*FAQs at the bottom of article* UPDATED 1/24/2023 Fans of Rocky, Rambo, and many other action movies have come to know and love the distinct snarled lip and tough facial features of Sylvester Stallone. They are seen as unique aspects of a successful actor who frequently depicts rough and tumble characters. However many fans are unaware that Stallone's facial features are the result of complications during his birth. The physician delivering Stallone had to use a pair of forceps to deliver him. This process severed a nerve and caused paralysis in parts of his tongue and chin. Stallone has managed to turn the effects of this mishap into an advantage in his acting career. His permanent scowl fits in perfectly with the action movie characters he depicts such as Rambo. Furthermore, Stallone's slightly slurred speech doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. It even adds to his depiction of characters like Rocky Balboa, who famously wasn't much of a brain. Stallone and Balboa parallel his experience growing up with those facial features View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) Still, the narrative of Rocky may give a bit of insight into Stallone's difficult early life. Stallone stated to the Chicago Tribune that growing up with facial paralysis made him feel like "Mr. Potato Head with all the parts in the wrong place." He suffered bullying as a child and was told that his brain was "dormant." These events are what inspired Stallone to start bodybuilding. RELATED: Sylvester Stallone "Learned His Lesson" Fighting Roberto Duran In 'Rocky II' In a similar way, Rocky Balboa was unfairly deemed as unintelligent early on. At the ice rink, Rocky reveals to Adrian that his father told him, "You weren't born much of a brain, so you better start using your body." Since no one believed that Rocky was smart he started fighting to make money. Physical strength became his career. A different story in the making While at face value it doesn't seem to bother Rocky that people see him as unintelligent, Rocky II tells a different story. While shooting a commercial, Rocky is called out by the director for having trouble reading the teleprompter cards. Rocky tells the director, "I ain't punchy it's just the way I talk." He quits the commercial, obviously frustrated and embarrassed. Later Rocky is seen reading to Adrian, showing that he really does care about his ability to read and his intelligence. Sylvester Stallone / Wikimedia Commons Like Rocky, Stallone grew up underprivileged and underestimated. He didn't believe he would make it in the film industry because of the way he spoke. Growing up being seen as unintelligent could only have been detrimental to his self-esteem. However, also like Rocky, Stallone turned his disadvantages into strengths and is now one of the most beloved actors of all time. Has he done anything since? CLIFFHANGER, Sylvester Stallone, 1993. © TriStar Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection Stallone has kept himself active as ever in the industry, with his latest project coming from 2021's The Suicide Squad. He's also kept his finger on the pulse of throwbacks to his old work, including 40 Years of Rocky in 2020, and sharing his thoughts on a possible modern take on his mountainous thriller Cliffhanger. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sly Stallone (@officialslystallone) Stallone is maintaining a vibrant career still, and has the looks to match. But has something been done, surgically, to those looks? Closer Weekly spoke with experts in an exclusive interview theorizing that yes, Stallone did have surgery of some kind to alter his facial features, though not necessarily those affected by the paralysis. They cite his "strong jawline and tight neck" as well as his upper and lower lids. Do you agree? What caused Sylvester Stallone's mouth? Sylvester Stallone's mouth looks the way it does because he born with facial paralysis resulting from birth complications. Additionally, the residual effects of Bell's palsy are responsible for his crooked smile and slurred speech. What disability does Sylvester Stallone have? When Sylvester Stallone was born, forceps used during his birth which damaged a facial nerve. This left him with a droopy left eyelid and a speech impediment. Why does Sylvester's face droop? Sylvester Stallone's face droops because he experienced facial paralysis resulting from birth complications. This is because forceps were used during his birth and they damaged a facial nerve. Why does Sylvester Stallone have a speech impediment? Sylvester Stallone has a speech impediment due to the facial nerve that was left damaged after use of forceps during birth. He also had a droopy left eyelid because of this.