EXCLUSIVE: After a decade of filming adrenaline-pumping scenes in successful Hollywood franchises, Dolph Lundgren got a chance to return to the director’s chair in his upcoming film “Castle Falls,” which also sees the actor in scenes with one of his daughters.
Lundgren takes on the role of a prison guard alongside martial artist Scott Adkins (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine). They are two of three desperate parties in search of $3 million in cash that’s hidden in an abandoned building on the brink of getting demolished. They’ve only got 90 minutes before the building falls to attempt to get their hands on it.
Like a majority of Hollywood productions that began in 2020, Lundgren faced a delay in filming due to the coronavirus pandemic. Although it was a long seven months to wait before filming could resume after production was shut down in March of that year, the product is one that will give Lundgren fans a taste of what he’s great at: keeping audiences on their toes. Plus, he got the opportunity to work with his oldest daughter, Ida Lundgren. In a new interview with Fox News Digital, the star compared the roles of acting and directing, and the long hours of preparation and skill that went into the creation of it.
Fox News: How would you describe the plot of “Castle Falls”?
Lundgren: It’s a film that I directed last year. It’s kind of an action thriller so has some fights and action but also it’s about these people they are all kind of after this stash of money. It’s also about what people will do for money, how far they’ll go.
Fox News: You served as both an actor and director of the film. These positions obviously require the use of different skill sets. Do you have a preference?
Lundgren: “They’re different. As an actor, it’s more of an emotional exercise. It’s easier in one way because you don’t have as much responsibility. As a director, you’re trying to get your staff on a story and trying to influence the audience and make them feel a certain way. I like both, I mean, even though I’ve done a lot of acting. I’ve only directed so many movies. So I hadn’t directed for 10 years when I did this. I’m kind of into that now. I’ve got another picture I’m trying to put together for early next year. I think I like both. Sometimes it’s nice not to have to worry about post-production and all of that.
Fox News: Did you prepare for this movie any differently than past films? If so, how?
Lundgren: As an actor, you know, I prepared the normal way. We were working on backstory of characters, all the relationships, what I’m trying to achieve well, what the stakes are. As a director, I ended up writing biographies for most of the main characters and suggesting the actors to do the same. Working with them is the fun of prepping for the picture so that whether you’re a good guy or “bad” guy everybody has their own story and is a human being. I’m trying to portray all the characters in a fair way whether they’re doing something illegal or not.
Fox News: You play a prison guard who is struggling at home with a daughter who is ill and in need of treatment. His family faces some serious decisions, which also question his morals. Did you relate to your character at all when making this film given that you are also a father of two in real life?
Lundgren: “Of course it’s a worst nightmare as a parent. I have two daughters. Actually my oldest daughter plays my daughter in the movie. Stakes couldn’t be much higher. If you’re trying to save her life and your insurance can’t pay for it, you find another way to do it. So, it’s not like the character’s hurting anybody but he’s trying to get access to some money that was stolen anyway. There’s some bad guys stealing some drug dealers. He’s kind of a bad guy breaking the law. I think in this particular case he doesn’t care. He needs to try to save his daughter. It’s a good motivation for the character, for sure.
Fox News: What was it like working with your oldest daughter, Ida, 25?
Lundgren: “I think it was mostly professional. She had her own idea. I didn’t mess too much with her preparation because I wanted her to prepare on her own. I think she did a good job. She was in the moment when we shot the scene. It was fun to work with her and I’d like to do it again if I can. It’s a good experience for her and it’s the kind of business we need. Everybody needs help. Nobody’s really made it totally on their own but everybody’s been given a break from somebody else and it’s nice to give it to someone in your family, for sure.
Lundgren, a former famed karate champion, is also known for playing Rocky Balboa’s (Sylvester Stallone) rival Ivan Drago in “Rocky IV“. Lundgren and Stallone have gone on to film several other movies together, including the action thriller franchise “The Expendables,” which has a fourth installment coming in 2022. Lundgren also recently reflected on his near-knockout of Stallone, telling Fox News it’s still an on-set mishap they joke about today.
In Stallone’s words, Lundgren “pulverized” him on set so hard while shooting a scene he ended up in intensive care fighting for his life.
“I was 10 years younger and in very good shape those days and we ended up hitting each other quite hard. When we wrapped in Vancouver where we shot the last fight he ended up in the hospital. I think he was off for about two weeks,” Lundgren recalled.
Despite the gravity of Stallone’s emergency, Lundgren insisted action film actors are prone to taking hits here and there.
“You know, we all end up incurring all these injuries being an action star. I suppose that was one of the more interesting ones he’s been a part of,” Lundgren said with a chuckle. “I’m glad he made it. Good for me.”
“Castle Falls’ hits theaters and On Demand on December 3.