Dolph Lundgren is an actor, filmmaker, businessman, speaker and martial artist. His breakthrough came in 1985, when he starred in Rocky IV as the imposing Soviet boxer Ivan Drago. Since then, Lundgren has starred in countless films. When not on the big screen or working behind the camera, Dolph invests his time giving back and supporting multiple charities.From working in film alongside some of the biggest names, to his documentary, to giving back, his fitness routine, to figuring out how to run his social media, we spoke exclusively with Dolph about it all!
Dolph, how are you recovering from your recent injury?
I injured my ankle in the Swedish military in ’79, and then again in karate competitions and during movie stunts. It’s been bothering me ever since I can remember. My ninety – or so action movies and 40 years of martial arts finally took its toll. Last year was very painful. I was on painkillers for 7 months so I decided to have the surgery. Went to Duke University and had an ankle replacement with the surgeon Dr. Amendola, who’s one of the best in the world at this. I’m now 8 weeks out, walking with a protective boot for another 2 weeks. Most importantly, no pain.
I had fought for survival from the first time my dad hit me (…) through the ups and down of martial arts…”
What projects are you working on at the moment, as an actor and as a director? I’m finishing ‘Wanted Man’, a feature film I wrote, directed and starred in. We shot in New Mexico this past April/May. It was very hot in the desert and it was hard work, even by my standards. The film is a police thriller dealing with immigration and cartels in the US/Mexico border area. The film will be released next year. I’ve also been busy with a documentary about my life, which I co-produced with a Canadian company, Score G Productions. They’ve been following me for over a year now. Last year in London, shooting Expendables 4, and the Aquaman sequel. In Sweden where I grew up, speaking to family, friends and in LA, with colleagues like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m also currently working on a script for a film I’d like to direct next year, a neo noir comedy set in Los Angeles.
Almost 40 years in this industry and you are still as productive as ever. You’ve had worldwide successes, you’ve had your ups and downs, but you have never stopped moving forward. What is the secret of your longevity in the business?
I had a tough childhood, my dad being physically abusive toward me and my mom. I learned early on how to keep pushing through, no matter how uncomfortable the circumstances. I know that there’s always better times ahead. I’ve had the same experience in the martial arts dojo: you learn to get up no matter how hard you were hit. It’s either that or to quit. If you quit you get nothing. There’s always been this curiosity in me about life, about new countries, people, places, experiences. I guess I’m a searcher – so to me the future always holds something exciting, something worth fighting for. I don’t think too much about taking that next step forward. About stepping off the ledge… I just do it…
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