Schwarzenegger–Stallone rivalry

The rivalry between American actor Sylvester Stallone and Austrian-American actor Arnold Schwarzenegger went on for about twenty years, often involving incidents of one-upsmanship and subterfuge from both parties.[1][2]

Stallone (left) and Schwarzenegger (right) speaking at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con

History edit

The two actors first met each other in 1977 when assigned to the same table at the 34th Golden Globe Awards, where Rocky, written by and starring Stallone, had been nominated for six categories but came short in all but one of them, while Schwarzenegger was nominated for New Star of the Year, for Stay Hungry, which he won.[3] Stallone later spoke out in an interview with Variety, saying that Schwarzenegger laughed at him when Rocky lost in several categories.[4] Finally, when Rocky won Best Motion Picture - Drama,[5] Stallone threw a bowl of flowers at Schwarzenegger.[6]

Popularity edit

The rival actors attacked each other in the press, and tried to surpass the other with more on-screen killings and larger weapons.[7] In an October 1985 interview with The News of the World, Schwarzenegger apparently insulted Stallone (who was considered a much bigger star at the time) by alleging that Stallone uses body doubles in a few of his films, and that one "would be angry at hearing [their] name in the same breath" as the Rocky actor.[8]

In November 1985, Rocky IV, starring Stallone, opened with a $20 million weekend, with Rocky's rival, Ivan Drago, a robotic, muscular villain with a strange accent is perceived to be a facsimile of Schwarzenegger.[8]

In February 1988, The News of the World runs a story by journalist Wendy Leigh with the headline: “Hollywood Star’s Nazi Secret.” The article claims Schwarzenegger is a closet Hitler-lover with “fervent Nazi and anti-Semitic views.” His father, Gustav, the article alleges, was responsible for rounding up Jews to put them in concentration camps. Leigh's source was claimed to be Stallone. While Schwarzenegger's father did indeed voluntarily apply to join the Austrian National Socialist Party on 1 March 1938 and held allegiance to Nazi Germany during World War II, there is no evidence to support Gustav rounded up Jews or directly participated in war crimes.[9] Gustav Schwarzenegger's Nazi links were revealed in 1990, two years after the accusation; however, Arnold, who was born two years after the fall of the regime, has always fervently denounced them. Wendy Leigh later claimed her source for the story, Stallone, also paid for her legal fees when Schwarzenegger sued for libel; the newspaper apologized late in 1989 and agreed to pay damages. [10]

In September 1988, the New York Post reported that Stallone and his entourage entered a nightclub, saw a picture of Schwarzenegger on the wall, and demanded its removal, or else Stallone would leave. The owner handed the picture of Schwarzenegger over to Stallone’s minders, who destroyed it.[11][8]

In March 1990, Stallone read an unauthorized biography by the aforementioned Wendy Leigh about Schwarzenegger's Nazi family, difficult childhood, and use of steroids in his teens. Stallone, according to Leigh, was so pleased after reading the first draft that he remarked "Reading this is better than getting four blow jobs”.[8] Schwarzenegger has subsequently admitted to taking steroids while bodybuilding, and he also mentioned his father was indeed an abusive alcoholic.[12][13]

In Twins, Schwarzenegger's character makes fun of a Rambo poster that he sees on the wall, implying with a hand gesture that he had bigger muscles than Stallone's depiction of Rambo. Stallone responded in the movie Tango & Cash, in which he beat up a man who looked like Schwarzenegger. Stallone later admitted that he imagined Schwarzenegger while shooting the scene.[8] In Last Action Hero, a Terminator 2 poster was shown with Stallone's face, and Schwarzenegger's character compliments his performance in a tongue-in-cheek manner.[14]

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Stallone stated that Schwarzenegger once tricked him to do a terrible movie: the 1992 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot.[15][16] Schwarzenegger later admitted that it was true in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.[17][18] Schwarzenegger said:

I read the script, and it was a piece of shit. Let's be honest. I say to myself, 'I'm not going to do this movie...' Then they went to Sly, and Sly called me (and asked), 'have they ever talked to you about doing this movie?' And I said, 'yes, I was thinking about doing it. This is a really brilliant idea, this movie.' When he heard that, because he was in competition, he said, 'Whatever it takes, I'll do the movie.' And of course the movie went major into the toilet.[17]

Demise and legacy edit

The rivalry ended in the late 1990s when both actors' impact on the box office had reduced significantly.[19] At the turn of the millennium, The Hollywood Reporter said that the pair were ideating a joint acting venture. Schwarzenegger also invited Stallone for multiple inaugurations during his time as the Governor of California; as a gesture of goodwill, Stallone had donated $15,000 to Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign in 2005. The pair also starred in three movies together: The Expendables 2, The Expendables 3, and Escape Plan. Additionally, Schwarzenegger also had an uncredited cameo appearance in The Expendables.[19][20]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger Are Feuding Because It's The 80s Again". ScreenRant. 2019-10-31. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  2. ^ Mitas, Melissa; Articles, More (2020-11-19). "Why Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger Had a 'Violent Hatred' For Each Other". Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  3. ^ Stay Hungry|Golden Globes
  4. ^ "Arnold vs Sly: Schwarzenegger & Stallone Have Been Feuding Since The 1980s". ScreenRant. 2019-11-17. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  5. ^ Rocky|Golden Globes
  6. ^ "That Time Sylvester Stallone Threw Flowers At Arnold Schwarzenegger At The Golden Globes". CINEMABLEND. 2019-08-13. Retrieved 2021-01-09.
  7. ^ Pearson, Ben (October 9, 2017). "Schwarzenegger Orchestrated a Legendary Hollywood Troll". /Film. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e Raymond, Adam K. (2013-10-18). "Schwarzenegger vs. Stallone: A Timeline". Vulture. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  9. ^ "Austrian Archives Reveal Nazi Military Role of Actor's Father". Los Angeles Times. 2003-08-14. Retrieved 2022-08-19.
  10. ^ de Semlyen, Nick (2023). The Last Action Heroes: The Triumphs, Flops, and Feuds of Hollywood's Kings of Carnage. New York City, New York: Crown Publishing Group. p. 180. ISBN 9780593238813.
  11. ^ Thomas, Ceri (2015). "Clash of the Titans". Total Film and SFX Present: 80s Movies the Ultimate Celebration. 5: 52 – via scribd.
  12. ^ "Schwarzenegger: 'No regrets' about steroid use". NBC News. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  13. ^ REFRESHER. "Life Of Arnold Schwarzenegger: His Nazi Father Tortured Him. The Actor Didn't Even Come To His Funeral". (in Slovak). Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  14. ^ "Last Action Hero: The Time Sylvester Stallone Was The Star of Terminator 2: Judgment Day". 2020-07-07. Retrieved 2022-04-14.
  15. ^ "Stallone Blames Schwarzenegger for His Most Regrettable Roles". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  16. ^ "Watch Sylvester Stallone talk about old rivalry with Arnold Schwarzenegger". Time. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  17. ^ a b "Arnold Schwarzenegger Once Convinced Sylvester Stallone To Do A "Piece Of Sh**" Movie". Animated Times. 2019-11-03. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  18. ^ "Arnold Schwarzenegger Tricked Sylvester Stallone Into Making the 'Piece of S---' 'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' (Video)". TheWrap. 2019-10-29. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  19. ^ a b "Sylvester Stallone and I hated each other: Arnold Schwarzenegger". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  20. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (2013-10-17). "Behind Bars, Where Anything Goes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-01-10.