• Sweden edition
 

Introducing...Dolph Lundgren

Published: 19 Mar 2007 17:27 GMT+01:00
Updated: 19 Mar 2007 17:27 GMT+01:00

Who is he and why is he famous?

Dolph Lundgren is the Swede and one-time scholar who went to Hollywood and morphed into a musclebound action hero. Over the course of his illustrious career, the renowned thespian has starred alongside acting giants such as Sylvester Stallone, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roger Moore and Keanu Reeves.

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride, eh?

In acting terms maybe, but he was very much the bride academically. In younger years he was quite a whizz in the lab. Having first attended the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, he went on to receive a master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney.

How very implausible. Next you'll be telling me he only ended up in the USA because he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to MIT, or something equally ludicrous.

As a matter of fact, that is precisely what happened. And somewhere along the line he hooked up with eighties diva and pop cultural icon Grace Jones.

Wow. She must have made sparks fly in Dolph's laboratory?

Did she ever. It was a chemical romance. He pulled up to her bumper, baby, in his big black limousine. And he stayed there for four years. Never did two box haircuts gel so well together, and Dolph soon dropped the academic dream in favour of a more glamorous existence.

There but for the Grace of Jones. Didn't they star together in a Bond movie?

Oh yes. Jones played superhuman security guard May Day in the James Bond film 'A View to a Kill'. Since she was seeing Dolph at the time, she asked one of the producers - probably Albert R. Broccoli because he had the best name - if a role could be found for the striking Swede. Dolph got to play Venz, an evil KGB henchman. Early in the film, May Day killed French detective Aubergine. Venz didn't have much to do except look Soviet and remote, although at one point he did get to point his weapon at May Day.

Didn't he play a Soviet boxer in one of the Rocky movies?

Yes indeed. Dolph got his major Hollywood breakthrough when he played Ivan Drago, Rocky Balboa's Cold War nemesis in Rocky IV. Drago is callous to the point of Stalinism in his bout with Apollo Creed. Having pummelled the American into submission in the second round, Drago remarks, "If he dies he dies". Which was a terrible thing to say about a man who had featured in the three previous Rocky movies.

Yes, very harsh. And surely the end of Lundgren's on-screen flirtation with the Soviet Union?

Not at all. Even as the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989, Dolph was still out there fighting the Cold War in Red Scorpion. In a joyous return to chemistry, the former student got to use chemical weapons in a fictitious African country. The film represents a terribly subtle comment on the evils of communism. As a Soviet agent, Lundgren's character is entirely emotionless. Having been abandoned by his comrades however, Nikolai undergoes a conversion. Suddenly he is all smiles and full of the joys of life in a capitalist mindset. He soon gets on with the happy business of killing reds.

Good for him. They were simpler days, weren't they?

Joyous times. But his service to the USSR was not in vain. Last year he was awarded a medal by Russian Special Forces for "playing so many heroic Russians on film".

You have to be kidding? They always lost in the end.

Quite so. Maybe the Russian Special Forces enjoyed the unflinching realism of it all. Who knows? Anyway, should Russia ever tire of Lundgren, he may stand a chance of cracking the Asian market.

Why Asia? Are his finely honed acting powers much in demand there?

Not exactly. But he is a dab hand at martial arts, so much so in fact that he won the European full-contact karate championships in 1980 and 1981. And he got to wear his black belt with pride while tackling drugs barons in Showdown in Little Tokyo.

Is that how he came to be so fit?

Partly. But there could be certain substances involved too. As Ludmilla, his wife in Rocky IV, told an interviewer: "Like your Popeye, he eats his spinitch!" When he had eventually consumed enough of the stuff he was ready to play He-Man, Master of the Universe.

They don't get much bigger than that.

They certainly do not. And those certainly were the halcyon days as far as is career was concerned. As the years wore on Dolph gradually slipped deeper into B-movie obscurity, though it doesn't seem to have done him much harm.

In what way?

In interviews he gives the impression of being at peace with the world. In 1994 he married jewellery designer Anette Qviberg and together they had two daughters.

So has he finally given up acting and relit the Bunsen burner?

Not quite. The Dolphmeister - or Hans as was originally known - has recently directed a couple of films, 'The Defender' and 'The Mechanik'.

Hans? You mean he chose the name Dolph? He wasn't saddled with it from birth? The plot thickens to a consistency not seen since Rocky IV...

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake
Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Boy receives cancer vaccine by mistake

A boy scheduled to be vaccinated against mumps, measles, and rubella instead received a vaccine against cervical cancer. His family has now reported the blunder for inspection. READ  

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency
Photo: Bertil Enevåg Ericson/TT

Sweden grants additional funds to jobs agency

The Swedish government has announced that it will increase funding to the jobs agency (Arbetsförmedlingen) in 2015, primarily to cover personnel costs but also to prevent long-term unemployment. READ  

Police 'powerless' against street racers
Police on E4 highway. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police 'powerless' against street racers

Stockholm police said they were powerless to react when streetracers took over at "insane speeds" on a large highway on Friday night. READ  

Saab carmaker wins receivership
Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT

Saab carmaker wins receivership

After initial rejection, a Chinese-owned company set up to take over Saab's assets after the troubled Swedish carmaker's bankruptcy said on Friday it had succeeded in being placed in receivership. READ  

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/TT

Woman suffers cardiac arrest while giving birth

A 30-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest while giving birth at a Stockholm clinic - without hospital staff noticing that anything was wrong. She remains in a critical condition on Friday. READ  

Champions League
History repeats for Malmö fifty years later
Striker Magnus Eriksson during Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

History repeats for Malmö fifty years later

Malmö's entry into the Champions League serves as a reminder of times gone by in European football. With Spain's champions bound for Sweden things just couldn't be better, writes contributor Lee Roden. READ  

Elections 2014
Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Löfven promises jobs to 50,000 young Swedes

Social Democrat party leader Stefan Löfven announced on Friday his "most important election promise", a 90-day job guarantee programme for young Swedes. READ  

 Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout
The Jas Gripen fighter aircraft. File photo: Wikimedia

Sweden to buy fighter jets despite Swiss pullout

Sweden said Friday it would go ahead with the purchase of a new generation of Saab Gripen fighter jets, despite Switzerland pulling out of a major co-financing deal. READ  

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three hurt after northern knife attack

Three people are in hospital after they were stabbed during what police suspect was a gang-related attack in Umeå. READ  

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm 'thief' turns out to be trainee ninja

Stockholm police rushed to the scene when a worried Swede reported that their neighbours were the victim of a break-in - but when officers arrived, they found nothing but a ninja in the middle of practice. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

759
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se