Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone had a long-lasting Hollywood feud before becoming famously close friends and business partners.
The two brawny stars were rivals throughout the ’80s when they were both willingly typecasted for similar roles. They each had their own distinct fan-favorite characters and niches at the time. Stallone was riding high on his Rocky and Rambo franchises. Schwarzenegger was immortalized as the Terminator and was landing roles in high-stakes comedies such as Kindergarten Cop. So they never caused the other to struggle for work. Instead, they struggled to be the most loved and respected action star.
“The ’80s was a very interesting time because the definitive ‘action guy’ had not really been formed yet,” Stallone reflected during the Netflix docu-series Arnold. “Up until that time, action was a car chase like ‘Bullitt’ or ‘The French Connection,’ a film all about intellect and innuendo and verbal this and verbal that. [Arnold] actually relied upon [his] body to tell the story.”
While talking on The Graham Norton Show, Schwarzenegger further shared that he and Stallone constantly tried to one-up the other during their primes. And in retrospect, he thinks they took it way too far.
“We were movie rivals, but we took the competitiveness to the extreme,” he admitted. “We each had to have the best body, we had to kill more people in our films, and we had to have the biggest guns.”
“It got out of control,” he continued. “And we tried to derail each other.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone Became ‘Fantastic Friends’ After Becoming Business Partners
Interestingly, the rivalry didn’t stop the actors from becoming partners in the Planet Hollywood restaurant franchise with Bruce Willis in 1991. The opportunity forced them to travel the world together for promotion tours, and they bonded. In the end, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone realized their similarities made them better suited as friends, and their rivalry ended. Now they’re “fantastic friends.”
“He is a great human being, and we are now inseparable,” Schwarzenegger shared.
Schwarzenegger and Stallone went on to co-star in Expendables and Escape Plan, and star watchers can catch the two hanging out together around LA when they have downtime.
Since the two have mended fences, Sylvester Stallone has determined that Arnold Schwarzenegger was the clear winner in their old feud.
“He was superior. He just had all the answers.” Stallone continued during Arnold, “He had the body. He had the strength. That was his character. I had to get my ass kicked constantly, whereas Arnold, he never got hurt much.”
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