“Had to Go and Kill 86 People”: Rivalry With Sylvester Stallone Turned Arnold Schwarzenegger Into an On-Screen Mass Annihilator

Published 11/21/2022, 7:30 AM EST

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is a bodybuilding legend who became a Hollywood star. The seven-time Mr. Olympia transitioned from bodybuilding to acting during the early 80s. With Conan the Barbarian, Arnold’s popularity exploded. However, during the fledgling stage of his Hollywood career, the ‘Austrian Oak’ developed a rivalry with a fellow star, Sylvester Stallone.

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The pair first met at the 1977 Golden Globe Award ceremony, where Arnold beat Stallone to win his first Golden Globe. Their rivalry became iconic and redefined the action movie genre. The rivalry also influenced creative decisions. Arnold recalled how fierce their competition was during a recent interview.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger became a mass annihilator on screen

The seven-time Mr. Olympia appeared on “The Issue Is”. The host, Elex Michaelson, asked Arnold about his iconic rivalry with Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone in the 80s and 90s. “We were very competitive and we both acknowledge that this was very important to our careers because competition creates performance,” said the seven-time Mr. Olympia. 

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The pair tried to beat one another in every way possible. “If the script in ‘Commando’ had 46 people that they killed, I had to go and kill 86 people just to make sure that there’s no way that he can beat that.”, said the former Mr. Olympia. The pair regularly compared who had the higher on-screen body count. However, the comparisons didn’t end at on-screen annihilation.

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“He would go and compete against me about who has bigger knives,” said the former governor of California. They also compared who had the bigger gun on-screen. “He has a gun in Rambo, his big gun from the helicopter, so then I got a bigger gun in the jungle,” said Arnold. Like Stallone’s scene where he destroys military equipment with a machine gun, Arnold and his squad mowed down trees in the jungle while shooting “Predator” (1987).

While Arnold said such things seem like “stupid competition,” it helped them make better action movies. “What happened was, we got better,” said Arnold.

From rivals to friends

Arnie and Sly disliked one another in the 80s and 90s. However, with time, the pair realized they could co-exist without trying to sabotage the other. Stallone and Arnold are now friends, supporting each other in their ventures. Stallone recently congratulated Arnold after the former bodybuilder organized a successful event for his charity, “After-School All-Stars”.

 

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Arnold and Stallone have also collaborated on screen in recent years. The pair shared lead roles in Escape Plan (2013), and Arnold has also appeared opposite Stallone in The Expendables movies.

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Watch this story – Arnold Schwarzenegger and Other Athletes Who Suffered From Depression and Anxiety

What’s your take on the rivalry? Who do you think won? Let us know in the comments. 

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Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi

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Sagnik Bagchi is a US Sports writer for EssentiallySports. He has completed his Bachelor's and Master's in English Literature from the University of Calcutta. He has experience working as a freelance MMA writer for Sportskeeda.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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