A quarter of a century since Dolph Lundgren met Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV, the Swedish action star is finally dueling Sly again in The Expendables and no one is more pleased than the man who played Ivan Drago.
“It’s been 25 years since we last squared off and it was a lot of fun,” said Lundgren. “(Stallone) writes in a very old-school way in which all the characters are very colourful and very funny … so it was really one of those projects that you can’t turn down.”
Adding motive to the offer, Stallone had cast everyone from Jet Li to Bruce Willis in the film. If combining action stars for an old-school knuckleduster was the brainstorm of Stallone, he might have to thank the rising popularity of mixed martial arts.
“A lot of young kids, they grew up on green-screen wire movies but they’ve seen MMA (mixed martial arts) and they know what one punch does to a guy’s face,” said Lundgren of the rebirth of hardcore action.
“It was refreshing not to have green screens and wires and tons of stunt teams but you’re actually doing your own stunts … the audience gets to see their action star do it for real, which I think is how it all got started and, in my opinion, the way it should be.”
While The Expendables will mark Lundgren’s 25th year shooting exhausting thrillers, the Swede insisted he has no plans on retiring from action movies.
“You know it’s going to be over one day,” said Lundgren. “I look at guys like Clint Eastwood who last year grabbed a shotgun and beat a few people up (in Gran Torino) so I suppose I have a few years left I hope.”