Sylvester Stallone Says He Accepts Arnold Schwarzenegger is the ‘Superior’ Action Movie Star

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Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger recently discussed their past rivalry in a new docuseries that focuses on Schwarzenegger’s life and career. During the conversation, Stallone admitted that Schwarzenegger was the “superior” action hero.

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A Bit of Rivalry

Back in the day, two Hollywood greats were fierce competitors at the box office. However, over time they became good pals and even co-starred in films like The Expendables and Escape Plan.

In the Netflix series, Arnold, The two iconic stars took  a trip down memory lane, reminiscing about a decades-long feud that started in the early 1980s. The feud was sparked by Stallone’s realization that he was the only one exploring the newly emerging action genre in a unique way “except some other guy from Austria.”

Schwarzenegger  pointed out that Stallone had a head start with the first two Rocky films under his belt before Schwarzenegger’s own debut in Conan the Barbarian in 1982. However, Schwarzenegger gracefully acknowledged this fact.

“Sly was ahead of me in the ’80s so it was for me to catch up,” Schwarzenegger shared. “Every time he came out with a movie like Rambo II, I had to now figure out a way of outdoing that.”

Stallone admitted that Schwarzenegger began to surpass him in the action movie game with films such as Red Sonja, Commando, and his iconic role in The Terminator. He acknowledged that Schwarzenegger had started to make a strong impact and eventually outdid him.

Stallone mentioned that while he was used to playing the underdog that was “not overly gifted” and “got my ass kicked constantly,” Schwarzenegger’s iconic characters always emerged triumphantly, seemingly unscathed by their battles. With his larger-than-life presence and unbeatable determination, it’s no wonder audiences were captivated by his performances.

“He just had all the answers. He had the body. He had the strength. That was his character,” he shared. “Arnold, he never got hurt too much, and I’m going, ‘Arnold, you could go out and fight a dragon and you’d come back with a Band-Aid.'”

“He wanted to be number one. Unfortunately, he got there,” Stallone admitted.

Creative Competition

Stallone likened their rivalry to boxing champs “Ali and Frazier,” and shared that they both felt as if “there was only room for one of us.”

“We were competing about everything,” Schwarzenegger continued. “The body being ripped and oiled up. Who is more vicious. Who is more tough. Who uses bigger knives. Who uses bigger guns. Sly and I were at war. “

“We were incredibly antagonistic. We couldn’t even stand to be in the same room. People had to separate us,” Stallone explained.

Stallone mentioned that the performers had two  “different styles of acting” and he now recognizes that Schwarzenegger’s style was “superior.”

Schwarzenegger expressed his gratitude towards Stallone for constantly challenging him and urging him to strive for more success in his career. 

“Without Stallone, I maybe wouldn’t have been as motivated during the ’80s to do the kind of movies I did and work as hard as I did,” the actor admitted.

Arnold is currently streaming on Netflix.

Read More: Is Arnold Schwarzenegger Joining The Marvel Cinematic Universe? (

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