Longstanding rivalry of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, has come to admit that Arnold was the better action hero of the 80s. In the new Netflix docuseries “Arnold,” Stallone talks about how Schwarzenegger truly redefined the action movie genre. While previous films involved gun fights and car chases, Schwarzenegger brought a brand new context to the action hero: imposing physical apperance.
“The ’80s was a very interesting time because the definitive ‘action guy’ had not really been formed yet…Up until that time, action was a car chase like ‘Bullitt‘ or ‘The French Connection,'” Stallone said. “A film all about intellect and innuendo and verbal this and verbal that.”
Then along came Arnold. Over six feet, bulging muscles and a squared jaw. According to Stallone, it was all about the look when Arnold came around. Built like a brick house, the need for dialogue was minimal. A man whose actions spoke louder than words.
Both Influenced The Other To Be Better
“You actually relied upon your body to tell the story,” Stallone continued. “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.”
During the 80s, Stallone and Schwarzenegger were not friends. Both competed for the action hero roles; their rivalry inadvertently pushed the other to work harder in their films. The bitterness has ebbed with age, with Sy and Arnold becoming good friends. They even bonded during their times filming the first two “Expendables” movies and “Escape Plan.”
For all Stallone’s praising, Arnold has his own admiration for the Sy. “Every time he came out with a movie like Rambo II, I had to figure out a way of now outdoing that,” the former California Govenor said. “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.”
The 3-part documentary series “Arnold” is available to stream on Netflix now. Stallone’s Paramount+ series “Tulsa King” will return for a second season.