Carl Weathers is recognized for his role in the ‘Rocky’ movies on a daily basis.
The 69-year-old actor played the world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in four movies in Sylvester Stallone’s boxing franchise and is the titular character’s greatest opponent before they eventually become friends.
Carl has had an acting career which has spanned five decades and includes action-heavy roles in popular movies such as 1978’s ‘Force 10 from Navarone’ and 1987’s ‘Predator’ and comedy turns in films such as 1996’s ‘Happy Gilmore’ but it is always the charismatic Creed which the public loves him for and his role in new legal drama ‘Chicago Justice’ has led to even more fun fan encounters.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz ahead of the program’s UK launch, he said: "There’s never a day where someone doesn’t shout ‘Apollo!" I can be walking into a store as I did the other day and immediately it’s like, ‘You’re Apollo Creed?’ But I see it before they ask the question and I’m just like, ‘Yes, yes.’
"But the wonderful thing about ‘Chicago Justice’, and I’ve noticed
this throughout my career and it’s nearly 50 years that I’ve been working professionally, is that whenever you do something like ‘Chicago Justice’ which a lot of people do like and a lot of people are watching then all of sudden the recognition spikes. You could be walking down the street the day before and you may have been recognized or maybe not then you get an explosion of recognition and because those movies are on all the time and there are so many fans and people that like them that it reminds people again that you exist."
Carl plays Cook County State Attorney Mark Jefferies in the show, which is the fourth installment in Dick Wolf’s ‘Chicago’ franchise and also stars Philip Winchester as Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Stone.
The legal eagle part is a departure from his usual action roles and Carl has joked that first day on set he thought his alter ego should be given an Uzi machine submachine to make him feel at home.
He quipped: "I wanted my character Mark Jefferies to have an Uzi machine gun or something like that rather than law books!"
Speaking about his character more seriously, Carl added: "The thing about Mark is that he’s a politician, he’s elected to office, he’s the second most powerful man in the city – there’s a major and then there’s Mark Jefferies. But he’s a lawyer by trade and he would like to see Chicago cleaned up and he’s Peter Stone’s boss. It’s an interesting dichotomy because he’s a politician and wants to get re-elected but he’s also a lawyer and wants to see bad guys put away. He’s a little bit of a schizophrenic, but a good schizophrenic."
‘Chicago Justice’ – which is already airing in the US – debuts in the UK this Thursday (03.29.17) at 9pm on the Universal Channel.