MF: What's it like playing the son of the iconic Rocky Balboa?
MV: Definitely some big shoes to fill. It was hard for me to enter into 30 years of legacy and shoulder the burden of not screwing it up. And meeting Sylvester for the first time was kind of intimidating. He's a pretty fuckin' big presence with a deep, booming voice, but he's actually very kind and very professional.
MF: Did you pick up any boxing from Sly?
MV: No, man-not for me. I watched Antonio [Tarver] and Sylvester kick the shit out of each other for eight days when filming the Vegas fight scenes, and they were really connecting punches. I guess what I learned was I didn't really want to get hit in the face.
MF: You also star in the NBC hit Heroes, which isn't just another X-Men, right?
MV: There's no tights or masks, just everyday people dealing with the fear and exhilaration of having superpowers. But people have a good time watching it. Lots of screaming at your TV.
MF: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
MV: Power of persuasion. Think about it-it's a cerebral power. You can persuade someone to start a war or end a war. You could really do some good with it, or some major bad for the world, if you're so inclined. But there's good and bad in everybody. It just depends on what you tap into and when.
MF: Who would you pick to win in a fight - Rocky 2006 or Rocky 1976?
MV: That's a really tough question. It's the same guy! They'd be throwing the same punches. Maybe Rocky '06 would have a lot of hunger behind him, but I gotta go with the original.
Rocky Balboa opens on Dec. 22. Heroes airs Monday nights on NBC.