Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone on Nov. 19, 2015. PHOTO: ERIC CHARBONNEAU/GETTY

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone agree their competitiveness toward each other boosted both their Hollywood careers.

In a new joint interview for TMZ Presents: Arnold & Sly: Rivals, Friends, Icons that aired Tuesday on FOX, the actors discussed their childhoods, families and their past rivalry with each other as they defined the big-screen action-movie era in the '80 and '90s.

"There’s no two ways about that: He was very helpful in my career because I had something that I could chase," said Schwarzenegger, 76, of Stallone, 77.

The Rocky actor added that when Schwarzenegger "came along I was like finally, something to motivate me. Because he is, dare I say it, competition, a threat, whatever word you wanna use."

"As soon as I saw him it was like bang, two alphas hitting," continued Stallone. "If we walked into a party we’d be staring at each other for a few seconds and then ‘I gotta get that guy. He didn’t do anything wrong but he will.’ "

Actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone arrive at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Terminator Genisys' at Dolby Theatre on June 28, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone on June 28, 2015. AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC

Schwarzenegger admitted he was "the one who started this whole thing ... by opening up my mouth, saying stupid things, being competitive."

The two laughed about an incident when they were both breaking big in the industry — and Stallone taunted Schwarzenegger by throwing flowers on him at the Golden Globe awards.

At the 1977 award ceremony, Stallone's Rocky won Best Film but Schwarzenegger claimed New Actor of the Year for Stay Hungry.

American actor Sylvester Stallone and Austrian born actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger dancing for a joke, during the 43th International Cannes Film Festival.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. ERIC ROBERT/SYGMA/SYGMA VIA GETTY

When Schwarzenegger said "we both won, so there was plenty of room for everybody," the moderator, TMZ's Harvey Levin, said, "That’s not how I remember it. I thought [Stallone], when Rocky won best picture, you threw a bowl of flowers at him?"

"I absolutely did," said Stallone. "He was sitting across from me, and I’m going, ‘He won best newcomer?’ No offence, but Rocky was a pretty good debut. And he’s looking very proud of himself and I didn’t think we were gonna win best picture."

"We win, and I lost it," he recalled with a laugh. "I literally went and picked up this entire bouquet of flowers and tossed them straight up in the air, sort of aiming towards his side of the table. And it all comes down, he’s sort of sitting there with the same kind of like ‘okay’. He just threw down the gauntlet kind of a thing, here we go."

Schwarzenegger added, "I remember the incident but that was not yet the point where I said, 'Okay this is now the beginning of a battle.’ It just developed from then on. Now I had to chase him."

Today, the once-rivals are friends. Both were asked to share what they admire most about the other during the interview.

Schwarzenegger said he admires Stallone's "dedication and his passion. I wish I could be as passionate about things as he is."

"It’s really unbelievable, and it must come from somewhere because he’s a very emotional guy, which I’m not. I’m emotional but not like him. Very different in that way," he added of Stallone's passion for filmmaking and art.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone at the "2002 World Stunt Awards" at Barker Hanger, Santa Monica , Ca. Sunday, May 19, 2002.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone on May 19, 2002. KEVIN WINTER/IMAGEDIRECT.

For Stallone, he admires that Schwarzenegger is "rock-steady" at all times.

"He’s like a season that doesn’t change. Very organized, very calculated, very thoughtful. I’m not, and he’s right, I’m very emotional and I tend to be swayed and things can upset logic quite often. And that’s when you make mistakes when your heart overwhelms your brain," said the Rambo actor.

"He’s like a chess player: you don’t know what’s going on but he gets it done. And he really does have a big heart, he does," added Stallone. "I mean, you wouldn’t think it ‘cause we’re ‘action guys’ but we’re more emotional than a lot of more dramatic actors, trust me. Do not think for a second we’re not hypersensitive. Especially coming from where we came from."

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.