Dolph Lundgren embraced lighthearted 'Best Man,' waiting for 'Drago' script

Dolph Lundgren is back in "The Best Man." File Photo by Chris Chew/UPI
1 of 5 | Dolph Lundgren is back in "The Best Man." File Photo by Chris Chew/UPI | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, April 21 (UPI) -- Dolph Lundgren said his latest action movie, The Best Man, in theaters and video on demand Friday, allowed him to show a lighter side.

Lundgren, 65, plays Anders, a Special Ops squad leader attending his teammate's (Luke Wilson) wedding when mercenaries hold the wedding party hostage.


"My characters' a bit of a drunk," Lundgren told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "It's not a totally dead serious role. It's a bit of a lighthearted role, so I tried to have fun with it."

In the opening of the film, Anders' team rescues Brooke (Nicky Whelan) from kidnappers. Brooke becomes the bride one year later.

Anders uses alcohol to cope with some traumas the team has survived. Rather than focus on the traumas, The Best Man allows Lundgren to play Anders stumbling around the ceremony and reception before he must spring into action.


"There is a deep heart to my and Luke Wilson's relationship," Lundgren said. "It's never really mentioned what it was, but obviously something within the military and probably involved losing a bunch of buddies."

Lundgen said Wilson added humor to their scenes, too. When Anders shows up at the wedding, Lundgren said, Wilson improvises dialogue about his appearance.

"He came in with his big improv like, 'Well, there's a big blonde guy sitting at the bar," Lundgren said. "He kind of cracked me up. Sometimes, like in life, you deal with the hardest situations using humor, especially in the military."

Lundgren also will return in this year's sequels The Expendables 4 and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The actor still hopes to make a spinoff of his Rocky character, but has rejected one unsatisfactory script for Drago.

"There was a script that nobody really liked," Lundgren said. "I didn't like it."

Creed II showed Ivan Drago (Lundgren) and his son, Viktor (Florian Munteanu), returning to the Ukraine after an unsuccessful attempt to rehabilitate their boxing careers. Viktor appeared in Creed III, helping Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) train.

Lundgren said he is interested in a story that explores the Dragos fleeing the Ukraine because of the current war with Russia. He said the producers are trying to hire a new writer, and Lundgren hopes he might be able to film Drago next year.


"That's where the movie should open," Lundgren said. "These characters are now coming to America for obvious reasons, trying to escape a war."

Lundgren also got to see a different side of Ivan Drago when Sylvester Stallone released a director's cut of Rocky IV, the character's debut, in 2021.

Rocky IV: Rocky vs. Drago used alternate takes from the 1985 sequel and made Drago more of a human political pawn of Russia than a cold boxing machine.

Lundgren said he enjoyed both cuts of Rocky IV, the film that led to him headlining movies like Red Scorpion, I Come in Peace, Masters of the Universe and Showdown in Little Tokyo.

"It was more of an indie version of the original movie," Lundgren said of the Rocky IV director's cut. "[Stallone] just did something a little more personal, a little more along the lines of the first Rocky, where the characters are slightly more dimensional."

The Expendables is another franchise in which Stallone invited Lundgren to participate. In the films, Barney Ross (Stallone) leads a team of mercenaries played by action movie legends past and present.

Gunner Jensen (Lundgren) has appeared in all four Expendables. Lundgren said he shares scenes with new addition 50 Cent in the fourth film.


"We were not too friendly in the beginning of that movie," Lundgren said. "At the end, we actually make really good friends and I got to know him really well."

Aquaman cast Lundgren as King Nereus, the leader of the underwater kingdom of Xebel. Warner Bros. has not revealed the plot of the Aquaman sequel, but Lundgren said the new quest covers more territory than the first film.

"It's like a treasure hunt," Lundgren said. "They need something to save the planet, of course."

The Expendables 4 opens Sept. 22. Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom opens Dec. 20.

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