'A walk-on part that wouldn’t have changed anybody’s life.'
Although Dolph Lundgren describes his role as Venz in A View To A Kill as just a walk on part, I would argue it would indeed spark some big changes in his life and career. It was through his then relationship with Grace Jones that Dolph got the small part, but I remember seeing the film on VHS when I was a kid, and although he was only on screen for a few moments, he make a memorable impact.
Hans Lundgren was born in Sweden and lived in Stockholm until the age of 13. He then moved in with his grandparents in Nyland, Ångermanland. Although he had an early passion for music and the arts, Dolph decided to take the safe career route, and follow in his father's footsteps by pursuing an Engineering degree. After completing his required military services, Dolph entered the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.
During his stint in the military however, Dolph was introduced to martial arts, which would also become ones passion. He went on to become a world-class competitor in Karate and the discipline continues to be an important part of his life. Dolph continued studying, and ended up in the United States studying at Washington State University and Clemson University in South Carolina. In 1982, he received a scholarship to complete his Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia. In 1983, he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, one of the world's top engineering schools
That same year however, Dolph decided to take up and acting and moved to New York. It was there, Hans became Dolp and he began studying drama at the Warren Robertson Theatre Workshop in Manhattan. I'm guessing most people, myself included, wouldn't have guessed Dolph's educational background when first seeing him on screen. After A View To A Kill, Lundgren went on to co-star in Rocky IV in 1985 and it was his role as Ivan Drago that really propelled him to stardom.
When I thought of doing an Actors & Skin on Dolph, I sort of thought there might quite a bit of on screen nudity. Maybe because of his nude photo shoots (with Jones) with Helmut Newton, I would find dozens of action films (ala Van Damme) with a nice assortment of ass shots. There wasn't. There was however, enough photo shoots and movies to more than meet my needs for the piece.
We can thank Grace Jones for not only getting Dolph his first acting gig, but for also first getting his clothes off in several photo shoots. The most famous, with Newton, was featured in the July 1985 issue of Playboy magazine.
'While in New York, I got together with this girl, Grace Jones, who was a singer. Avant-garde. She was friends with Andy Warhol and all these people. We met when I was studying at Cambridge in Sydney. I met her because I did some security on the side at this theater, this arena, and she was there performing. I was picked out by her, me and my friend, to do security at this nightclub after the show.'
'Well, obviously [laughs] she had some other plans in mind, I didn’t realize at the time. I was just this dumb Swedish kid, I didn’t know. I was only 23. Big blond guy. Pretty well built.'
'My problem is that people get intimidated by someone big and beautiful like me. They hate to think I can be smart as well.'
Image by Helmut Newton
There's no denying Dolph Lundgren's both big and beautiful, even if he says so himself. As hot as those shots from photographer Helmut Newton were, it took Greg Gorman, (below) to put clothes on Grace Jones and put Dolph's beautiful naked behind in the foreground where it belongs.
Image from Greg Gorman
As most of fans of the male form know, Dolph's best nudity was back in 2009, when he was caught exercising naked (as one does...) on a beach in the Mexican Riviera. In his early 50's at the time, Dolph was still looking might fine. We'd seen a quick glimpse of Dolph's dong before, in 1991's Showdown in Little Tokyo, but this was certainly the best view to date.
Jill Rips (2000)
While Dolph wasn't exactly nude, he was showing some skin when bound, tied and hung up and tortured in the 2000 action flick Jill Rips.
The Punisher (1989)
'I did a scene naked. I remember sitting in a tunnel, sitting there meditating, nude, with the whole crew standing around. (laughs) The steady cam shot had to go through all these tunnels and then up on my back, then come around to my face. It took about 25 takes to do it, so it's the last time I do that kind of scene...'
Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991)
Although the frontal is quick, very quick, Showdown in Little Tokyo gives us the best on-screen view of Dolph's beautiful behind. It's also quick, and dark, but it's the best we have, and I'll take it!