Exclusive interview with Castle Falls and Aquaman star Dolph Lundgren - SciFiNow

Exclusive interview with Castle Falls and Aquaman star Dolph Lundgren

SciFiNow exclusively speaks to Hollywood legend Dolph Lundgren…

Dolph Lundgren

From playing He-Man in Masters of the Universe, Sgt Andrew Scott in Universal Soldier, King Nereus in Aquaman and many more, Dolph Lundgren has a wealth of popular credits to his name.

Now, the Hollywood legend is starring and also directing (for the first time in nearly a decade) in the brand-new action movie Castle Falls, where he re-teams with British star Scott Adkins (The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud) for a tense and gripping action-thriller,

The film is set at Castle Heights Hospital which, after years of neglect, is a symbol of the city’s segregated past, and has been packed with dynamite, ready to be demolished. No one knows that a gang leader, now in prison, hid the 3 million dollars in cash he stole from his rivals inside the abandoned building. Now, three desperate parties want the money: a blue collared ex-fighter (Adkins) who finds it while working as part of the demolition crew, a prison guard (Lundgren) willing to do anything to pay for his daughter’s cancer treatment, and a ruthless gang who claim to be the rightful owners. The demolition charges are set, everyone clears out and the Castle is set to fall in 90 minutes. The clock is ticking. Who will find the cash, and will they get out alive?

Lundgren took some time to tell us more about the film…

It’s been a decade since your last directing project (Icarus, aka The Killing Machine). Why did you take a break?

In a short space of time, The Expendables with Sylvester Stallone showed up; one, two and three, all close together. From there, I went to work on Creed II and the first Aquaman. I always knew I’d like to direct again, but I was trying to find the right project. I had another picture with Scott Adkins which fell through, so I was looking at alternative scripts that would work as a two-hander, and I read one called Castle Falls. It was very different in the original version, but it had a good unity of time and place, and was set almost in real time, so I thought we could do it on a small budget. I also wanted to see how I enjoyed the experience of directing again, having taken a break. Right after we started, COVID came along, the production got shut down and we ended up having to shoot the film in 17 days. It was very tough, but we managed to do it.

Although the film is an action-thriller, there’s an intimate story and a lot of drama and quiet moments from the two main characters. Was this important to you?

Yes, it was very important. Next time I’d like to focus even more on the characters. Action is a way to pull the audience in, up the stakes and make it exciting. However, one of my favourite directors is Clint Eastwood and I feel his films are very accessible and simple, to some degree, but they always hit you on a deeper level. There’s something you don’t realise is there in the beginning, you’re along for a fun ride, then you get pulled in and it’s heavy. I think that’s a good model.

Eastwood is of course famous for filming few takes and keeping scenes feeling natural. Is that your approach too?

Yes, that’s my approach. I can design stuff ahead of time and have ideas, but on set, especially on a short schedule, you need to be economical. Sometimes actors are better when they don’t labour too much. Rather than second guessing every take, they can go with instinct. Of course, if you rush through it, it’s no good, but if you have enough time to prepare with the actors and talk to them, you don’t need to do too many takes. Although it was unfortunate the production got shut down, it gave me time to prepare with the actors before we continued filming.

You’ve worked on a number of films with Scott Adkins, how do you find working with him, and how was he to direct?

It was different now, because I was more interested in his performance, rather than doing a fight scene with him! On the other movies we’ve done together, even though I wasn’t directing, I always thought he had an interesting personality and there’s perhaps more there than some directors would use, which is true of all actors. During that break from filming, I worked on the character with him, and all the other actors too.

I always enjoy working with Scott, he’s a nice guy and he’s very helpful during the fights. He choreographed and shot several fights and edited most of them himself. I only changed a few small things in his edit because he’s a master of that world.

Dolph Lundgren worked on Scott Adkins character with him.

Your daughter, Ida Lundgren, is in the film too and gives a very good performance. How was your experience working with her?

I loved working with her and she did a great job. I didn’t get too involved in her own preparation. She’s very natural and it was good to help her gain some more experience. This is the kind of business where everybody needs help, no one’s made it on their own. Everyone has a mentor or someone who believes in them, and I believe in her.

Ida Lundgren stars alongside her dad in Castle Falls.

After returning to direct Castle Falls, has the filmmaking bug returned?

Yeah, I think so. Recently I did Aquaman 2, which was cool and more of an acting role, and The Expendables 4, more of an asskicking action role. I like it but I’ve done that so many times now, it’s much more challenging for me to direct movies, so we’ll see what comes next.

Dazzler Media presents Castle Falls out now on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital. Find it on iTunes, Amazon, or  for a special price on new streaming service Dazzler+