Inside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone’s past Hollywood feud

They were the two film stars you would not want to mess with, but who were more than happy to start a war with each other.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone's intense rivalry was certainly not for the cameras.

It was all very real and it got quite heated, especially in the 1980s when both were reaching the very top of their game.

They began all pally, and a bromance appeared to be blooming.

They met in 1977 when they were sitting at the same table at the 34th Golden Globes ceremony but it turned sour quite quickly.

What started as a sudden mutual dislike for one another soon spiralled into a feud.

Fiaz Rafiq new's book Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Life of a Legend delves deep into what made the movie star, and, of course, the battles he had along the way.

Top Hollywood exec producer Andrew Vajna, who tragically passed away in 2019, gave his take on how their battle first started.

The American-Hungarian film commissioner knew them both – and has lifted the lid on why they didn't used to get on.

"There was constant rivalry between Arnold and Sly in those days – they weren’t really friendly as they are today," he said in an extract from the book.

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"In those days, Sly was already an established star after Rocky, and Arnold was still on the edge of stardom not quite being there after Pumping Iron.

"Stallone was way ahead of him. And he picked Stallone as his sort of running mate, or as his example and tried to sort of catch up with him and surpass him.

"And I think he certainly caught up with him. He was able to maximise his popularity with the bodybuilding and with the movies he was doing, that he was able to catch up with Sly.

"So that contest, I think, kept him on the edge all the time, and to be better and try to compete."

He went on: "So the two of them were definitely rivals in those days. I’m sure we talked about it, but it was always with good intentions, joking. I don’t remember what the conversations were because it’s more than twenty-plus years ago.

"Working with Sly was great! I mean, Sly is a very talented person. People don’t give him enough credit for his writing and directing ability.

"I think he’s a really talented writer and he’s a very, very talented director. He sometimes gets a little lazy as a writer, but he needs sometimes to focus on the paper and he comes out with something viable.

"But when he does do it, he becomes a real success.

"And he’s a very well-liked actor. I think he’s got everything going for him.

Over the next decade, the actors exchanged insults with Schwarzenegger reportedly once saying: "I'd be angry at hearing my name mentioned in the same breath as Stallone's."

It was actually in the early 90s when Stallone and Schwarzenegger finally started to cement their friendship after they were spotted dancing together at Cannes Film Festival.

In August 2010, they finally appeared on screen together for the first time in The Expendables and there has been no return to their dark days yet!

Arnold Schwarzenegger: The Life of a Legend by Fiaz Rafiq is available from bookstores Waterstones, WH Smith and online at Amazon

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