Arnold Schwarzenegger Admits ‘Extreme’ Rivalry With Sylvester Stallone ‘Got Out of Control and We Tried to Derail Each Other’

Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted on a new episode of “The Graham Norton Show” (via NME) that his rivalry with Sylvester Stallone “got out of control” during the 1980s and ’90s. The two actors emerged as action movie icons around the same time that Schwarzenegger released “The Terminator” and Stallone starred in “Rambo.”

“We were movie rivals, but we took the competitiveness to the extreme – 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,” Schwarzenegger said. “It got out of control and we tried to derail each other.”

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“Then when we both invested in Planet Hollywood, we started flying around the world together to promote it and we became fantastic friends,” he continued. “He is a great human being and we are now inseparable.”

Stallone and Schwarzenegger would go on to star opposite each other in the first two “Expendables” movies and the 2013 action movie “Escape Plan,” which grossed $137 million worldwide. The latter film led to two sequels, both of which starred Stallone.

In Schwarzenegger’s Netflix documentary “Arnold,” which debuted over the summer, Stallone said there’s no question that Schwarzenegger was the more ideal action hero.

“The ’80s was a very interesting time because the definitive ‘action guy’ had not really been formed yet,” Stallone said. 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. Dialogue was not necessary.

“He was superior,” Stallone continued about Schwarzenegger. “He just had all the answers. 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. And I’m going, ‘Arnold, you could go out and fight a dragon and you’d come back with a Band-Aid.’”

Stallone admitted to Forbes last November that the two actors “really disliked each other immensely” for over two decades as their action films competed at the box office.

“This may sound a little vain, but I think we were pioneering a kind of genre at that time and it hasn’t been seen since really,” Stallone said. “So the competition, because it’s his nature, he is very competitive and so am I… and I just thought it actually helped, but off-screen we were still competitive and that was not a healthy thing at all, but we’ve become really good friends.”

Stallone as his own Netflix documentary, “Sly,” streaming Nov. 3.

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