Hollywood has always faced rivalries whether we observe Diesel vs. The Rock, Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris, or Betty White vs. Bea Arthur. Yet, on-screen rivalries never went too far unless we are mentioning 1980s action movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
The 80s was considered the golden age of action movies as that period gave new action movie stars that made their mark in the industry. Schwarzenegger shared an incident that gave a major hit on the Stallone’s career.
How Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone Became Enemies
Both their movie careers started to catch fire in the late 1970s. Stallone rose to fame with a first box office success that came with the release of Rocky in 1976. Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger was a world-famous Mr. Olympia bodybuilder who moved to try his hands into movies. Though he rose through his breakthrough role when he starred in 1982’s Conan The Barbarian.
By the mid-1980s, Schwarzenegger and Stallone rose to the top rising as the action movie stars in Hollywood and ultimately became enemies while constantly trying to outdo each other. According to Stallone, he started hating the former sharing that his “violent hatred” was so intense that the Stallone would get angry just thinking about having to be “on the same planet” as the Total Recall star.
Schwarzenegger though had a literal size advantage over Stallone and he worked with some of the top action directors of the era, like James Cameron and John McTiernan, but Stallone often crafted his material. A little later in the decade, they both explored their range and went into comedies which were advantageous to Schwarzenegger thanks to starring opposite Danny DeVito in Ivan Reitman’s Twins (1988). Meanwhile, Stallone’s attempts to defeat Arnold in comedies went in vain.
How Schwarzenegger Affected Stallone’s Career
Schwarzenegger once shared how he was so into the rivalry that he affected Stallone’s career. In the ’90s, Arnold was approached for a movie, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, which had an awful script. Through this, he made a wicked plan to outdo the latter.
He said, “So I went in – this was during our war – I said to myself, I’m going to leak out that I have tremendous interest. I know the way it works in Hollywood. I would then ask for a lot of money. So then they’d say, ‘Let’s go give it to Sly. Maybe we can get him for cheaper.’ So they told Sly, ‘Schwarzenegger’s interested. Here’s the press clippings. He’s talked about that. If you want to grab that one away from him, that is available.’ And he went for it! He totally went for it.”
This was the decision that Stallone still regrets however their competition ended up benefiting their careers as both the stars created iconic characters in the 80s that are still being continued, as in 2019, Stallone resurrected John Rambo in Rambo: Last Blood while Arnold once again played the Terminator in Terminator: Dark Fate.