Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger share the screen in “The Expendables,” and they are forever linked in the public mind by their 1980s-era rivalry as box-office action stars. But their history, according to Stallone, goes back to a glittery night in January 1977 when the two Hollywood newcomers shared a table at the 34th Golden Globes, and each walked away with a trophy. Other winners that night included Barbra Streisand, Laurence Olivier and Robert Redford.
Here’s how Stallone remembers that first meeting of future Hollywood titans: “We were the outsiders, believe me. People were looking at us. I think that was the very first time we met, if I remember right. We were seated at the same table, and I remember thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’ I had heard of him, but I didn’t know what he was all about. I’m there for ‘Rocky,’ and he was there for the best-newcomer category [for ‘Stay Hungry’]. And of course they sat at us the same table. Put the two piano movers together, right? The lugs who don’t fit in.”
Stallone is enjoying a return to the spotlight with “The Expendables,” the all-star commando fantasy that has grossed $184 million worldwide with its throwback spirit and a cast that includes Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture , Terry Crews and fleeting cameos by Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis. Stallone directed and co-wrote the film and there is talk of a sequel. For Stallone, the most memorable part of the “Expendables” experience might have been the chance to work again with the governor of California.
“When people ask me who is the most extraordinary guy I’ve ever met, I answer that it’s him. Think about it — the force of will and the fact that he is successful in three diverse and impossibly difficult areas. The politics of bodybuilding? Forget about it. And he was and is the most influential bodybuilder who ever lived, by far. Then, in Hollywood, with his background of being Austrian and all this baggage of not being American, and he became No. 1. And then politics, it’s off-the-chart hard, he’s the governor of California. That’s all, just the governor of the biggest state in population. This is not some city council somewhere. And he would make it as a presidential candidate. It’s mind-blowing.”
— Geoff Boucher
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