is a nobleman, a leader and the quickest of the warriors,"
says Dolph Lundgren, who portrays the rightful ruler
of Eternia with mighty sword in hand.
At six feet, six inches tall and 240 pounds, the blond,
muscular Lundgren is physically ideal for the role of
He-Man, one of the "Masters of the Universe,"
but it is the champion's inner qualities that interested
him in the character.
"He is an old-fashioned hero of great strength,
sensitivity and good humor," Lundgren explains.
"He-Man is truly a Renaissance man, and this makes
him a tremendous role model for children in these confusing
and changing times."
Lundgren is also a Renaissance man whose pursuits range
from the scientific and the physical to the artistic
and musical. He played trombone and percussion instruments
as a teenager in Scandinavia and Germany. Later, while
he was studying Chemical Engineering, Lundgren earned
his second-degree black belt in karate and became Captain
of the Swedish Full-Contact Karate Team. He eventually
became a heavyweight karate champion in both Europe
"Karate taught me many lessons," comments
Lundgren. "For me, it was not just another sport.
The concentration, the discipline and self-respect will
stay with me for the rest of my life."
Following a stint in the Swedish Marine Corps, Lundgren
received a Fulbright scholarship to continue his studies
in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology. A fateful stop in New York en route to
Boston changed Lundgren's life forever. "For eight
years, my goal had been to become a chemical engineer,"
he recalls, "but suddenly I realized I didn't want
to spend the next three years in a lab."
Trying his hand at acting, Lundgren won a small role
as a KGB agent in the 1985 James Bond movie, "A
View to a Kill." He soon became world famous in
his next performance as Ivan Drago, Sylvester Stallone's
imposing Russian opponent in "Rocky IV."
Though originally considered "too tall" for
Drago, Lundgren petitioned for the part until he got
it. Comparing his distinct roles as Communist nemesis
and people's hero, Lundgren notes that his "Rocky
IV" performance "was based on the reality
of Drago's social background, as well as boxing as a
contemporary sport. He-Man however, is a fictional character
without a background of reality. You can't do research
and find out where He-Man went to high school."
Both of Lundgren's starring roles, of course, have dictated
he keep himself in top physical shape. "Playing
He-Man was even more physically demanding than being
Drago," he observes. "Not only was there a
tremendous amount of action, but it was very difficult
to keep the energy level up and maintain muscular definition
over 45 consecutive days of shooting."
Lundgren's on-the-set regimen included a low-fat, low-sodium,
high-carbohydrate-and-protein diet specifically designed
by the actor, and regular workouts in a gym outfitted
in the back of the truck.
As He-Man, Lundgren is the quintessential hero: strong,
handsome, quick-witted and agile. The one-time champion
athlete and chemistry scholar has finally discovered
a career that requires the use of all his gifts. "Acting
has become a substitute for the competition I experienced
in sports and academics," Dolph Lundgren says.
"It challenges my body, my mind, and for the first
time, my emotions."