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Dolph: Acting over? In memory - Dolph Lundgren's career

By Victor Olliver, Teletext, April 2002


Yes, it's all over. Dolph Lundgren has announced that he's giving up acting. At least for 20 years.
The Swedish muscleman says: "I'd like to enjoy the next 20 years with my family and kids and taking it easy."

At 44, the rigours of defying basic human biology for the big screen have tired him out, spiritually if not physically.

He was never a great actor. Some might say he was not an actor at all. So what's been his appeal since 1985?

The world first caught sight of Dolph on celluloid as Venz in Bond movie A View To A Kill, opposite his then lover Grace Jones, in 1985.

Not unlike the physiologically similar Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph excelled as a near-inanimate sight rather more than a deliverer of lines.

True, he emitted heavily accented words (like Arnie) but his metallic beauty and sinuous torso overwhelmed any concern over his actual acting.

Lundgren followed A View To A Kill with an exercise in mindless pugilism in Rocky IV (1985) - one of Sylvester Stallone's many vehicles.

Dolph played brutal Russian boxer Ivan Drago, who kills an opponent before old Sly lets fly. The Swede's countenance, swaying between brooding and menacing, developed into an artform here.

At about a foot taller than Sly, he magnified the little man's boundless testosterone in his eventual victory.


Bet he'll be back

The apotheosis of the image of muscly Lundgren was achieved in Masters Of The Universe (1987) in which he played (who else?) He-Man.

We needn't worry relating the story. Suffice it to say Dolph personified every young man's idea of maleness, according to the gospel of the gym.

But it would be a mistake to dismiss him as a musclehead. He has achieved his second-degree black belt in Kyokunshinkai karate.

Many fans rate Universal Soldier, with former karate champ Jean-Claude van Damme, as Dolph's best movie.

Their background in martial arts set them apart from Schwarzenegger and Stallone - whose musculatures are credited to weightlifting.

While Universal Soldier rehearses the many ways in which two men may inflict injury upon each other, the movie is pacy and well directed.

Since Universal Soldier, Dolph has not really shone. Like Schwarzenegger, Stallone and van Damme, he's been overtaken by Asian martial artists such as Jet Li.

With about 25 movies to his credit, he is now ready to play house husband and reckons his latest movie, Alien Agent, could be his last.

Do we believe him? Not really. The lure of cinematic exhibition will prove too great and, like Arnie, he'll be back.

Dolph gives up acting for kids

Muscleman Dolph Lundgren is taking a long rest from acting. "I'd like to spend the next 20 years with my family and kids, taking life easy," he said.

Star of Red Scorpion, Universal Soldier, Sweepers and other hardcore action movies, the 44-year-old says reading to his daughter is more fun than performing to cameras.

He told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet he wants to make up to daughters Ida and Greta for his absences.

Lundgren is part of a select group of muscular supermen who have defied physics and the limits of human endurance for film entertainment.

Stallone and Schwarzenegger comprise the A-list. Lundgren is joined by Jean-Claude Van Damme in the B-list.

Lundgren says of acting: "It's unfair on the kids. If you're in Hollywood, it takes about four months to film and you can't meet much." His last film could be Alien Agent.


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