Vojislav Govedarica from Gacko came to Los Angeles in great style and played alongside the biggest stars of Hollywood, and he was also Stallone’s personal bodyguard.
Vojislav was introduced to the world of film by director Puriša Đorđević for his roles in the films “Morning” and “Noon”, as well as Đorđe Kadijević in the film “Holiday”, and he also played with Bata Živojinović in “Operation Belgrade” and “And God Create a Tavern Singer” “…
After leaving for America, he quickly became known to the general public, for his role as the awkward Russian Yushin from the action film “Rambo” (1985) with Sylvester Stallone, whose personal bodyguard he was. This colorful strongman also appears in the film “Lion’s Heart” (1990) with Jean-Claude Van Damme, in which he plays the sergeant of the Legion of Foreigners and utters several lines in Serbian. Legends about his courage are transmitted through Belgrade, and because of numerous knightly anecdotes, he was also called “the colossus of a tender heart”.
Vojislav Govedarica was born in 1940 in Gacko.
The actor was later nicknamed Voya the Cruiser, and now he reveals the details of his friendship with Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme, as well as his life in Hollywood. He never dreamed of being a movie star, but he believes that is why he experienced success.
How did your collaboration with Sylvester Stallone begin?
Before I met Stallone, I played only two minor roles. The collaboration with him started in a very funny way. An agent called me one day and told me I had an offer to star in the movie “Rambo.” I went there and the casting director asked me to make some move. I grabbed him by the neck and threw him on the armchair, and then they teased me that that’s why I got the role. I was sent to meet Stallone and by God, I waited a long time in front of the door. He showed up in black shorts, just out of the gym. Then he told me that someone bigger than him had finally appeared. Then I told him that I was stronger, not just bigger, I grabbed him and knocked him over.
How did it come about that you became his personal bodyguard?
After the role in “Rambo”, I traveled everywhere and Stallone and I were not in contact. One day, his backup called me and said I had to go back to Los Angeles because everyone, with Stallone at the helm, hasn’t stopped talking about me for weeks. He asked me to call him urgently because, as he stated, he did not need an army regiment, but only one like me. When we got in touch, I started working the next day. I was not his security guard, but his personal bodyguard. I went with him because he trusted me the most.
Unlike many Hollywood bodyguards, you didn’t sell private information, even though you were offered big money?
They offered me money to say something about the women he was with, his way of life, to reveal dirty laundry, but I never agreed to that. Honor and cheek are in the first place for me, Stallone kept me close to him because of those qualities. What would it mean to me to sell one piece of information for 300,000 euros if I couldn’t walk down the street with my head held high? Whenever we would hear from each other in later years, he would tell me that he was proud of my dignity.
How did you get the nickname Cruiser?
While I was working as a security guard, there were fights and then before I put someone together with the ground, I would warn the guys to calm down, to keep quiet. It was rumored that I was strong and that I took care of even the strongest guys of that time with one blow. Then one guy said, “Some cruiser has come, it will sink everything.” So I remained a Cruiser.
Do you hang out with Hollywood stars?
Actors in Hollywood do not hang out with each other but withdraw into themselves. They have their own circle of people, their own activities and it is not typical for them to be close to each other. Sometimes, when a project is arranged, they gather for dinner, but that’s all. They are not as warm and approachable as the Balkans. They grow up much differently and do not learn that unnecessary gathering with everyone and everyone.
How do you spend your time in America now?
I spend time in shorts, in training. I get up, I don’t change, I go to training right away, and it takes a few hours. When I come back from training, my nephew tells me – your water is ready, go take a bath. Training takes up the most time and sport has marked my whole life. I haven’t known about anything since I was 13 and my primary goal is to stay in shape. People still don’t know how old I am. I look better than young men.
Why do Serbian actors fail in Hollywood, and try so hard?
There may be real Serbian actors in Hollywood, but I haven’t seen them. Those who come do a lot of ugly things. They have no character, they have no honor, they have nothing, and they grab fame. They are tricked into castings, and when the time comes to speak or act, they have no idea. They annoy the actors, there is one whose name I will not mention, who finds out where Jean-Claude is and appears where he is informed. That doesn’t make any sense and unfortunately, they don’t understand that dignity is the most important thing in every job.