Dolph Lundgren, star of 43 movies (five he has directed),
is easily one of the most underrated actors/directors in Hollywood
today. Far too many people brush him off as merely an "action
movie guy," when in fact the man has clearly demonstrated
his wide range of acting abilities in many of his movies. Granted,
he's made a lot of action movies, and playing the role of the
"tough guy" is what he does best, but you'd be wrong
to simply characterize him as solely an "action movie guy."
From his first big
role as the brutal Ivan Drago in Rocky IV through
to the formation of his own production company, Red Orm / Thor
Pictures, and now directing his own films, Dolph has proven himself
as a mainstay in the movie business, and he continues to put
out great movie after great movie. With his formidable frame
and his ability to truly project the character he is portraying,
his presence on the screen is always excting to behold.
Lundgren is actually one of the most interesting actors in the
action cinema, but he has been overlooked in favor of other action
stars for the past 10 years. Both the audience and the critics
looked down on him and his films remain unknown from mainstream
moviegoers, while he's still considered as a star. Yet, he always
played characters who are not the average straight or bad action
guys. He tried to humanize ambiguous and dark characters like
in Red Scorpion or The Punisher.
The thing is that he didn't want to be an action hero.
I started studying acting in New York, I didn't plan to be an
action hero. I just wanted to learn acting because I felt it
was something I needed to try to do for myself, to express something,
my inner pain, or something I couldn't get out. Then I got caught
up taking my shirt off and strapping a machine gun on to shoot
people. There wasn't really much acting - you couldn't have done
too much with those roles no matter how good you were."
Lundgren said to Empire (UK,
#79, January 1996)
his colleagues Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Seagal, Lundgren
never tried to make a name for himself into the big studios (nor
has he ever been nominated at the Razzie Awards!). He refused
all the sequels that he was proposed and he developed projects
of his own through his production company (successively called
"Dolphin", "Red Orm Productions" and "Thor
Pictures") but unfortunately most of all fell down (like
dramatics features Nightclubbing or Still
all "showbusiness" in LA. People are so fake. They
only think about money, parties and success. They probably are
saying, as we speak, what a has-been I am! That's part of life
and of course I worked to pay for a nice lifestyle, but now I've
set myself the challenge to find different things like work in
small plays off Broadway and learn how to act. I was a movie
star before having a chance to become an actor, so now I'm going
to backtrack. I'm persistent. If I want to get somewhere, I get
"Of course I will still do movies but now I'm seeking
different roles. I'd rather have a supporting role in a good
picture than be your all-action man. I'd rather star opposite
a French actress like Julie Delpy than a Hollywood goddess like
Sharon Stone." Dolph said to Film Review magazine
(Sci-Fi Special #14, February 1996).
involved himself in some interesting personal projects that could
have shown more of his brain and acting craft. Unlike most movie
stars (especially from the action genre), he acted in experimental
and improvisational plays off Broadway (like Another Octopus,
Watching Fire (written by Jon Tindle) or Force Majeure)
with the Ensemble
Studio Theatre (EST) and his own theater company "Group
Of Eight" started in 1994. He's also been taken acting lessons
since his career debut (with Warren Robertson notably).
the past 15 years, Dolph Lundgren worked on some uneven productions,
but he showed us some great improvement, with action flicks such
as Russell Mulcahy's Silent Trigger, Sweepers,
John Woo's Blackjack, Anthony Hickox's Jill
Rips and the high concept thriller Hidden Agenda
(directed by Marc S. Grenier).
while waiting that a director like Martin Scorcese gives him
a try and a good part (as Quentin Tarantino did for John Travolta),
Dolph Lundgren recently took up on directing his movies himself!
recently directed his fourth and fifth features Command
Performance and Icarus, after having brilliantly
made his directorial debuts with the action drama The Defender,
The Mechanik and Missionary Man.
None of the previous starring Lundgren's vehicles had been so
tightly directed. After having learned every filmmaking tricks
on some more or less low budget action flicks, Dolph proved himself
to be one of the best directors he's ever worked with and a talented
director to follow.
with a new Universal Soldier sequel and the big
budget The Expendables, directed by Sylvester
Stallone, Dolph Lundgren is on a comeback!
