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Creator / Dolph Lundgren

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"When 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."

Hans "Dolph" Lundgren (born 3 November 1957 in Stockholm, Sweden) is a Swedish-American actor, filmmaker and martial artistnote  often viewed as "the poor man's Arnold Schwarzenegger" (but is no less of a Mr. Fanservice). 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 also 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.

Around the mid-1990s, Lundgren gradually disappeared from the consciousness of 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.

Some people consider him proof of the axiom "All other factors in a fight being equal, the biggest guy wins", especially after watching him knock Jet Li on his butt in The Expendables.

True fact: a bunch of burglars broke into his house and tied up his wife and daughter 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. Unfortunately, both wife and daughter suffered from PTSD and trauma after the incident, which may have led to their divorce.

Other notable films:

Tropes associated with Dolph

  • Academic Athlete: He was taking part in European karate competitions while also studying for his Master's degree.
  • The Big Guy: Due to being 6'5 and very muscular, he'll often play the strongest characters in ensemble casts.
  • The Brute: If he's on the antagonist's side.
  • Career Resurrection: After spending the latter half of the 90's and the 2000's in DTV action films, his career received a notable boost with his role in The Expendables and he later got prominent supporting roles in Aquaman (2018) and Hail, Caesar! and even played Ivan Drago again to notable acclaim as well as having a major villain role in Arrow.
  • Cool Old Guy: Can be considered "old" by now but that hasn't mitigated his coolness and he can still do physically taxing roles.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Given that he stands at 6'5, having a few inches even on Arnold Schwarzenegger, this trope naturally comes in to play whenever he plays a bad guy.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has played quite a few villains and has the voice to match.
  • Fake Russian: Has played a few, most notably Ivan Drago.
  • Genius Bruiser: Not only is he known for being very strong and husky and a trained martial artist, but he has a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering. This trait is often reflected in his characters as well.
  • Karate: His main fighting style is Kyokushin Karate in which he holds a fourth level black belt. He has also trained in Judo and a little bit of Taekwondo.
  • Large and in Charge: His imposing size makes him a natural choice for leaders and general authority figures.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's very big and surprisingly quick and agile, able to match martial artists like Jet Li and Tony Jaa in combat.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Especially in his younger days. Masters of the Universe has him go shirtless the whole film and spends a lot of time ogling his muscles.
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: Played straight and ultimately averted. Lundgren's acting, the often poor quality of his films and a failed media stunt where he pretended to have lost his ability to speak Swedish properly made him something of a joke in Sweden. However, after agreeing to host an episode of Summer on P1note  he shocked the listeners by speaking openly about being abused as a child and starting bodybuilding to make up for his crippling insecurities. He followed this up with hosting Melodifestivalen, where the Swedish representative for the Eurovision song contest is selected, in 2010. He ended up being hailed as one of the best hosts ever, in particular for his performance of Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation". This coincided with his minor Career Resurrection with The Expendables and nowadays Dolph Lundgren is much more well respected in Sweden as a pop-cultural figure.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Rarely makes any effort to cover his natural Swedish accent.
  • Pushed in Front of the Audience: Supposedly happened to him in A View to a Kill — the bit-part actor who was meant to play General Gogol's KGB bodyguard failed to turn up. Lundgren was on the set because he was dating Grace Jones, and the director supposedly noticed his imposing size and asked him if he'd mind standing around in the background of a scene holding a pistol and looking tough.
  • Silver Fox: He's in his sixties with some grey hair but still ruggedly handsome and in very good shape.


Rocky cuts Drago

Drago's not a machine, he's a man!

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Example of:

Main / NotSoInvincibleAfterAll

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