Dolph Lundgren Reflects on He-Man’s Pass as ‘Masters of the Universe’ Turns 35
There have been so many GI Joe, transformers, Power Rangers, Lego and toy story movies that most actors probably don’t give a second thought to these days. Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling seem to be having a blast playing Barbie and Ken right now.
But Dolph Lundgren admitted it.
“It was weird playing a toy,” he told Us during a 2014 Role reminder interview while reflecting on his time as He-Man in 1987 masters of the universethe adventure movie based on the Mattel action figure line that opened 35 years ago on Sunday (watch part 1 above, with mastery from 3:04).
The Swedish-born/Fulbright Scholar karate champion made his film debut with a small role in 1985’s James Bond actor A view to kill but became a movie star in his own right thanks to his role as iconic boxing antagonist Ivan Drago in Rocky IV that same year. masteryhowever, wasn’t necessarily a huge payoff for the hulking actor.
“At that time, comic book characters weren’t considered big movie franchises. It was like little offshoots that people were doing, you know? So people weren’t as excited as they are now, with The Avengers and – well, there’s a new superhero pic opening up every week, I’m losing count here. But at the time, it was like, ‘Am I going to play this toy? I mean okay.'”
In the 80s weird scienceIn fashion, the film engages in a high-stakes battle between perennial hero Prince Adam and his nemesis Skeletor (Frank Langella) with the help of… two California teenagers (Courteney Cox and Robert Duncan McNeil).
He-Man barely wears clothes to fight, of course, and neither does Lundgren.
“There weren’t a lot of costumes. It was just two leather straps and some sort of mini leather diaper or something,” he described. “I remember I had to fly this record through Whittier, just south of LA And we did 58 nights straight on this fucking record. You know, I’m out there in the middle of winter with no clothes on. It was hard.
“But it was also difficult for me because I was playing kind of a hero now, and I had been playing the villain. And I felt a lot of pressure. You know, just like that young Swede. Inwardly I was kinda lost at that time. ‘Cause I became famous for Rocky IV.”
While the Gary Goddard-directed film still holds a special place in the hearts of many 80s/He-Man fans today, it was a fairly immediate bust at the box office, grossing just $17.3 million. . The mastery franchise was over as soon as it started. Maybe Lundgren didn’t care.
But everything old is new again.
mastery was rebooted as a Kevin Smith-produced animated series on Netflix last year, and the first live-action He-Man movie since Lundgren’s star vehicle is set to go into production in 2023 starring Kyle Allen (West Side Story) as the new most powerful man in the universe.
Oatch Part 2 of our role recall interview with Dolph Lundgren: