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Sly Stallone remembers “unhealthy” competition with Schwarzenegger

In the 80s and 90s, action movie stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger had a rivalry over box office supremacy, but it became unhealthy

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone

During the action movie heyday of the 1980s and 1990s, two of the biggest stars had a rivalry and competed with one another for box office supremacy. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger had beef with one another that at one point became “unhealthy,” according to Stallone.

In 1991, Stallone and Schwarzenegger must have buried the hatchet enough to both endorse and promote the newly-opened Planet Hollywood restaurant, along with Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Along with the likes of Nicolas Cage, Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mel Gibson, Jackie Chan, and Kurt Russell – the action guys ruled the world of 80s movies and 90s movies.

In a recent interview with Forbes, Stallone says he and Schwarzenegger “really disliked each other immensely because we were… this may sound a little vain, but I think we were pioneering a kind of genre at that time and it hasn’t been seen since really. So the competition, because it’s his nature, he is very competitive and so am I… and I just thought it actually helped, but off-screen we were still competitive and that was not a healthy thing at all, but we’ve become really good friends.”

In the 80s and 90s, it would have been unheard of for these massive box office stars to go anywhere near television. Now – Harrison Ford has his first ever TV series coming out – the Yellowstone prequel 1923. Arnold Schwarzenegger is currently working on a spy series for Netflix called Utap. And Stallone is promoting Tulsa King – which is yet another Taylor Sheridan series.

Speaking of the transition from movies to TV, Stallone says; “It’s very different. First of all, I have a great deal of empathy for people who do that [star in TV shows], but I don’t think there’s a choice anymore. The kinds of films I like to do, they’re not making them anymore, so this seems to be the only venue. It’s actually a very lucrative one for the studio and I’m happy because it allows me to do something that would be impossible as a feature, it just would.”

Check out our guide to the best spy movies.