Eurovision changes Hollywood perceptions

"Big, dumb, blond Swede, that's been the stigma I've had for 25 years, especially in Sweden - there, they are even more upset that I didn't do any [Ingmar] Bergman movies and just went to Hollywood and started killing people," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

But this year, things changed when he was one of the hosts of the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Namely, as he points out, the show performance he gave there with Elvis Presley's undying hit A Little Less Conversation, changed perceptions of him being just an action film actor. 

"People saw me as who I am and realised that maybe I'm not so stupid after all," Lundgren added. 

Now, the actor with a Master's degree in chemical engineering and fluent in seven languages, has got a boost to his career by starring in the motion picture The Expendables together with Sylvester Stallone and Jet Li. 

Lundgren's breakthrough came when he starred in Rocky IV in 1985 as the imposing Russian boxer Ivan Drago. Since then, he has starred in more than 40 pictures, all of them in the action film genre.

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