During their heyday in the 1980s and 90s, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were in a constant battle for supremacy as to who was the biggest action star in the world. The two icons were incredibly competitive at the time, but ultimately ended up becoming close friends, as well as starring together in the Expendables franchise and Escape Plan.
In a concerted effort to expand his box office reach at the peak of his powers, Schwarzenegger decided to veer into comedy territory, which saw the Austrian Oak star in fan favorites like Twins, Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way. The rivalry between the former Governor of California and Stallone was so intense at the time that the architect of the Rocky franchise decided to follow suit, although the end result wasn’t quite as successful as that of his counterpart.
The two have established something of a friendly rivalry in recent years, but back then it was a cutthroat battle as to who was deemed the bigger star of the two. And in a recent interview to promote upcoming sequel Terminator: Dark Fate, Schwarzenegger revealed that he deliberately convinced Stallone to star in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, the 1992 disaster which is often ranked as the nadir of the latter’s career, and is frequently mentioned as one of the worst movies ever made.
“I read the script, and it was a piece of sh*t. Let’s be honest. I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to do this movie’. Then they went to Sly, and Sly called me, ‘have they ever talked to you about doing this movie?’. And I said ‘yes, I was thinking about doing it. This is a really brilliant idea, this movie’. When he heard that, because he was in competition, he said, ‘Whatever it takes, I’ll do the movie’. And of course the movie went major into the toilet.”
That’s some expert-level trolling from Arnold Schwarzenegger, long before the word even became part of the cultural lexicon. Convincing your biggest rival to sign on to a movie that you know is going to be terrible to stop them gaining an advantage over you at the box office is either business savvy or a d*ck move depending on how you look at it, but the fact that the two aging action heroes are still churning out Rambo and Terminator movies in 2019 is an indicator of how it didn’t impact their long-term prospects too badly.