Speaking to Philadelphia Magazine for its “Rocky” oral history, Carl Weathers talked about the positive reaction to him playing heavyweight champion Apollo Creed for the first time. “It was a kind of groundswell,” he explained. Prior to “Rocky,” Weathers had mostly had some bit parts in some Pam Grier movies, in addition to a TV series guest spot every now and then, but it wasn’t until opening weekend where Weathers felt his first real dose of fame:

“I remember I was in New York just after the film was released. I was walking down the street in Manhattan the day before it opened, was not recognized by anyone, of course — I had done some movies and TV that hadn’t done particularly well. The day after — the next day — the vendors were going, ‘Yo, Apollo!’ That’s the power of movies.”

Even though Talia Shire had more than enough exposure from “The Godfather” films, after “Rocky” came out, she was heartened by the folks who had approached her, notably the shy women who saw themselves through Adrian. “They’re the women nobody gets up and gives up their seat for,” said Shire. “That has great meaning.”

Getting recognized in a contemporary era, as compared to ’76, was a wildly different ball game. The internet has basically given the public accessibility to interact with their favorite stars across social media at any given time, for better or worse. The chances of seeing a movie star out and about back then was pretty slim, and the “Rocky” crew took their newfound fame in stride. Given how impactful the boxing drama became, it was no wonder why folks flocked to see them.