Sly Stallone 'hated' Dolph Lundgren before Rocky IV
These days, Sylvester Stallone and his former Rocky IV co-star Dolph Lundgren are pals—Stallone’s Balboa Productions is working on a series called The International that stars the Swedish actor in an action-packed take on the United Nations.
But in an interview on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Thursday, Stallone revealed that their friendship got off to a bit of a rough start.
"I hated him," recalled the Rambo: Last Blood star, describing his first impression of Lundgren. "In Rocky IV I really wanted a big, horrible, vicious guy. I mean, like a primitive. And I couldn’t find him. I’m finding giant wrestlers and football players."
But Stallone apparently knew Lundgren was his man due to the sheer strength of the green-eyed animus he felt upon meeting him:
And then all of a sudden the door opened, the smoke comes in, there’s light—with a proceeding hairline, the shoulders this wide, everything was perfect. Even his calves were coming through his clothing. Just muscular. The blue eyes are staring into my soul. He was the real Terminator, and I go "I hate this friggin’ guy, I hate him. He’s just too good looking, too perfect. And if I loathe him, I’m sure the world will.”
For Stallone, going on Fallon and revealing that he used to hate a fellow action star is becoming a bit of a pattern. When he stopped by the show in 2014, he revealed that he also hated Arnold Schwarzenegger at the height of their dueling action hero movie careers.
"We were very competitive, yeah, I think hate’s a good word. Did you ever hate somebody so much you go, 'I gotta get to the gym'?" asked Stallone. "I really respect this guy, I think he’s brilliant. What he’s done, what he’s accomplished, he’s had so many different careers. But—I wanted to strangle him."
Stars—they’re just like us: completely consumed with petty rivalries.