Why Sylvester Stallone's Relationship With Richard Gere Is So Heated

Arguably two of the biggest actors of the late 20th century, upmarket romantic lead Richard Gere and Sylvester Stallone of "Rocky" fame have had a mutual dislike of each other for a long time. Their feud allegedly began when the pair were filming "The Lords of Flatbush." The film came out in 1974, but Stallone shared an anecdote regarding it over 30 years later in 2006 after being asked about it by a fan via Ain't It Cool News.

He revealed that the role of Chico was meant to go to Gere, but the two of them didn't get on. "He would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table," Stallone said of Gere. After filming a fake fight scene where Stallone says Gere got "carried away," tension came to a head during lunchtime on set. According to Stallone, Gere ate a messy meal next to Stallone and spilled some on him. "I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car," the "Rocky" star said. "The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me."

The two allegedly almost fought at a dinner party

Adding fuel to the fire, music legend Elton John recounted a dinner party he threw in his 2019 memoir "Me." Along with Princess Diana, Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere attended, and they allegedly almost came to blows. Via an excerpt published in the Daily Mail, Diana and Gere took to each other immediately, which Stallone definitely did not like. The evening proceeded, but when it was time to sit down for dinner, neither Gere nor Stallone could be found. John sent his husband, David Furnish, to find them, and the situation Furnish found was far from peaceful.

"It transpired that he'd discovered Sylvester Stallone and Richard Gere in the corridor, squaring up to each other, apparently about to settle their differences over Diana by having a fist-fight," John wrote. Furnish prevented the fight from happening, but the atmosphere between Stallone and Gere didn't settle. Following dinner, Gere and Diana continued to talk, and Stallone left angrily, with John sharing that the actor said, "I never would have come ... if I'd known prince f***in' Charming was gonna be here." Stallone allegedly added, 'If I'd wanted her, I would've taken her!'" However, per Us Weekly, Stallone refuted this entire story. Responding to a fan who asked him if the tale was true on one of his 2019 Instagram posts, the actor said, "Total BS for him to sell books. Total rubbish."

The actors have apparently squared up to each other more than once

In addition to the fight over Princess Diana, in 1994, Richard Gere also apparently accused Sylvester Stallone of making a move on his then-wife, model Cindy Crawford. Via Entertainment Weekly, Gere supposedly threw the above accusation against Stallone despite the fact he and Crawford were well in the process of separating. Stallone was allegedly confused by the whole thing, stating, "It was the most bizarre thing I have ever experienced."

There's also the small matter of the gerbil rumor, which began circulating a while ago and revolved around a gerbil being stuck up, well, Gere's bottom. In the above Ain't It Cool News interview, Stallone said, "He [Gere] even thinks I'm the individual responsible for the gerbil tumor. Not true ... but that's the rumor."  It isn't actually known who started it, but Gere did eventually address the tale. Speaking to the Metro in 2008, he stated, "There is an infamous 'Gere stuck a hamster up his bum' urban myth. I expect that sort of thing but when reputable magazines started making up stories claiming I was in a country I had never been to with someone I didn't even know, I just decided not to pay attention to any of it. It's a waste of energy." Judging by their long history of feuding, it seems unlikely the two veteran actors will make up any time soon.