Carl Weathers Explains How Sylvester Stallone's 'Maturation' Allowed Him to Deliver 'One of His Best Performances' in Creed

Carl Weathers on Sylvester Stallone's Maturation
JB Lacroix/WireImage

02/23/2016 AT 12:15 AM EST

Sylvester Stallone's knockout performance in Creed was a lifetime in the making, according to his friend and former costar, Carl Weathers.

Weathers, who played the iconic Apollo Creed in the original Rocky series, told PEOPLE at the 2016 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Awards that Stallone's Oscar nominated performance was born out of his personal maturation over the years.

"We all have an opportunity as we grow in our work and as we grow as human beings, to mature," Weathers explained. "That maturation allows us to see things from a vantage point that we could not have had earlier, because we’re looking back on a lot of history."

When he first saw Creed, the actor explains, "I just saw a tremendous talent utilizing all that and bringing all that into his work. And as a result, the kind of nuance that existed then in this movie couldn’t have existed 40 years earlier when we did that."



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Back when Rocky hit theaters in 1977, "We were just young whipper snappers and making our way," Weathers joked. "So if anything, it was just a lesson to all of us of, you know what, you’ve got a lot of history that you can utilize in your work, use it."

Speaking of youngsters, Weathers says that trusting 29-year-old director Ryan Coogler to take the reigns allowed him "to deliver a performance that was probably one of the best performances he’s ever delivered."

Recently, Weathers got the opportunity to share his admiration with Stallone first-hand, when he presented him with an award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. "He clearly knows that I’m a fan," he said. "I have such admiration and appreciation for all that very first screenplay allowed me ... So what can I say except he deserved the award, and I have tremendous gratitude for being a part of the whole adventure."

As for adding another chapter to that adventure and reprising his role in the rumored Creed sequel, Weathers joked, "From your mouth to God’s ear."
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