There are few celebrities that perfectly embody the modern-day action hero as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Both actors have enjoyed decades of fame in Hollywood and, together and separately, they have led some of the most successful film franchises of all time. While they are now great friends, The Expendables stars also once had an infamous feud. And according to Schwarzenegger, the animosity between the two movie stars once got a bit out of hand.
It wasn’t all that long ago that movie fans would have been shocked to see Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger sharing anything at all, let alone a (maybe too) long-running action movie franchise. However, new cinephiles who don’t know their Hollywood feud history might be equally shocked to know that the two actors were once constantly at odds, because the pair of actors have enjoyed a very public friendship over the past several decades. During a recent visit to The Graham Norton Show, Arnold Schwarzenegger discussed his and Stallone’s enemies-to-friends arc – and he shared how they managed to transform a once long-standing animosity into an unbreakable bond of friendship (via NME):
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. It got out of control, and we tried to derail each other. Then, when we both invested in Planet Hollywood, we started flying around the world together to promote it and we became fantastic friends. He is a great human being, and we are now inseparable.
While Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t go into further detail about exactly how he and Stallone tried to derail each other’s careers, there are some pretty legendary stories about how fierce their rivalry was at its peak. In 1977, for example, an encounter at the Golden Globes ended with the Rocky star throwing a bowl of flowers at the man who would one day be The Terminator. Their battle played out on the big screen over the following years, as they each flexed their action-hero status in films like Rambo and Predator.
It’s probably a relief for both actors that they were able to set their differences aside and forge an enduring friendship. While it’s clear the True Lies and Creed stars are very different in some ways, like how they express their anger, they also have lots of respect for each other now. They have even both credited each other for their respective successes during the height of their feud.
Fans who hoped for the now-famous friends to reunite on the big screen for Expend4bles were likely disappointed, as Schwarzenegger sat the fourth installment out.
But both actors have recently released documentaries that shed more light on their careers and their legacies, and Arnold and Sly are both a part of Netflix’s 2023 schedule.