British cruiserweight star Tony Bellew has completed shooting his Hollywood acting debut for the upcoming Rocky Balboa spin-off ‘Creed’ and is now focusing on making a return to the sport in the summer.
The 32 year-old was approached by fellow-Everton fan Sylvester Stallone about taking the role of boxer ‘Pretty’ Ricky Conlan alongside ‘Fruitville Station’ actor Michael B Jordan in the new version of the popular franchise, set around Rocky’s former rival Apollo Creed.
Jordan takes the lead of ‘Adonis,’ the grandson of Creed (who died at the hands of Ivan Drago in Rocky IV) – a wannabe fighter who is trained by Rocky in a bid to grab a slice of the glory and continue the family tradition of success in boxing.
Bellew had no previous experience in the industry prior to Creed, but says working alongside the likes of Stallone, Jordan and director Ryan Coogler was a dream come true for him on the back of his success in the ring last November against rival Nathan Cleverly.
“Filming went great,” Bellew exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity presented to me by Ryan Coogler as he’s an amazing director with a special vision. I believe Ryan is going to be remembered as a great director in years to come and also working with a legend like Sly and great actor like Michael B Jordan was fantastic. They are real good people who are all superstars in their own right.
“My part is all done now and I believe that shooting stops at the end of the month.”
It’s now back to the grind for the highly-ranked Bellew, as his next outing, potentially for a world title belt is already in the pipeline. The Liverpudlian has put any thoughts of a prolonged stay on the big screen on hold for the immediate future and aims to nail down a top-class opponent for a home bout in June.
“I am a fighter first and foremost,” Bellew pointed out. “I don’t see me acting for a living to be honest, no. I’m not in a position to say no to it all, but for now it’s just fighting for me.
“I’ll see the reaction to Creed and go from there for now, but I’ve had great feedback from the cast and producers. They’re not going to tell me I’m crap are they, but I have taken on board what Ryan says and he was very complimentary of what I did. He tells me I have a future in the industry, but only time will tell,” he added.
The film is due to be released on November 25 in the US and worldwide soon after. Creed also stars The Hobbit and Rambo’s Graham McTavish, plus critically acclaimed drama Selma’s Tessa Thompson.