Dolph Lundgren

Why Do People Hate Dolph Lundgren?

Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist who is best known for playing vicious boxer Ivan Drago in Rocky IV and He-Man in Masters of the Universe.

While Lundgren has had a successful career spanning over 30 years, he has garnered a fair share of haters over the years. Here are some of the main reasons why people dislike Dolph Lundgren.

He’s Perceived as a One-Dimensional Actor

One of the most common criticisms of Lundgren is that he has very limited acting ability and tends to play the same brooding, stoic characters in many of his films.

After his breakout role in Rocky IV, Lundgren was typecast as the emotionless villain in a string of direct-to-video action movies throughout the 1990s. While Lundgren has showcased more versatility in recent years, he’s still primarily known for playing the muscular brute with few lines.

Many critics feel he has a negligible range and relies too much on his imposing physique over acting chops. This one-dimensional screen persona is a turn-off for many viewers.

He Destroyed He-Man and Masters of the Universe

When Lundgren was cast as the beloved cartoon hero He-Man in the 1987 film Masters of the Universe, fans were deeply disappointed. Critics and audiences felt Lundgren lacked the charm and personality to play the iconic character.

The film was criticized for taking itself too seriously and turning He-Man into a generic barbarian. Lundgren’s stoic performance sucked out all the fun and whimsy fans loved about the animated series. The failure of the film stung fans and doomed plans for a franchise.

Perception He’s Difficult to Work With

Over the years, stories have emerged painting Lundgren as egotistical and difficult on set. Sylvester Stallone described him as stubborn and lacking passion during the making of Rocky IV. Directors have mentioned clashing with Lundgren over his desire for more lines and screen time.

Fair or not, these reports have fueled a perception that Lundgren is challenging to collaborate with. Some feel he often overestimates his own acting abilities and is the opposite of a team player. For producers and directors, the prospect of locking horns with Lundgren is apparently not very enticing.

Accusations of Domestic Abuse

In the 1990s, Lundgren’s ex-girlfriend Paula Barbieri accused him of punching, choking and verbally abusing her during their relationship. Barbieri testified that she required hospitalization after one violent altercation.

While Lundgren maintained his innocence and was never charged, the allegations still linger over him. Witnessing Lundgren’s onscreen brutality likely influences perceptions of him. Right or wrong, it colors some people’s opinions, making Lundgren an unlikable figure in their eyes.

His Support of Donald Trump

In 2016, Lundgren voiced his support for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, calling Trump an inspirational figure and great businessman. Lundgren’s praise for the controversial candidate rubbed many the wrong way.

Critics felt Lundgren endorsed Trump’s most divisive and extreme views. Whether Lundgren meant his comments as a blanket endorsement or just limited admiration is unclear. But for some, his pro-Trump statements are impossible to look past.

Is Too Old Now

At 65, Lundgren is well past his physical prime. While he still lands the occasional action movie role, many feel the worn-out action hero shtick has grown sad and a bit pathetic.

Seeing a wrinkled and aged Lundgren still attempting the same soulless tough guy roles comes across as desperate. Some believe Lundgren lacks the self-awareness to realize his days as an action star are over. His refusal to gracefully retire frustrates audiences.


In summary, Dolph Lundgren seems to elicit strongly negative reactions from some for a variety of reasons. From perceptions he’s an egotistical one-trick pony to his alleged domestic abuse to his political views, Lundgren has accumulated several strikes against him over time.

While Lundgren undoubtedly has loyal fans who enjoy his niche, for critics, his limitations as an actor and some questionable off-screen behavior make him an unpopular figure. As Lundgren enters the twilight of his career, he seems unlikely to shake the legacy of being a reviled figure among a segment of the population.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do people think Dolph Lundgren is a bad actor?

Many feel Lundgren has very limited acting ability. After Rocky IV, he got typecast playing silent musclebound villains. Critics say he relies too much on his tough image and lacks emotional range on screen.

How did Dolph Lundgren ruin He-Man?

When Lundgren was cast as He-Man, fans hated it. They felt he lacked the charm and personality to play the cartoon hero. Lundgren played He-Man as too grim and serious. The film flopped and killed plans for a franchise.

What are the reports about Lundgren being difficult on set?

There are numerous stories of Lundgren being stubborn and clashing with directors over demands for more lines and screen time. Stallone said he was uncooperative on Rocky IV. This fuels a perception Lundgren is egotistical and hard to work with.

What abuse allegations did his ex-girlfriend make?

In the 1990s, Lundgren’s ex Paula Barbieri accused him of severely beating and choking her, requiring hospitalization. Lundgren denied the allegations and was never arrested or charged. But it still impacts his reputation.

When did Lundgren endorse Donald Trump?

In 2016, Lundgren publicly endorsed Donald Trump’s presidential run, praising Trump as an inspirational businessman. This support angered critics who felt it showed endorsement of Trump’s most extreme views and divisiveness.

Why do people say Lundgren is too old for action films?

At 65, fans feel Lundgren lacks awareness that he’s too old for the action hero roles he’s clinging to. Seeing the wrinkled, aged Lundgren still playing one-note tough guys comes across as desperate and sad to audiences.

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