President-elect Donald Trump is looking to draw “first blood” for his incoming administration’s senior arts role, sources inside the transition team told The Daily Mail. “Rocky” and “Rambo” star Sylvester Stallone may be the one to make art great again.
The likely position would be chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency which doles out funds to aspiring artists and creative projects.
Stallone, like Trump’s other top picks, would have to be approved by Congress for the role. Stallone is reportedly positively disposed to the idea, but it remains unknown whether he will accept it. The 70-year-old actor best known for his roles as John Rambo and Rocky Balboa has previously praised Trump and hinted at an interest in entering politics. Stallone is not a registered Republican, but he backed John McCain in 2008.
The actor called Trump “bigger than life,” but he did not endorse the candidate. “I love Donald Trump,” he told Variety magazine. “He’s a great Dickensian character. You know what I mean? There are people like Arnold, Babe Ruth, that are bigger than life. But I don’t know how that translates … to running the world.”
Stallone also hinted at a career in politics, saying he considered following in the footsteps of Terminator-turned-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I said to my wife, ‘What do you think?'” Stallone told Variety. “She said, ‘Are you crazy?'”
“It’s been widely and wrongly assumed that a Trump Presidency will be hostile to the arts,” a source told The Daily Mail. “But Mr Trump feels this sort of A-list appointment is precisely the shot in the arm that the industry needs.”
The National Endowment for the Arts, formed in 1965, is an independent federal agency which funds, promotes, and supports a plethora of art programs, from opera to folk music. Jane Chu, its current head, leads a 14-person board and can draw upon an annual budget of around $146 million.
Stallone’s most recent film was the 2015 Rocky spin-off Creed, which took in $174 million at the box office.
In September, the actor was forced to deny reports of his own death, following a hoax on social media. Contrary to the fears of some, he is very much alive.