Sylvester Stallone is giving the the junket circuit tour for Expendables 2 a miss after the death of his son last month, a decision his cast members completely understand.
Dolph Lundgren, Jason Statham and Jean-Claude Van Damme at the Madrid premiere of Expendables 2
Stallone's 36-year-old son Sage died on July 13 in his Los Angeles home - a day after his father was joined by Arnold Schwarzenegger and other Expendables stars at Comic-Con in San Diego.
"Something like that is so severe. You can't really do anything. I sent him a handwritten note. I contributed to a charity for his kid," said Dolph Lundgren, one of a number of ageing action stars featured in the film.
"He knows we're thinking about him," Lundgren said at a media event for the film. "He knows us. He knows our prayers go out to him. But what are you going to do? I have two kids. And all you can do is hug your kids and go thank God it didn't happen to you."
Jean-Claude Van Damme hams it up for fans in Madrid
Stallone has not made any public appearances since the death. His publicist said in a statement that the star was "devastated and grief-stricken". No cause of death has been announced.
Sage Moonblood Stallone was the oldest of Sly's children and co-starred with his father in two films, 1990's Rocky V and 1996's Daylight.
Mixed-martial-arts veteran turned actor Randy Couture said the cast was missing Stallone during promotion of the film, which includes a European trip and next week's Los Angeles premiere.
Jean-Claude Van Damme - still making the moves
"He is the leader of this group, both on-screen and off-screen. And so we miss him here," Couture said. "But we understand. We're parents. We have kids. We can't really imagine what he's going through now. But what do you say?... So we're giving him space."
Co-star Terry Crews, a former NFL player turned actor, said the cast would handle publicity for the film to allow Stallone time to grieve.
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