Sylvester Stallone -- a k a "Rocky," "Rambo" and now "Cobra," Hollywood's latest criminal-killing cop -- is a man who knows his constitutional rights.
Yesterday, at a torch lighting ceremony at the Capitol kicking off the 1986 Special Olympics, he exercised his right to remain silent.
The actor and his entourage -- which included his father Frank Sr., his brother Frank Jr., his wife and costar, Brigitte Nielsen, and his bodyguard, name unknown -- tooled up in four stretch limousines. They had just come from lunch at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, where director Stephen Higgins showed them the gun vault, made the movie hero an honorary special assistant and gave him a snazzy lapel pin. "We may be seeking Mr. Stallone's advice from time to time," explained an ATF spokesman.
When the star appeared at the bottom of the west Capitol steps, shrieks and squeals went up from the crowd that had gathered behind the cameras. The adored one, filling out a double-breasted pin stripe, smiled a sulky smile and half-waved an arm. The crowd was far more subdued when Attorney General Edwin Meese arrived minutes later. Meese, too, wore pin stripes, but it just wasn't the same.
After several speeches, the two law enforcement officers -- one of them real -- joined forces with 21-year-old Hugh Samuels, the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year, to light and pass the torch to Metropolitan Police Lt. Dan Kerr. Kerr was at the vanguard of 750 law officers from 28 different agencies who raised more than $8,500 by running a relay along a 25-mile route from the Capitol to Gallaudet College, where the Special Olympics began yesterday and will continue today.
Stallone, who reportedly decided not to attend this year's Cannes Film Festival for security reasons, must have felt pretty safe in the midst of all those law officers -- but if so, he wasn't saying.
"You'll have to see Paul Block," he replied, when asked a question.
"You'll have to see Paul Block," echoed Nielsen, taking cover under the brim of her huge white sun hat.
"So sorry," said Paul Block. A big, beefy man in a crowd of big, beefy men, Stallone's publicist grasped the supplicant by the elbow and nudged him into the media maelstrom, there to be bounced and spun and shoved from Entertainment Tonight to Entertainment Yesterday to Entertainment Tomorrow until he scarcely knew what day it was.
Stallone's brother Frank was voluble by comparison.
What do you do? he was asked.
"Musician," Frank said heavily.
What do you play?
What's it like being Sylvester Stallone's brother?
Later, lest anyone think Frank has no use for complete sentences, he could be heard telling his sister-in-law, "And then he asked me, 'What's it like being Sly Stallone's brother?' "
He immediately fell mum when an eavesdropper caught his eye.