it from time to time.
Back then though it was a lot stronger and more capable of making people stand up and applaud. Ever since he became famous the idea of Balboa has become more of a memory than anything tangible that people can look upon and be impressed by. Once he became the big movie star Stallone kind of started to lose that big fan base that was really on his side because of his need to prove something. He’s still got a legion of fans and those that will watch a movie just because he’s in it, but the mood has definitely changed. He still has the snarl, that won’t ever go away, and he still has the slight slurring quality to his voice, but the spit and polish of his persona now is miles apart from what he presented when he was first getting into the game.
He’s come a long way from being a bum looking for a shot at greatness. Kudos to him.