Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, two iconic action stars of Hollywood, were notorious for their fierce rivalry that often played out in the media. However, everything changed in the late 1990s when circumstances forced them to spend time together, eventually leading to a deep bond of friendship. The unlikely journey from animosity to camaraderie is a fascinating tale of personal growth and mutual respect.
Schwarzenegger and Stallone were undeniable rivals in the film industry, constantly competing to outdo each other in every aspect. From their physique to their on-screen body count, they pushed the boundaries of competitiveness to the extreme. The desire to establish dominance ignited a flame that burned bright and fierce for years to come. However, this animosity was not limited to their professional lives; it trickled down to personal interactions as well.
Collision at the Golden Globes
The root of their rivalry can be traced back to the 1977 Golden Globes, where they found themselves seated at the same table. Stallone’s unfortunate series of losses in five out of six nominated categories fueled the tension. Schwarzenegger’s victory in the New Star award category became a pivotal moment that turned the tables. Stallone believed that his competitor laughed at his failures, leading to a moment of anger when Rocky eventually won the esteemed Best Motion Picture – Drama award. Stallone hurled a bowl of flowers at Schwarzenegger, and the feud escalated from there.
After the Golden Globes incident, the rivalry between the two stars intensified. Schwarzenegger’s claim that Stallone used body doubles in some of his films struck a nerve, implying that Stallone was not as physically capable as he portrayed on-screen. In response, Stallone retaliated by casting doubt on Schwarzenegger’s accent in Rocky IV, insinuating that it was intentionally exaggerated to mock him. The two action titans engaged in a never-ending battle of one-upmanship, attempting to prove their superiority in every possible way.
Fate, however, had a different plan for Schwarzenegger and Stallone. They both became investors in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, which meant they had to spend time together attending various openings. Their shared experiences and regular interactions eventually broke down the walls surrounding their rivalry. The icy atmosphere of competitiveness was replaced by mutual respect and understanding.
The turning point came when Schwarzenegger joined Stallone in the 2013 action thriller Escape Plan. This collaboration marked the beginning of a new era for the former rivals. They also joined forces in the highly successful Expendables franchise. The cinematic realm that had once been a battlefield for their egos became a platform for their friendship to flourish. Stallone even stood by Schwarzenegger’s side during his inauguration as the Governor of California.
In a June interview, Stallone acknowledged Schwarzenegger’s greatness and admired his accomplishments. He commended Schwarzenegger for having all the answers, possessing a perfect body, and exhibiting incredible strength. The evolution of their relationship proves that even the bitterest of enemies can become the closest of friends.
In the case of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, their animosity evolved into an inspiring friendship. Their journey reminds us that personal growth, understanding, and forgiveness can reshape even the most hostile of relationships. The former rivals have transcended their competitive past to create a bond that stands the test of time. As Hollywood icons and friends, they continue to inspire both on and off the screen.