Arnold Schwarzenegger admits rivalry with Stallone ‘got out of control’

Arnold Schwarzenegger filming the Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA)
Arnold Schwarzenegger filming the Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA)

Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted his former rivalry with Sylvester Stallone “got out of control” when they began to “derail each other”.

The Terminator actor, 76, and Rocky star, 77, would compete against each other in their respective action films and attacked each other in the press for many years.

The pair later became friends after collaborating on projects together, with Schwarzenegger revealing they are now “inseparable”.

Paramount+ – UK Launch Event – London
Rocky star Sylvester Stallone (Ian West/PA)

Appearing on The Graham Norton Show, he said: “We were movie rivals, but we took the competitiveness to the extreme – we each had to have the best body, we had to kill more people in our films, and we had to have the biggest guns.

“It got out of control, and we tried to derail each other.

“Then, when we both invested in Planet Hollywood, we started flying around the world together to promote it and we became fantastic friends.

“He is a great human being, and we are now inseparable.”

Schwarzenegger and Stallone both backed the themed restaurant chain Planet Hollywood in the 1990s and later teamed up for Stallone’s Expendables franchise and 2013 action thriller Escape Plan.

Alongside acting, Schwarzenegger was governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

The Austrian-born actor has previously spoken about how he feels he would be a good US presidential candidate but it will never be possible as the US constitution states that anyone holding that office must be a natural-born citizen.

Asked if he is sad that he cannot run for the role, he said: “Everything I have accomplished is because of America.

“I am not going to complain about not getting one job.”

Graham Norton Show
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dame Judi Dench, Jay Blades and Jack Whitehall during filming for the Graham Norton Show (Matt Crossick/PA)

Schwarzenegger first starred in Conan The Barbarian in 1982, before being approached to play his most famous role of the terrifying cyborg assassin in 1984’s The Terminator.

Alongside his host of action films, he also performed alongside Danny DeVito in hit comedy movies Twins and Junior.

Reflecting on his life and career, he said he “always chased the vision”.

He added: “I always looked forward and didn’t listen to the naysayers. Everyone, including my parents, thought I was out of my mind wanting to be an actor.

“Luckily, I didn’t listen to them. They said I couldn’t be on the same ladder as Clint Eastwood and Charles Bronson, so I made my own ladder.”

Also joining Schwarzenegger on Norton’s red sofa this week are Dame Judi Dench, comedian and actor Jack Whitehall, The Repair Shop’s Jay Blades and new wave band Duran Duran performing their new single Black Moonlight in the studio.

The Graham Norton Show will air on Friday October 27 at 10.40pm on BBC One and available on BBC iPlayer.