Stallone Says Former Rival Schwarzenegger “Was Superior” Action Star

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger were two of the biggest action stars of the 1980s. At the same time, they were also bitter rivals, each trying to outdo the other at the box office. In a new Netflix documentary series about Schwarzenegger, Stallone talks about their rivalry and gives Schwarzenegger much praise.

The duo, who have since developed a strong friendship, delved deeply into the prolonged “conflict” that persisted between them, both on and off camera, as featured in Schwarzenegger’s three-part Netflix documentary series, Arnold. Ultimately, Stallone acknowledged that he considered Schwarzenegger to be the more accomplished and superior star compared to himself.

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 “He was superior. He just had all the answers,” praising Schwarzenegger. “He had the body. He had the strength. That was his character.”

“The ’80s was a very interesting time because the definitive ‘action guy’ had not really been formed yet,” Stallone, 76, explained. “Up until that time, action (movies) was a car chase like Bullitt or The French Connection, and a film all about intellect and innuendo and verbal this and verbal that.”

Stallone went on to elaborate that it was only until 1982’s First Blood that action movies became what they are known in the present day. “You actually relied upon your body to tell the story. Dialogue was not necessary,” he explained. “I saw that there was an opportunity, ’cause no one else was doing this… except some other guy from Austria, who doesn’t need to say much.”


As we all know, the guy from Austria was none other than Schwarzenegger himself. And the rivalry between the two superstars spurred each other to be top in the business. Despite, Stallone’s success at the box office when Schwarzenegger made his debut, did not deter the Austrian action star from working even harder, explaining “Every time he came out with a movie like Rambo II, I had to figure out a way of now outdoing that.”

The turning point for Stallone in recognizing Schwarzenegger’s steady momentum was the slew of hit films — 1984’s The Terminator and 1985’s Commando — thus becoming Stallone’s biggest adversary in that era

As the story goes, Stallone and Schwarzenegger eventually put their rivalry aside and became friends. Ultimately starring in a few movies together, including The Expendables and Escape Plan. A partnership that’s great for the audiences and even better for the box office.