From Rivals to Best Buddies: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s Remarkable Journey
Arnold Schwarzenegger recently opened up about the rivalry he once shared with fellow actor Sylvester Stallone, expressing his reflections on the intensity it reached.
During the height of their careers, both Schwarzenegger and Stallone, known for their iconic roles in the Terminator and Rocky franchises, respectively, often found themselves compared to one another. This competitive spirit extended into the media, with both actors occasionally engaging in public disagreements. Stallone even humorously remarked that “even our DNA seemed at odds.”
This rivalry spanned nearly two decades but eventually concluded in the late 1990s. Over time, Schwarzenegger and Stallone evolved from being rivals to developing a close friendship, and they have since collaborated on several projects.
Schwarzenegger, while appearing on The Graham Norton Show, reminisced about those times, saying, “We were movie rivals, but we took the competition to the extreme – always striving to have the best physique, outdoing each other in terms of on-screen action, and trying to wield the most impressive weaponry.”
The dynamics changed when both actors invested in the themed restaurant chain Planet Hollywood during the 1990s. Schwarzenegger described how they began traveling together to promote the enterprise, leading to the development of a strong bond. He noted, “He is a remarkable person, and now, we are inseparable friends.”
Schwarzenegger and Stallone first crossed paths at the 1977 Golden Globes, where they were seated at the same table. While Stallone’s Rocky received six nominations, Schwarzenegger secured the award for New Star of the Year.
Following the awards ceremony, Stallone claimed that Schwarzenegger had mocked his losses, leading to a spirited exchange in which Stallone tossed a bowl of flowers at Schwarzenegger when Rocky eventually won the award for Best Motion Picture – Drama.
In the ensuing years, their rivalry continued to intensify. Both actors engaged in interviews where they playfully exchanged jabs, each attempting to outdo the other in their films, particularly in terms of the size of their characters’ arsenals and the number of on-screen adversaries they vanquished.
Stallone once shared on David Letterman’s show in 2013, “Over time, I began to enjoy this competition, this friendly rivalry. He’d acquire a bigger gun, and I’d increase the body count. He’d raise the stakes.”
Schwarzenegger also claimed that Stallone employed body doubles in some of his films, a move considered significant in the realm of action stars. In Rocky IV (1985), Stallone faced a fictional adversary with an ambiguous accent, which some interpreted as a playful dig at Schwarzenegger.
Their rivalry took a humorous turn when Schwarzenegger starred alongside Danny DeVito in the 1988 film Twins, where his character comically poked fun at a poster of Stallone as Rambo. In response, Stallone ventured into comedy with the 1991 film Oscar, which, unfortunately, did not fare well at the box office.
Stallone’s comedic endeavors faced further challenges with the 1992 film Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. He good-naturedly attributed the movie’s shortcomings to Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger, in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, admitted, “I read the script, and it was, to be frank, not a great one. I decided not to take part in the movie… Then they approached Sly, and he called me, inquiring if they had discussed the film with me. I replied, ‘Yes, I was contemplating it. This is a brilliant movie concept.’ Upon hearing this, because of our friendly rivalry, he exclaimed, ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to make this movie.’ Regrettably, the film did not perform as expected.”
In the late 1990s, as both actors saw a decline in their box office dominance, the rivalry naturally began to wane. In the early 2000s, they started collaborating on various projects, and Stallone even attended Schwarzenegger’s inauguration as the governor of California.
In June, Stallone graciously acknowledged Schwarzenegger as the more accomplished talent between the two, emphasizing, “He had it all – the physique, the strength; that was his persona.”
All in all
we delve into the fascinating transformation of the intense rivalry between two Hollywood icons, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, into a remarkable friendship. These action stars, famous for their roles in the Terminator and Rocky franchises, were once known for their competitive spirit and public spats.
However, this long-standing rivalry eventually gave way to a strong bond, and the two actors have even collaborated on various projects. We explore the milestones of their journey, from the height of their careers to their transition from adversaries to inseparable friends. Join us as we unravel the evolution of their relationship, marked by humor, competition, and enduring camaraderie.
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