Hans "Dolph" Lundgren (born 3 November 1957) is an actor from Sweden, often viewed as "the poor man's Arnold Schwarzenegger" (but is no less of a Mr. Fanservice). He has won European and Australian karate championships, as well as represented the United States in the 1996 Summer Olympics in pentathlon. He may be one of the best Real Life examples of Hidden Depths, as despite being famous for playing Dumb Muscle characters, he has a master's degree in chemical engineering. He is rumoured to have a genius-level IQ, but he denies it.note
Lundgren's first foray in the film industry was a minor role in A View to a Kill as a KGB mook, Venz, who has two seconds of screentime. He got this role thanks to his then-girlfriend Grace Jones. After that, he got his breakthrough role in Rocky IV as the Russian boxer Ivan Drago, which launched his career in action movies.
Lundgren's first starring role was in the Live-Action Adaptation of Masters of the Universe as He-Man in 1987, whose fight against Skeletor is taken to Earth. This was followed by Rambo-esque Red Scorpion in 1988, where he plays a Soviet special ops soldier who is sent on an assignment in Africa but ultimately turns against his own after witnessing the atrocities they have committed. After that he was cast in the comic book film The Punisher in 1989, where he played the titular vigilante and got bad press for not wearing the iconic skull shirt.
At about the mid 90's, Lundgren gradually disappeared from the consciousness of the movie-going audiences but remained active doing smaller DTV movies. After his time in The Expendables along with an All-Star Cast, he had something of a Career Resurrection, including prominent roles in Arrow and Aquaman. He also featured prominently in the music video for Imagine Dragons' single Believer.
True fact: a bunch of burglars broke into his house and tied up his wife in 2009. Luckily, before they got to anything serious they saw a family photo and realized they had just tied up Dolph Lundgren's wife. This was in itself enough reason for them to let her go and run away very quickly, thus also saving some wear and tear on the He-Man sword.
Other notable films:
- I Come in Peace (1990) in which he plays Cowboy Cop Jack Caine, who is put against a drug-addicted alien. Also known as Dark Angel.
- Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991). In this movie he fights Shang Tsung, makes love to Relic Hunter and his penis size is praised by Eric Draven. Truly, a chain of feats that can only be pulled by the one and only Dolph Lundgren.
- Universal Soldier (1992), where he and Jean-Claude Van Damme play feuding Vietnam vets who after death are re-used in military's experimental UniSol project, which then goes haywire when the two start remembering who they were in the past. A defining film of The '90s action movie scene.
- Army of One (1993) in which he plays Wellman Santee, who is escaping the law and must clear his name. He drives a Cool Car, kills a warehouseful of Asians and makes love to Hope Brady along the way. Also known as Joshua Tree.
- Men of War (1994), where he plays Nick Gunnar, a Swedish mercenary who is hired along with a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits to coerce the inhabitants of a remote island to give a greedy Mega-Corp the rights to exploit their natural resources... only to pull a HeelFace Turn after finding out that they're after more than natural resources. Cue our Swedish badass almost single-handedly decimating an army of hired goons with a friggin' RAWKET LAWNCHAIR.
- Johnny Mnemonic (1995) in which he plays a Church Militant street preacher who is after the titular hero.
- Bridge of Dragons (1999) in which he plays a guy called Warchild and fights Shang Tsung again. Titular bridge doesn't appear in the movie at all.
- Detention (2003) in which he plays a Badass Teacher who inspires bunch of detention students while battling violent criminals in Die Hard On A High School.
- Fat Slags (2004) in a quick appearance as Randy.
- Missionary Man (2007), a modern-day western in which he wrote, directed and played a tequila-drinking, shotgun-toting, motor-biking, Bible-reading vigilante out to save a town from a gang of Hell's Angels that may or may not have shot him dead some time in the past.
- The Expendables (2010), where he plays Gunnar Jensen, who is the Sixth Ranger Psycho Party Member of a mercenary team consisting of John Rambo, Danny the Dog, Frank Martin, Cmdr. Warren Fuller and Chris Rock's dad. And they're all hired by Lt. John McClane, who was just transferred to the CIA. He returns in the sequels, firmly on the side of the heroes.
- In the Name of the King 2: Two Worlds (2011) is a dip into Uwe Boll territory in this DTV sequel to In the Name of the King. Lundgren stars as Granger, a modern-day badass who is sucked into a fantasy world (largely comprising a styrofoam castle in a Canadian forest) to fight its corrupt king.
- Skin Trade (2014), where he plays a cop on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the human trafficking ring that killed his family.
- Tour De Pharmacy (2017), where he plays an Austrian cyclist (with a Swedish accent) who reflects on his past steroid use (it's a comedy).
- Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017), where he plays the Future Badass version of the hero Fin Shepard's son Little Gil.
- Creed II (2018), where he reprises the role of Ivan Drago.
- Aquaman (2018), where he plays King Nereus.