Sylvester Stallone Admits Arnold Schwarzenegger Was the ‘Superior’ Action Movie Star: ‘He Had the Body. He Had the Strength’

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Sylvester Stallone has crowned Arnold Schwarzenegger the “superior” action star, less than a year after openly admitting the two actors loathed each other throughout the 1980s as Hollywood pit their acting careers against one another. In Schwarzenegger’s recently released Netflix documentary “Arnold,” Stallone says there’s no question that Schwarzenegger was the more ideal action hero.

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

Stallone credited Schwarzenegger with making action cinema more dependent on the actor.

“You actually relied upon your body to tell the story,” Stallone said. “Dialogue was not necessary. I saw that there was an opportunity, because no one else was doing this except some other guy from Austria, who doesn’t need to say much… He was superior. He just had all the answers. He had the body. He had the strength. That was his character.”

“I had to get my ass kicked constantly, whereas Arnold, he never got hurt much,” Stallone added about their differences in their action hero personas. “And I’m going, ‘Arnold, you could go out and fight a dragon and you’d come back with a Band-Aid.’”

Schwarzenegger has equal praise for Stallone, saying in the documentary, “Every time he came out with a movie like ‘Rambo II,’ I had to figure out a way of now outdoing that. Without Stallone, I maybe wouldn’t have been as motivated in the ’80s to do the kind of movies that I did and to work as hard as I did. I’m a competitive person.”

Stallone admitted to Forbes last November that the two actors “really disliked each other immensely” for over two decades as their action films competed at the box office.

“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,” Stallone said. “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.”

Speaking on an episode of “The Jonathan Ross Show” around the same time, Stallone said of the pair’s rivalry, “We couldn’t stand to be in the same galaxy together for a while. We truly, truly loathed each other.”

Stallone and Schwarzenegger went on two star opposite each other in the first two “Expendables” movies and the 2013 action movie “Escape Plan,” which grossed $137 million worldwide. The film led to two sequels, both of which starred Stallone.

Sylvester Stallone Admits Arnold Schwarzenegger Was the ‘Superior’ Action Movie Star: ‘He Had the Body. He Had the Strength’

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