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Why Tough Guy Dolph Slapped on the L Plates; Dolph Lundgren Hopes for more Serious Roles

by Allan Hall, Daily Mirror, August 31, 1995

DOLPH LUNDGREN is famous for his muscle power, but the Swedish hardman desperately wants to be taken seriously as an actor.

The third member of the Arnie Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme trinity of celluloid strongmen will be seen in Britain later this year in the action film Johnny Mnemonic.

But the man who once boxed with Sly Stallone in Rocky IV is feeling under- valued and says: "I am determined to get respect if it kills me." To prove his point he has moved to New York and gone back to school, hanging out with fringe theatre groups to pick up more thespian skills.

"It's a radical turn, but I'm seeing results," he says.


Yet Dolph seems glummer, and his features are more worn than in his La-La-Land heyday when he cracked more bones than Bruce Lee.

It is ten years since the former doorman with a degree in chemical engineering trekked to Hollywood where his role as Ivan Drago in Rocky IV launched him to stardom.

He's now tired of the action genre that has painted him as a loveable but dimwitted heavy and exasperated that people continually want to pigeonhole him.

He says: "I would love to do drama without any action."

Happily married for the past two years to fashion stylist Annette Qviberg, Dolph tries to spend four months a year with her in their native Stockholm before returning to New York.

He explains: "In LA they tend to look at you only as a product.

"You have much more chance to learn to be a better actor in New York.

"I don't know if I even think of myself as a movie star any more.

"If I had to choose, I would rather think of myself as an actor."

In a bid to further soften his image, Dolph has also stopped weight training but stays in shape playing squash and swimming.