Sylvester Stallone takes a "Bullet to the Head" in new action flick

Sylvester Stallone has taken some time off from filming his new boxing film in New Orleans with Robert De Niro and Kim Basinger to promote his latest action thriller, "Bullet to the Head."

Based on Alexis Nolent's French graphic novel "Du Plomb Dans La Tete," Stallone stars as a hit man who teams up with a cop (Sung Kang) to track down the man who killed each of their partners.

"Bullet to the Head" was directed by Walter Hill, who also directed the classic action movies "48 Hours" and "The Warriors." Hill also served as a producer behind the popular "Alien" film series.

It's been said that Stallone had to coax Hill into directing "Bullet to the Head." CBSNews.com asked each of the men about that during interviews at the film's New York red carpet premiere on Tuesday.

SYLVESTER STALLONE:

Q: This is your first film together with Walter Hill. I'm surprised.

STALLONE: Yeah, well we've been on a collision course for a long time. Finally.

Q: And you're the one who got him back into filmmaking?

STALLONE: Yeah, because I think he's a great talent. He's been under-used all these years. I felt the same way, because it happened to me. So I think you've got to reach out. He's a rare guy. He's far from over. He's got to rekindle those creative juices, which he has.... We had a great time. It's rare when you get someone who understands economy. It's rare. It's nice to get home before midnight. Because sometimes you get people who are insecure, which means you get 10, 30, 40 -- 50 takes. With him, he knows what he wants. And he lays it out there.

Q: You had fun making this?

STALLONE: I did. Until the axe fight. And I went, 'Damn, what was I thinking?' That hurt a little bit.

[You can see scenes of the axe fight in question by watching the interview with Stallone above.]

WALTER HILL:

Q: This is your first film in 10 years.

HILL: Yeah, I'll have to speak to my agent.

Q: Sylvester Stallone really pushed you to come back to this.

HILL: That's absolutely true. He sent me the script. We met after I read it. I told him what I thought. We both agreed about it. We felt the story lent itself to a kind of homage to action films of the '70s and '80s genre of films that we both felt we knew something about. It was a good relationship. I found he's very professional. I had a lot of fun with him. I told him to get a haircut and we would play it a little lower key. It's not an accident he's a great star. He's got wonderful equipment. He's got great eyes. He's got that great voice. He's got a great heart. The audience lives through his emotions very well. He's able to communicate with a lot of people. That's a rare gift.

Q: You've directed a lot of great action classics like "48 Hours" and "The Warriors." Is it easy by now, or is it something you still have to put a lot of focus and effort into?

HILL: It's never easy. But it's still fun. It's one day at a time. Suddenly, it's 35, 40 years later. I don't know quite know how it happened. But sometimes I feel like I'm just getting going. It's a kind of funny way to make a living. You're kind of in a circus.

"Bullet to the Head" opens in theaters Friday.

  • Ken Lombardi On Twitter» On Facebook»

    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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