Sylvester Stallone may have lost out on an Academy Award on Sunday, but he's still a winner in our eyes -- and on the red carpet!
In a surprise move the statuette went to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies instead, but Stallone was considered an underdog favorite for the award for his part in the Rocky reboot, Creed. The 69-year-old actor won a Golden Globe for the role in January, his first ever, and a standing ovation from the crowd.
Rylance thanked his fellow nominees in his speech. "I want to just say thank you to my fellow nominees. I don't know how they separate my acting from your glorious acting in these wonderful films that you're in, which everyone must see," he said.
Despite Stallone's status as a favorite, the Creed actor was far from a shoe-in in the category, with other strong nominees including Tom Hardy for his role in The Revenant and Christian Bale in The Big Short.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone's longtime pal, sometimes rival, and The Expendables co-star, was quick to chime in with words of support on Twitter. "Sly, just remember -- no matter what they say -- to me you were the best. You were the winner. I'm proud of you," he said.
Stallone definitely had a winning look on the red carpet, where ET caught up with him before the show and asked about his expectations for the night. "You almost feel as though you're now educated, you're smart enough to realize how rare this is," he told ET. "So I'm taking a mental movie here -- I'm filming it! And then you go home and you analyze it.
"It's so gratifying, so amazing, so life-reaffirming -- and hopefully it's an example that you never stop punching! But you do find a young director who's great," he added.
And of that young director, Ryan Coogler, who was not nominated for the film, Stallone said they talked all the time. "I'm incredibly grateful because he made [the film] come alive and it brought me alive. So I'm very aware of that."
This wasn't Stallone's first brush with Oscar glory; he was previously nominated for the first Rocky film, in 1977, in the Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay categories. That time, he lost out to Peter Finch and Paddy Chayevsky, respectively, both for the movie, Network.
The actor was dressed and ready-to-go bright and early today, showing off his blue and black tux and posing with wife, Jennifer Flavin, on Instagram.
"On my way to the Oscars… It's been a most memorable year," he captioned one snap.