by George Wayne, Vanity
Fair, June 1995
Fullbright scholar, karate champ,
bouncer, movie star, boyfriend or Grace Jones-it was a rich and
varied lire for Dolph Lundgren. Then, suddenly, the screen went
dark. But now, GEORGE WAYNE reports, the muscular Swede is back
from his European exile and ready for his close-up.
George Wayne: So, Dolph, darling, tell me about
this new movie, Johnny Mnemonic.
Dolph Lundgren: It's based on a William Gibson story-
you know, the guy who started the cyberpunk movement? I play
G.W. So you have a good-guy role?
D.L. No, he's a villain, but an interesting villain.
G.W. The thing I really dig about you, Dolph, is that
you not only have the brawn but you have a brain. I hear you
were a Fullbright scholar!
D.L. Yes, that's why I came over here, to go to grad
school at M.I.T.
G.W. But weren't you a night-club bouncer?
D.L. I worked at Private Eyes as a doorman, and did
a little modeling after I dropped out or school, but I didn't
do too well, because they thought I was too big.
G.W. Let's go over your relation with Grace Jones.
How did you ever hook up with a wacko like Grace?
D.L. She's not a wacko. I'd say she's an eccentric
artist. We met backstage at one or her concerts, where I was
doing security, as usual.
G.W. I used to think that Grace and Dolph were so fabulous!
I'll never forget that night at Area when you and Grace made
an entrance. You were wearing nothing but a pair of tight leather
D.L. Oh God, those were my crazy days!
G.W. Another favorite image is that Albert Watson photo-you're
both nude, and she's wrapped around you like the only black panther
D.L. I remember that one It was after I ran into Andy
Warhol at a club, and I didn't know who he was, and he came up
to me and said, "So what are you famous for?" And I
said, "Nothing, as far as I know." And then he did
this article on Grace and me in Interview.
G.W. What did your parents think about Grace?
D.L. My mother was very cool, but I think my dad had
a few problems. He couldn't figure out what he did wrong, but
he came around. Now I've married a Swedish girl.
G.W. Yeah, tell me about this plain Jane you just got
D.L. She's not plain-Jane, no way! She was a fashion
stylist and jewelry designer, so we had some similar interests,
and, or course, she is Swedish.
G.W. What do you think about Jean-Claude Van Damme?
D.L. Well. . . he's amazingly successful.
G.W. Aren 't you surprised? He's shot up there, and you're
still down here.
D.L. No. I moved here because I wanted to be an actor.
I was a movie star before having the chance to become an actor,
so now I'm trying to backtrack.
G.W. Do you think that Hollywood thinks you're a has-been
D.L. Maybe, because in Hollywood they are either at
your throat or at your feet. It's the name or the game; it's
nothing personal. It's a very cynical business, but I'd like
to try and do it a little more on my own terms.
G.W. Are there any nude photos of Dolph floating around
D.L. Aaahm . . . no.
G.W. Oh come on! You've never posed nude ?
D.L. I've never seen them. I've never done frontal nudity,
but I did a photo with Skrebneski . . .
D.L. No, sorry.
G.W. Remember that time when I groped you backstage
at a concert? This was donkey years ago!
D.L. You did? Oh shit! I don't know, maybe I'd had
too many drinks.
G.W. You didn't seem to mind.
G.W. Which of his assets is Dolph the most proud of?
D.L. That's a good question. I'm trying to be kinder
to myself, to look at myself more positively. Let's see. . .
persistence. If I want to get somewhere, I get there.