THROUGHOUT SCOTLAND. BUSINESSES WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2018 AT THE RADISSON BLU, GLASGOW
You don’t even know them. And then, when I take a deep breath, I realise: hang on a second, that’s why we have wars, that’s why young men and young women are being blown to pieces all over the place, because people don’t take time and take a breath and say: ‘Well, maybe it wasn’t that guy’s fault. Maybe he had a bad day. And he wasn’t doing it to me. It wasn’t personal.’”
Lundgren is candid when he talks about the impact his father’s behaviour had on his own when he himself became a father with his now ex-wife Anette Qviberg. Because what does it mean when an abusive man is your paternal role model?
“Yeah, it was difficult for me. Luckily, I had two daughters. There’s no sense of competition. But, yeah, I didn’t handle it well. I mean. I was always loving to them. I never beat them or anything.
“But I did abuse myself. I was drinking too much. I was absent a lot early on in their upbringing and it was because I was dealing with my own demons.
“But at some point, about 10 years ago, I started doing therapy and I started meditating. I became wiser about what had happened, and I went back to them and I spoke to them and also my ex-wife and I asked for forgiveness. I told them about my dad and they started crying. Now they understand that, yes, a big strong guy like their dad can make mistakes too. You can ask for forgiveness for things you’ve done.”
Of course, before Lundgren even became a father you also need to factor in fame and success into the mix. Unexpected fame it must be said. “I don’t know why it happened that quickly, but it did.”
Lundgren met Grace Jones in Australia and soon was accompanying her to Studio 54, hanging out with Andy Warhol and trying out for a role in the James Bond movie A View to a Kill because his girlfriend already had a part in it. Next thing he knew he was cast in Rocky IV as Ivan “I must break you” Drago.
“Somebody said: ‘You got famous overnight.’ And I said; ‘No, I got famous in 90 minutes.’ The movie lasted 90 minutes. When I walked in nobody cared about me. They were taking pictures of Grace Jones and trying to get me out of the way, so
I wouldn’t block the view.
“And then, as I was coming out, people were taking pictures of me and it took me years to get over that. It’s not like I’d been an actor waiting tables, dreaming of success. I’d been at MIT in Boston a year and a half before that, deciding to give up my scholarship.”
At the time his life was one of sex, drugs and disco in the days before Aids started cutting swathes through the people he knew. He’s talked before of Jones’s appetites: for drugs and group sex. The partying lifestyle led to inevitable clashes with Sylvester Stallone, who was acting and directing Rocky IV and wanted his co-star to turn up early and bright-eyed (preferably not chemically assisted).
Lundgren was being pulled in two