Dolph Lundgren, sometimes called the poor man's Arnold Schwarzenegger (you can check out Arnold's True Facts right here), is famous for playing a wide variety of roles since his acting career began in the mid-1980s. While often ridiculed for the sheer number of direct-to-DVD movies he's starred in his career saw a major resurgence with the films The Expendables and its sequel The Expendables 2. The character Lundgren plays in these films, Gunnar Jensen, really takes center stage in the sequel where he displays his vast knowledge of physics, his hand-to-hand combat prowess, advanced understanding of chemistry, and even talks about his time as a bodyguard for a beautiful, famous actress. Fortunately for Lundgren, he was just playing himself. For those who don't know:
Dolph Lundgren is a Genius
This statement is not an exaggeration; some reports indicate the actor's IQ is north of the 160 line, which puts him into Einstein and MENSA territory. Some people might argue that an IQ measurement doesn't mean anything all on its own, but Dolph's degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry, along with the Fullbright Scholarship he was awarded to attend MIT should do more than speak for themselves. If anything Gunnar is a little less brilliant than the man playing him.
He's Also a Master of The Martial Arts
While Lundgren's roles tend to be big, thuggish bad guys, it turns out he can fight whether or not the camera is watching. Lundgren is an international karate champion, winning both European and Australian titles in the 1980s. Dolph also fought a bout against the former UFC champion Oleg Taktarov in 2007, when Dolph was 47 years old. For those who are curious, his opponent was 39, and a former champion (was that mentioned?). Lundgren lost by a close margin on the judge's decision, and walked out of that ring with his head held high which makes him a lot like Rocky except cooler. Speaking of Rocky and horrible things done in the ring though...
He Nearly Beat Rocky to Death
Dolph Lundgren's Hollywood debut as a major character was the infamous Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. Towering over Sylvester Stallone (Stallone's True Facts list is found right here), Lundgren definitely looked the part of the Goliath of the Iron Curtain. However, at some point in time during filming Sly got the clever idea for them to stop playing around. The two men went toe-to-toe for 15 seconds. In those 15 seconds, Dolph put Stallone in the intensive care ward of the hospital for over a week. The damage was so bad that the insurance company didn't want to pay, comparing Stallone's injuries to a head-on collision more than to those sustained from a fight. To paraphrase Stallone pointed out that he'd made the mistake of fighting Dolph Lundgren, who could easily be mistaken for a truck if he simply wore a license plate on his belt. The company conceded the point, and paid up.
He Can Rock Out With The Best of Them
While Dolph's greatest skills lie in kicking ass and solving chemical equations, he needs time to relax too. While relaxing he just happened to master half a dozen instruments (including becoming one hell of a drummer), and he's hosted a number of musical gatherings throughout Europe. Add that to the fact that he can speak seven different languages, though only three of them fluently, and he might well be as awesome as fellow aging rock star and all around badass Christopher Lee. Lee's only advantage at this point is the fact that he's a knight and a lord; other than that the two could be an unbeatable pair, or the deadliest of adversaries.
A Little Less Conversation...
And All The Dolph You Didn't Know You Wanted
He's Also Turned Down Some Pretty Big Roles
One of the constant things that plagued Lundgren was that he was in so many smaller, un-Hollywood films. While he was in movies like Rocky IV and He-Man, along with being Marvel's first big screen bad boy in the original The Punisher, there were some big film roles that he turned down. For instance Dolph said no to the role of Roland Niedermann, the blond giant in The Girl Who Played With Fire. While no stranger to being the bad guy, it was not a role Lundgren wanted for his debut in a movie from his home country. Dolph also said he was offered the part of Tigris, the undefeated gladiator from Gaul in the Russel Crowe smash hit Gladiator, but that he also said no. Even films like the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre were floated his way, but Dolph said no to the iconic re-imagining of Leatherface as well.