Every film lover grew up hearing about the movie Rocky. Even those who haven't seen the iconic boxing film recognize its place in pop culture. But, while we've all spent years knowing the name Rocky Balboa, most people are less familiar with Chuck Wepner, the man who inspired Rocky. For a time, Wepner was left out of Hollywood history, but that's about to be rectified in a major way with the new movie Chuck. Yet while his story is set to hit the big screen soon, where is Chuck Wepner now? Well, just like Rocky himself, the boxer is still going strong.
In 1975, Wepner went 15 rounds against Muhammad Ali in a massive fight that inspired millions, including a young actor named Sylvester Stallone. Fans of Rocky, which was released just one year later, know how the fight ended: the underdog (Wepner) lasted longer than anybody thought, but lost in the end. For years, Wepner's story was synonymous with Rocky. Now, at 78, Wepner is reclaiming his own story in Chuck. Liev Schreiber plays the title character in the film that traces the end of the boxer's career in the ring as well as his fraught relationship to the film he allegedly inspired, Rocky. The film also provides a nice set up for where Wepner is now: completely at peace with his Rocky legacy, living his life in New Jersey.
Wepner has been retired from boxing for over 30 years and now works as a liquor salesman. He's been married to his wife, Linda, for 22 years, and he seems perfectly happy to be back in the spotlight with his new film. It's clear that Wepner worked closely with the Chuck filmmakers in an effort to make it authentic, and he's even done press for the film. "I wanted this movie to be truthful," Wepner said in an interview with People. "I realized there were going to be parts of the movie that might be a little embarrassing for me, but that's why they make motion pictures."
It certainly sounds like Wepner's become enamored with the movie business. In fact, he's hoping to get in front of the camera sometime soon, perhaps with the help of his old friend Stallone. "If Sylvester Stallone wants me for a movie, he knows where to find me," Wepner said, via The New York Post. Who knows, maybe both Rockys will share the screen someday soon.