Tessa Thompson talks Sylvester Stallone’s absence in Creed 3

Although Creed started as a Rocky spin-off, the franchise has become its own beast. In fact, Sylvester Stallone’s famous boxer does not appear in the latest instalment in the series, Creed III. However, Tessa Thompson – who plays the eponymous Adonis Creed’s partner Bianca – says that she felt Stallone’s presence on set every day. Creed III is in cinemas and IMAX from 3 March.

Video transcript

JACK SHEPHERD: Did it feel different, not having Sly on set?

TESSA THOMPSON: You know what, his DNA is so inseparable from the project that I feel like he's ever present. And certainly, I think-- I don't remember if it was the third Rocky that he also directed, but I feel like Mike just so wanted to do him justice and make him proud. So I really felt his presence on set the whole time, in a way.

JACK SHEPHERD: When you joined the franchise, did you know or foresee the trajectory that your character was going to go through?

TESSA THOMPSON: No. The truth is I don't think we made the first one thinking that we would necessarily make more. Although, if you ask Mike, I think he would say that was always the plan and the dream. I think there's a reason why the Rocky films in general have stuck around for generations at this point. There's something about rooting for the underdog, this idea as audience members that we understand what it means to have to fight for something or fight through something. There's something essential about those themes.

But I'm just so excited when I think about making this eight years ago and how far we've come individually, both Mike and I, and how far these characters have gone. I adore Adonis and Bianca, and now Amara. I adore these characters, so it's a dream to get to continue to play in this world.