If they are great accomplices today, there was a time when Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were sworn enemies. The first even went so far as to trick the second into playing in a bad film!
In the 80s and 90s, the rivalry between the two actors was at its peak: they were competing for first place on the podium of the biggest stars of American action cinema. And then all attempts seem permitted to discredit the adversary… at least on Schwarzenegger's side!
Stop or my mother will shoot is one of the black points of the career of. In 1992, when he had established himself as an action film star, with the Rocky and Rambo sagas in particular, Stallone decided to try his luck in comedy. He thus agrees to play in alongside the eternal golden girl, Estelle Getty, who played her invasive mother on screen.
But how did Sly end up starring in this film that won him the Razzie for Worst Actor? By the work and art of Schwarzy!
Arnold, le troll
Asexplained at the Beyond Festival in 2017, he used reverse psychology to trap his enemy.
“I read the script. It was terribly bad. You know, I too have made films that deserved to end up in the toilet, right? They were bad. But, this one was really bad. It was happening during our war and I thought I'd let it be known [par voie de presse] that I was very interested [par le projet]. I know what it's like in Hollywood. I would then ask for a lot of money [pour qu’ils se disent] : 'Let's go offer it to Sly. Maybe we can get it for less.' And so they went to Sly and said, 'Schwarzenegger is interested. Here is the press clipping. He talked about it. If you want to take it from him [ce film] hands, he is available.' And it worked! It completely worked. A week later I heard that Sly was signing on to do the movie. And I said: 'Yes!!'”
therefore regretted his decision for years.
“The worst movie I've ever made, by far. Possibly one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we've ever seen… A flatworm could write a better screenplay than that of Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot”, he told the press in 2006.
He continued with humor: “In some countries – China, I believe – the broadcast of Stop or My Mother Will Shoot once a week on government television has reduced the birth rate to zero. If they did it twice a week, I believe that in twenty years China would have disappeared.”
Fortunately for, this choice did not prevent him from continuing on the road to success. Her relationship with Schwarzy became peaceful during the 1990s.
, he always seems to delight in this anecdote, as you can discover in our video below. At the time of Expendables 3, he declared that the film was “the role of which [il] was the most jealous” and that he “loved it because we saw Sly in diapers” !
A look back at a competition pushed to the extreme
In 2013, during an interview with the Telegraph UK,had in fact described this rivalry with more precision, even speaking of “violent hatred”.
“Have you ever had this? That kind of competition, that kind of nemesis that pushes you to give your best. As Arnold would say, it really pushes you to speed up”, he then declared.
In 2017,also returned to the subject (via Slashfilm):
“We attacked each other relentlessly through the press. We called each other names and criticized each other's weaknesses. It was so competitive. It became so crazy that, suddenly, it became a competition for who had the most muscular body. So I said to Sly, 'Sly, forget it now. There's only one person who's been Mr. Olympia seven times, and it's me!' But then he had to use bigger weapons.
So then it became a competition of who had the biggest gun, then the biggest knife. Remember Rambo's knife that became so huge it looked like a sword? Nobody has a knife like that! But, Stallone had one made like that, so I had to have an even more impressive one. That's how it happened. […] Who killed the most people on screen? Who made the most money at the box office? Who had the least fat before starting a shoot?”
So here is an epic rivalry which could be the subject of a comedy today with the actors in their own roles… We can always hope!
Find Arnold Schwarzenegger in his latest film, Fubar (2023), on Netflix. Sylvester Stallone can be discovered in the series Tulsa Kingavailable on Paramount+.