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Friday evening, Nov. 30, at the onetime home of Samuel Goldwyn Studios (The Lot), Dolph Lundgren was feted at a party thrown in part by the Los Angeles branch of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce for his long career. The Swedish action icon was given the 2012 Eliason Merit Award at the dinner gala in front of a packed house of Stockholm expats and American supporters of Swede creatives.
“Sweden has been great in welcoming me back. … this is really special,” the Universal Soldier and Expendables 2 star said at the event as he accepted the award, the 25th year it has been awarded.
“I don’t know if I deserve it, I’ve just been blowing shit up for 25 years,” he deadpanned to laughter before adding: “I feel like there’s a special bond between Sweden and the United States, especially here in L.A.”
The 2011 winner of the Eliason Merit Award, sound editor Per Hallberg (fresh off his lauded work on Skyfall), said the evening was a special one for the small but growing Swedish American film community.
“I’ve been here for 27 years and I’ve been feeling alone as a Swede in the film world,” he said.
“But the last couple of years there’s been an influx of Swedes on the acting side and last year I worked with [Swedish film director of Chilean origin] Daniel Espinosa on his first feature film here.”
The sound master added that the tight-knit group of Scandinavians is slowly feeling more comfortable in Hollywood.
“For the first time in my history of being in L.A. I feel like there is real interest in Sweden,” Hallberg said. “I have people asking me often, ‘Any hot books or anything I should know about in Sweden?’ For me, it feels great and for the rest of the Swedish community coming over now. … it’s a great thing because it’s a lot easier for [young creatives] to come to Hollywood and have opportunities now.”
The event featured a silent auction, dinner and an after party where Lykke Li and members of Stockholm-based band Miike Snow played music (a DJ set from all) to a mixed crowd. Norway’s TV 2 was on hand to cover the event, and several Swedish celebrities were on the proverbial lot to toast Lundgren, who seemed in good spirits throughout the evening.
What’s next for the actor who got his first big break in 1985’s Rocky IV? Said Lundgren: “Next year I’m doing an action series called Rescue 3, a TV show where I save people instead of kill them for a change.”
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