8 Things You Need to Know About Dolph Lundgren
There’s more to Rocky’s conquest than incredibly wide shoulders. Who knew?
Full name: Hans Lundgren
Total Films Made: 35
Breakout Moment:Though most people think his debut role was in Rocky, it was actually in A View to a Kill as a KGB henchman named Venz.
Despite what Rocky IV may have had you believe, he’s Swedish, not Russian.
“I still get that on a daily basis. I don’t really care, they can believe that if they want to. But if they ask me, I’ll burst their bubble and tell them I’m not.”
He’s not just a pretty face. He’s also a writer and director.
“I had done two movies and was thinking about something to do next. I wanted an interesting film, and I’ve liked westerns since I was a kid—especially Clint Eastwood mysterious, darker westerns—so that’s what we did. Missionary Man was shot in a small town near Dallas on an Indian reservation. Horses and their handlers get expensive, so we made it a little more contemporary and used motorcycles instead.”
He was the team leader for the United States modern pentathlon team at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
“I got involved to help save the sport, because every year there are new ones coming in and they kick out the old ones. This is one of the oldest Olympic sports, and they thought my name could help. I was just the team manager—the guy who organizes travel. Maybe I’ll get more involved in the Special Olympics. Obviously not as a player, more like a role model.”
He holds a masters degree in chemical engineering and was offered a scholarship to MIT.
“It’s true, but at the time I was getting torn in all directions. I ended up doing a little modeling, then I got into acting. One thing led to another, and I decided I didn’t want to shake test tubes for the rest of my life. So I quit school and became an unemployed starving actor for a while.”
He was the European Heavyweight Karate Champion in 1980–’81 and could probably beat the hell out of Sylvester Stallone in real life.
“I like the guy, so I wouldn’t want to hurt him. I was 19 years old the first time I realized I had a shot at being a champion. I was part of the Swedish squad at the world championships in Japan for full-contact karate. You had to be a brown belt, but I was just a green belt; so my instructor gave me one to fake my way into the fight. I thought I was going to get killed. The first two fights I won by knockouts. The third fight was against a huge Japanese dude, and I won that one, too. I eventually lost, but I stood there in front of 5,000 people thinking, Hmm, maybe I can become something in martial arts.“
He speaks three languages: Swedish, English, and some German.
“I also speak a little bit of Spanish—I can order drinks and say thanks—and a little bit of French and Japanese. I probably won’t become fluent in them, though, I’m too old.”
He worked as a bouncer early in his career. Shocker, we know.
“One of my first days at this club, a short, cute, blonde chick walks in and I’m kind of checking her out. My friend told me that she was a dancer and she had an album coming out, but no one really knew who she was. It was Madonna.”
He does not have an I.Q. of 160.
“I’m not that smart. I’m smart enough to get a few scholarships. But I’ve gotten hit in the head too many times since then.”
Pick up Dolph’s new movie, Missionary Man, on DVD January 22!