Sunday, July 15, 2012

Peace to you, Sage Stallone

The world has lost a fine storyteller with the untimely death of Sage Stallone at 36. My heart aches for a death so young and for the terrible loss to his family.

I interviewed Sage in 2006 when I was a features writer for a daily newspaper (The Press-Enterprise) and I annually covered the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Sage's short film "Vic" played the festival.

He was 30 at the time, and I was so impressed that he'd chosen to write and direct a character-driven film about an aging actor whose career and life were in free fall.

"All my life I've been into film and following the careers of actors who once their contracts expired they were nowhere to be found," Sage said in that interview. "It always intrigued me and bothered me at the same time." Some of those actors died in near-poverty, some took roles in low-budget horror films to get by.

 Because he knew actors like that he said he sometimes had trouble watching his own film. "It makes me sad," he said. "It affects my soul."

Sage paid his own dues as an actor and an assistant to cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond. When he was only 19 he used his earnings from film work to purchase the rights to horror classics, which he re-mastered and presented uncut on DVD. He was passionate about film.

I'm disturbed by conjecture about whether his death was suicide or drug overdose. I don't pretend to know the answer, but I do know the person I talked to was vibrant and compassionate and had a whole lot to offer the world.

My thoughts are with his family and friends.

15 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

I hate the way the press makes up stories just to get readers. Leave the poor man alone and let him rest in peace. (No offence intended to you as a journalist.)

Laraine Eddington said...

It's so nice to hear your memories and perspective of Sage. What a sad time for his family and friends.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Anne: Actually, that is one reason I wrote this post. The speculation bothered me. I've never liked the feeding frenzy that surrounds celebrities (and these days that can be anyone). Whatever Sage died of he was more than that and I wanted to say so.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Laraine: Thank you so much. That is what I was trying to do--put in a good word.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Very nice post. I didn't really know anything about him except for what i heard on the radio this morning. The station did a good job mostly focusing on how bad they felt for Sage and Sly and the rest of the family

Donna said...

Thanks for the thoughtful remembrance. I know very little about Sage except to be sad that another creative young person has left the world.

Jemi Fraser said...

So sad. It's hardest of course on the family and friends when someone dies so young - but it's hard on the world when we lose them too.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Sarah: Thank you. I'm so glad to hear how the radio program handled this.

Donna: yes, that's how I feel--a sad loss.

Jemi: It's hard on all of us, you're right. We understand the pain for those close to him and mourn all he still had ahead.

Lisa Gail Green said...

How sad! It's really neat though that you interviewed him.

Bish Denham said...

I just heard about this. I'm not familiar with Sage at all, but my heart goes out to his family. Too young.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Lisa: It's terribly sad, but you are right, I'm honored to have had that interview.

Bish: Way too young.

Gina Gao said...

I find that it is such a shame that someone who is so young could just die. He had a bright future in front of him.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Hello, Gina. thanks for stopping by. Yes, it is a terrible shame. Makes me quite sad, actually.

Faith Pray said...

I loved reading of your experience with Sage. Thank you for sharing his bright and positive legacy with us.

Suzanne Casamento said...

So nice to hear about your experiences with Sage and his passion for film. Especially because the media seems to be focusing on the negative. Thank you.