Dolph guest-starred in the season 4 premiere episode of the popular
TV series "Chuck".
is now finishing his long planned fitness book, "Fit Forever"
(to be published in Sweden in August 2011), while working a string
of new projects filming back to back: "Small Apartments"
a dark and quirky indie comedy co-starring Matt Lucas, Billy
Crystal, James Caan, Peter Stormare, Juno Temple, Saffron Burrows,
Amanda Plummer and JOhnny Knoxville; "Stash House",
a thriller produced by Joel Silver co-tsarring Briana Evigan
and Sean Faris; "Universal Soldier: A New Dimension"
(3D) with Van Damme and also Scott Adkins; "The Package"
with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and "One In
The Chamber" with Cuba Gooding Jr. Then Dolph shall
join the all star cast of "The Expendables 2".
also still developing and financing his own projects to direct,
like "Skin Trade" or the WW1 period piece
This site was created
to serve as the ultimate guide to and the most comprehensive
source of information on Dolph Lundgren, and is a tribute to
this great actor/director.
"Dolph is an intelligent
man and a very kind human being."
Base, director, 2006
"Dolph is a real gentleman
-- humble, friendly, professional, smart as hell, helpful and
no "big shot" airs like a lot of stars I've worked
with -- and everyone working with him has nothing but good things
to say. Apart from his looks & talent, one of the reasons
for his long and successful career is he leaves a trail of friends
(not enemies) behind every project. "
St. Pierre, screenwriter, 2006
"Dolph was good to work
with, he was directing as well and very open to suggestions,
we got along very well together..."
W. Clarkson, director of photography, 2006
"Dolph was always prepared
and did an admirable job in the short amount of time."
Wynorski, director, 2006
"I believe that Dolph
is an actor in the vein of McQueen and Eastwood. A powerful screen
presence, apart from the modern "pretty-boy" era we
find ourselves in." [...]
"Every change that Dolph wanted was born from his strong
desire to push us all creatively and make the best movie possible.
He's a perfectionist and it's demanding work keeping up with
him, but in the end you have a product that you're proud of giving
your time, blood, sweat and tears."
E. Hill, screenwriter, 2005
"Dolph, I can truly say,
is one of the few actors that really cares about what he does
and how he comes across. He was extremely "on-hands"
and played a major role in various re-writes and script changes.
Now, we didn't always agree on every change and re-write, but
his concern for the material was very refreshing."
Kulikowski, director, 2004
"Dolph is very nice,
and he had very precise ideas for his film, which didn't keep
him from listening to other ideas."
Alexandre, cinematographer, 2004
"Shooting was great.
Dolph was very friendly and open to cooperation and fun to work
Kuznetsov, actor, 2003
"I am a fan of both Matt
Dillon and Dolph Lundgren. I'd love to work with either of them
in the future, though I currently have no plans to. "
Avary, screenwriter/director, 2001
"I wrote a completely
different script and was subsequently sent to Bulgaria with Dolph
during the filming to do additional writing for the show. It
was a great experience and Dolph was a great guy. After the movie
ended Dolph and I stayed in touch and I ended up doing another
rewrite for a movie he was going to do in Sweden called 'Still
the Drums' "
Lien, screenwriter, 2000
"I enjoyed working with
Dolph a great deal. He is a very nice person. He is kind, a humanitarian,
helpful and very supportive. Not once during the whole production,
did I see Dolph loose his temper. "
Maphanga, actor, 2000
"I've personnaly met
and worked with Mr. Lundgren on many occasions for the last 3
years and I have to say that I haven't met a nicer person. He's
a very intelligent and great individual with no ego or attitude
whatsoever. He himself is aware that his films aren't that great
however, he has a major following in Europe and the Orient and
his films are steadily getting better (still not great, but better).
Try not to knock someone you don't know and hell, if you were
offered a million plus for 3 months work per film, would you
refuse it even if the script was crap? Didn't think so."
Dimitri, a reply to a newsgroup posting
"I've worked with Dolph
on the set of the movie "The Minion," I did some stunts
and ssc work. I came to meet Dolph when he came to Montreal in
the summer of 1995. I own a martial arts school and he began
training at my school that summer and 4 times after, every time
he's in town shooting movies. He and I got to know each other
during his stay and we've been out to dinner a few times together.
He had invited me to the set of his movies and from there got
me into film work which I have been doing since 1996. Dolph is
a very kind and well spoken man. He was great with my students
and whenever he's in town I gladly give him the keys to my gym.
We've talked about lots of things from film to training to his
experiences with Stallone and Van Damme. He showed up on the
set of the movie "Time Hunters" which I was doing fight
choreography and acting and helped out with the publicity of
it. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have made the contacts I
Dimitri, excerpts from an e-mail he sent to the webmaster