Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sylvester Stallone says he Arnold Schwarzenegger "hated each other in a good way" at the height of their Hollywood rivalry.

The two actors were the biggest action stars of the 1980s each appearing in a string of blockbusters, with Schwarzenegger appearing in films such as the 'Terminator' franchise, 'Predator' and 'Commando' and Stallone in the 'Rocky' and 'Rambo' movies.

Stallone insists their rivalry pushed each man to make bigger and better films and was a key part of their success.

When quizzed about the competition between him and Schwarzenegger, he said: "We just basically hated each other, but in a good way. It's like Muhammad Ali, you want to look for an adversary that makes you get up in the morning and give it all and leave nothing on the table. If the director says we need to do an extra three hours and it's a 15-hour day you go, 'OK, if it's going to turn out better than his.' We both agree it's sensational, otherwise you don't push as hard. It's like two soccer rivals."

Stallone, 67, and Schwarzenegger, 66, have become good friends in recent years and also co-stars.

Stallone gave the former Governor of California a role in 'The Expendables' movies and the pair shared top billing in 'Escape Plan'.

Stallone is very proud of 'The Expendables' franchise because the films have given veteran action stars another shot on the big screen and the chance to appear with modern day celluloid heroes like Jason Statham and Jet Li.

Speaking at 'An Evening with Sylvester Stallone' at the London Palladium on Saturday (11.01.13), he said: "Your career has a shelf-life and this genre is pretty much done but I was watching musical revivals where you have ... five, six or seven actors so if one bombs you've got the other five to cover for him. I thought I could do this with actors who haven't done their own films for a while. I started thinking this is going to work really good ... I thought there's strength in numbers, the audience may not want to see you alone but they definitely want to see 10 guys."

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