Sylvester Stallone has crowned Arnold Schwarzenegger as the “superior” action star, marking a remarkable shift less than a year after admitting their long-standing animosity.
Stallone praised Schwarzenegger in his recently released Netflix documentary, emphasizing the impact he had on shaping the action hero archetype.
During the 1980s, Stallone highlighted that the concept of the definitive “action guy” had not yet emerged. Stallone credited Schwarzenegger for revolutionizing action cinema by relying on his physique to convey the story, making dialogue less necessary. Stallone recognized the unique opportunity presented by Schwarzenegger’s approach, which surpassed other actors at the time.
While Stallone often found himself getting beaten up on-screen, he marveled at Schwarzenegger’s ability to emerge unscathed. He humorously remarked that Schwarzenegger could confront a dragon and return with just a Band-Aid. The contrast in their action hero personas further emphasized Schwarzenegger’s superiority.
In the documentary, Schwarzenegger reciprocated the admiration, acknowledging that Stallone’s movies continually pushed him to outdo himself.
He credited Stallone as a motivating force behind his work in the 1980s, recognizing their competitiveness and the positive influence it had on his career.
Stallone admitted that their rivalry persisted for over two decades as their action films vied for success at the box office. However, he revealed that their competitiveness ultimately transformed into a genuine friendship.
The pair went on to star together in the “Expendables” franchise, along with the 2013 action film “Escape Plan,” which achieved significant global box office success, grossing $137 million. This collaboration led to two sequels, both featuring Stallone in prominent roles.
While Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s past enmity was well-known, their unexpected camaraderie and mutual respect in recent years have solidified their friendship and left an enduring impact on the action genre.