Arnold Schwarzenegger & Sylvester Stallone Open Up About Their Decades-Long Rivalry

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone
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In a new special called TMZ Presents: Arnold & Sly: Rivals, Friends, Icons, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone‘s decades-long rivalry turned friendship is examined. Both are action movie stars and worked heavily in the ’80s and ’90s, so it is no surprise that there was a dose of healthy competition back in those days. Although, Schwarzenegger admitted he had a few dirty tricks up his sleeve to ensure Stallone had at least one box office flop.

In the special, Schwarzenegger, now 76, revealed that he secretly convinced Stallone to do a movie that he knew wouldn’t do very well in theaters. He and his agent concocted a plan to get Stallone to star in the 1992 film Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, also starring Estelle Getty. He explained, “First of all, when we talk about the movie, I didn’t talk him into [it] because I never talked to him about it. But it was very clear that his agent was telling my agent, ‘Look, Sly is interested in doing it, but I don’t know if it’s the right thing for him. Let me know what you guys are thinking.’ And then my agent said, ‘Well you know, Arnold really loves it. I think it’s fantastic.'”

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone at the "2002 World Stunt Awards" at Barker Hanger, Santa Monica , Ca. Sunday, May 19, 2002

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Then, Schwarzenegger’s agent told Stallone’s agent that he was talking to the director of the film and Stallone’s competitive side took over. He just had to have that project over Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger added, “I was, of course, absolutely in heaven, because I felt like the only way I could catch up with him is if he [had] a stumble.” Despite their rivalry, over the years, it softened and the two became friends.

Actors Arnold Schwarzenegger (L) and Sylvester Stallone attend the LA Premiere of Paramount Pictures' 'Terminator Genisys' at the Dolby Theatre on June 28, 2015 in Hollywood, California

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

Stallone, now 77, shared what he likes most about Schwarzenegger, “He’s like a season that doesn’t change. Very organized, very calculated, very thoughtful,” while Schwarzenegger said that he loves Stallone’s “dedication and his passion.” They both admitted that being competitive with each other actually helped their careers because it gave them something to chase and strive for.

Schwarzenegger joked, “I was running after him. He was not running after me. So I said, when we did ‘Predator‘ — you got to get a machine gun that is normally mounted on a tank or in a helicopter — I said … I got to have a bigger machine gun than he used in ‘Rambo.'” Eventually, they starred together in several action films including The Expendables movies and Escape Plan, which cemented their friendship.

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1980s Top Summer Blockbusters

July 2019

Celebrate the biggest summer movies of the ’80s, when moviegoing morphed from mere entertainment to blockbuster events.

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