Dolph Lundgren didn’t think he’d become a movie star. He was athletic and particularly gifted in martial arts and karate, but from a young age Dolph thought he would become a chemical engineer.
During a break from college that lasted several months he found himself in New York. It was there where the young Swedish scholar stumbled into a whole new world.
Working under the table he modeled, he worked doors at nightclubs, and became a bodyguard to various celebrities. All gigs that made sense for someone with his gigantic build and good looks.
It wasn’t long before he was going to auditions. His first role was in A View To Kill, the James Bond movie. Shortly after that, he starred in Rocky IV, as Ivan Drago. The performance includes two of the most memorable pieces of dialogue in the entire Rocky franchise: “If he dies, he dies” and “I must break you.” The rest is action movie history.
Dolph’s latest is an action flick called Wanted Man which he directed, co-wrote and starred in.
On the latest episode of Bullseye, Dolph Lundgren stops by to chat about the new film. We also get into his path to fame, including his time in New York when he dated the legendary Grace Jones and brushed shoulders with folks like Andy Warhol and David Bowie. Plus, he gets into his Rocky audition and how he almost didn’t get the part.
Content warning: Dolph grew up a victim of domestic violence. It’s something he’s talked about in the past, and we’ll discuss it here, too. Nothing especially graphic, but the topic comes up.
About the show
Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.
Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.
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