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Arnold Schwarzenegger says Sylvester Stallone rivalry helped his career

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger both acknowledge that their rivalry with one another helped advance their respective Hollywood careers.

The actors talked about their upbringing, families, and prior rivalries with one another in a recent joint interview for TMZ Presents: Arnold & Sly: Rivals, Friends, Icons, which aired on FOX on Tuesday. They also defined the big-screen action-movie era in the 1980s and 1990s.

Arnold Schwarzenegger says Sylvester Stallone rivalry helped his career

“There’s no denying that: He greatly aided my career by providing me with a goal to pursue,” 76-year-old Schwarzenegger remarked of Stallone, 77.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger “came along, I was like, finally, something to motivate me,” the Rocky actor continued. For he is, if I may use such a phrase, a threat, rival, and so on.”

“As soon as I saw him, it was like bang, two alphas hitting,” continued Stallone. “If we walked into a party, we’d be staring at each other for a few seconds and then saying, ‘I’ve got to get that guy. He didn’t do anything wrong but he will.’ ”

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted he was “the one who started this whole thing … by opening up my mouth, saying stupid things, and being competitive.”

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The two laughed about an incident when they were both breaking big in the industry, and Stallone taunted Schwarzenegger by throwing flowers at him at the Golden Globe Awards.

At the 1977 award ceremony, Stallone’s Rocky won Best Film, but Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed New Actor of the Year for Stay Hungry.

When Arnold Schwarzenegger said, “We both won, so there was plenty of room for everybody,” the moderator, TMZ’s Harvey Levin, said, “That’s not how I remember it. I thought [Stallone], when Rocky won best picture, you threw a bowl of flowers at him?”

“I absolutely did,” said Stallone. “He was sitting across from me, and I’m going, ‘He won best newcomer?’ No offense, but Rocky was a pretty good debut. And he’s looking very proud of himself and I didn’t think we were going to win best picture.”

“We won, and I lost it,” he recalled with a laugh. “I literally went and picked up this entire bouquet of flowers and tossed them straight up in the air, sort of aiming towards his side of the table. And it all comes down, he’s sort of sitting there with the same kind of ‘okay’. He just threw down the gauntlet kind of a thing, here we go.”

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Arnold Schwarzenegger added, “I remember the incident but that was not yet the point where I said, ‘Okay this is now the beginning of a battle.’ It just developed from then on. Now I had to chase him.”

Today, the once-rivals are friends. Both were asked to share what they admire most about the other during the interview.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger said he admires Stallone’s “dedication and his passion. I wish I could be as passionate about things as he is.”

“It’s really unbelievable, and it must come from somewhere because he’s a very emotional guy, which I’m not. I’m emotional but not like him. Very different in that way,” he added of Stallone’s passion for filmmaking and art.

For Stallone, he admires that Schwarzenegger is “rock-steady” at all times.

“He’s like a season that doesn’t change. Very organized, very calculated, very thoughtful. I’m not, and he’s right, I’m very emotional and I tend to be swayed and things can upset logic quite often. And that’s when you make mistakes when your heart overwhelms your brain,” said the Rambo actor.

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“He’s like a chess player: you don’t know what’s going on but he gets it done. And he really does have a big heart, he does,” added Stallone. “I mean, you wouldn’t think it ‘cause we’re ‘action guys’ but we’re more emotional than a lot of more dramatic actors, trust me. Do not think for a second we’re not hypersensitive. Especially coming from where we came from.”

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