No Dumb Blonde: Dolph Lundgren
After a 15-year hiatus from big Hollywood movies, Dolph Lundgren, the man who played Drago in “Rocky IV” and He-Man in “Masters of the Universe,” is back in the spotlight as one of “The Expendables.” Lundgren has a master’s degree in chemical engineering, received a Fulbright Scholarship from MIT and speaks seven languages. THR checked in with the “smart Expendable” who’s in Los Angeles for a photo shoot for a fitness book he’s writing and trying to finish up a script about human trafficking.
How do you feel about your movie being No. 1 at the boxoffice?
Dolph Lundgren: It feels a bit unreal. It’s interesting how it happened. I haven’t been on the big screen in 15 years, so to me, it’s a big deal. It was fun to do it with Sly.
Did you go to any theaters this weekend to see how it’s playing?
Lundgren: No. I heard from a friend of mine who went to one of the Hollywood theaters that it played well and the audience seemed to respond to my character, crazy Gunner. That’s always fun.
What’s next for you?
Lundgren: I’m writing a fitness book for a Swedish publisher that will probably come out here as well. It’s about how I train and my life in sports. I’m in L.A. for some photography for that. Then I’m writing a couple of scripts. There’s one I’m trying to finish up called “Skin Trade”; it’s about human trafficking. Hopefully, I’ll try to get a more famous actor as the lead, and I’d direct it and play the co-lead. Hopefully, I can get a bigger budget.
Do you think that with “Expendables” being a hit, will it be easier for you to get a bigger budget?
Lundgren: I hope so. I’ve learned the ropes on these smaller movies, but it’s tough on a 30-day schedule to make a decent feature. I need a better schedule. Also, I’m trying to do something in Sweden, about Sweden or set in Sweden. Maybe a period piece.
Lundgren: I kind of think I belong in the past — onscreen, that is. I haven’t done a period piece, and I think it will be fun. I think as a director, what is difficult if you do action movies is to make the transition to dramas. One way to do it, and guys more accomplished than me like (Mel) Gibson and (Kevin) Costner have done, is to do a period piece. You have enough guys getting killed, so it’s easy enough to get financed, but you can make it upscale and a drama. They’re usually about real events.
Do you feel you get stereotyped as a dumb blonde?
Lundgren: Yes. Big, dumb, blond Swede. That’s been the stigma I’ve had for 25 years, especially in Sweden. There, they are even more upset that I didn’t do any Bergman movies and just went to Hollywood and started killing people. But it’s turned a little bit now because I hosted this Eurovision song contest this year and I had to do a little singing and dancing and people saw me as who I am and realized that maybe I’m not so stupid after all.
What’s your position on immigration reform?
Lundgren: I live in Spain, but I have a house here. I’m not quite sure what the issues are. I can’t afford to get kicked out, so I stick to the rules. If I get more work here, instead of work permits like I get now, I may get a green card.