Dolph Lundgren Talks His and Channing Tatum’s Roles in the Coens Brothers’ ‘Hail, Caesar!’

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Dolph Lundgren in The Expendables
Photo: Lionsgate

Even a Swedish brute like Ivan Drago — ahem, Dolph Lundgren — understands that when you’re offered a role in a Coen brothers film, you don’t turn it down, even if you feel you might be just a tiny bit out of place. “[The casting] was a bit of a shocker. They called me out of nowhere a few months ago,” tells Lundgren of his small role in the Coens’ next film, Hail, Caesar! “I’m a huge fan of theirs and I never expected to be in any Coen brothers movies, but I guess I am!”

The quotes come from a recent interview with Creative Screenwriting, in which Lundgren speaks mostly of his upcoming film Skin Trade, which he wrote, but also informs us a bit about his experience on the set of the Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest project.

“It’s a movie set in the 1950s called Hail, Caesar! and it’s about the studio system. Basically, one of the characters is going to defect to the Soviet Union because he loves communism because they have great uniforms [Laughs]. That’s Channing Tatum‘s character in the movie, and they wanted someone to play a submarine commander. I guess they wanted someone kind of iconic where the audience sees the person and says, “Holy shit!” [Laughs]. So I’m wearing a Russian fur hat and I’m on this huge submarine in Malibu. It was fun to work with [the Coens].”

Alright, so Channing Tatum is playing a guy who loves communism because they have sick threads. Interesting. At the very least, the character definitely sounds like one you’d find in a Coen brothers film, and in one of their comedies especially.

As for Lundgren playing a submarine commander with an “iconic” look, yeah, I can see that. The Swedish actor is best known for his role as Rocky Balboa’s towering opponent in Rocky IV, and more recently he’s been seen alongside Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more in the Expendables trilogy. Lundgren is an action guy, through and through, so it’s almost a no-brainer to have him fill a role like this even if he isn’t the first person that comes to mind.

If it feels like it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Hail, Caesar!, that’s because it has. The film isn’t due in theaters until February 5, 2016, which means it’s still a full nine months until us common folks are able to actually lay our eyes upon it, and those involved with the project have remained pretty tight-lipped. However, this little nugget from Mr. Lundgren might just be enough to tide us over until we start seeing pictures and trailers and things of that nature. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing I suppose.

Hail, Caesar! is a period comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who works to keep the studio’s stars in line. Along with Tatum the film stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill.