Ivan Vasilyevich Drago is a Russian Mafia and footballer born on 3rd November 1957. He was undefeated in the boxing business until 1985 Christmas when Rocky Balboa defeated him. He was arrested shortly after his defeat besides other members of the Koloff crime family that made his syndicate weak. Read below to find more interesting facts about Ivan Drago you probably did not know.
Ivan Drago has strength just like a Super-Human
The Rocky IV character, Ivan Drago is very strong especially when we speak about athleticism. The Super-Human strength of Ivan Drago become visible during a weight lifting session in the Siberian Express. Many viewers have witnessed Ivan doing quite a hefty standing press with heavyweights. Some of the crazy weightlifting done by Ivan includes 400 pounds lifting.
Ivan Drago took Steroids
Ivan Drago essentially became a mountain man for Rocky IV but lived completely on steroids. In one of the Siberian Express scenes, he is shown receiving many kinds of injections. There is undoubtedly one reason behind showing the scene that Ivan Drago is a drug cheat. This implies Ivan is living on anabolic steroids either in the form of injections or powdered form. In one of the scenes, his wife insists that he is not a doper and likes to eat spinach every day. Even the fight with Rocky was only an exhibition match where standard drug testing was not done.
Dolph Lundgren Almost Killed Sylvester Stallone
Rocky Balboa almost faced a death like situation while playing a few rounds with Ivan Drago. When the final scenes were shot for the epic fight, Sylvester Stallone thought of an idea about having himself and Lundgren punch each other in real. Although Lundgren came out mostly unscathed, after one day from shooting, Stallone had to be admitted to an emergency room when he suffered difficulties in breathing. Doctors found that his blood pressure was more than 200 and he was thereafter sent to a low-altitude Santa Monica hospital. For eight days, Stallone was kept in the ICU since Lundgren had hit him hard in the breastbone.
Ivan Drago was selected for the Rocky sequel initially
Eventually, Rocky IV performed well in the box office ranking more than $300 million against a budget of $28 million only. The movies’ success prompted Stallone to write another sequel that emphasises both Ivan Drago and Rocky. However, Stallone decided to focus more on Rocky V, particularly when damaged Rocky sustained a fight. This means showcasing dangers in boxing when introducing Tommy Gunn.
One of Ivan Drago’s movie scripts is unproduced
Many people believe that Ivan Drago has returned for Creed 2 which is a good thing. Andrew LeMay, the screenwriter however disagrees. For some years, he is writing a script on Hollywood especially for Ivan Drago called Red Glove. According to the script, Ivan is sent back to Russia and is convicted for 30 years for losing Rocky Balboa. According to rumours, the real-life boxer and WBA heavyweight champion named Nikolai Valuev was supposed to appear in the movie but rejected the script.
Arnold Schwarzenegger acted like Ivan Drago
While more than 8,000 actors auditioned for playing Ivan Drago’s part, only a few came close to it. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the one who was perfect for playing Ivan Dragos’ part. Arnold was a rising star then and had just broken with his famous Conan the Barbarian and the terminator which made him quite recognised.
He speaks just nine lines in the film
Lundgren’s native language is not English. This took him many years to speak fluently in the English language. To be precise, around nine lines were spoken by him that too were short and sweet. Some of the lines spoken by Ivan Drago includes “I must break you”, “I cannot be defeated”, and “He’s not a human. He’s like a piece of iron”.
Ivan Drago is called by three nicknames
A boxer has several names and a good nickname can make him more famous. Similarly, Ivan Drago had not one but three nicknames. Despite belonging to the Russian country, Ivan earned nicknames like Siberian Bull and Siberian Express. His third nickname is Death from Above which he earned after killing Apollo Creed in the Rocky IV fight.
Ivan Drago is called a Russian War hero
Ivan Drago belonged to the Soviet Army and loved wearing his military outfit. During a scene when Lundgren joins a press conference before his fight with Apollo Creed, Ivan wears his Soviet Army dress. With his military looks, Ivan looked like a soldier and a hero belonging to the Soviet Union medal. The medal earned by him is the highest honour received by a Soviet government soldier which reveals, he was a successful military man pursuing a boxing career.
The crew believed that Ivan Drago killed Creed in real
During the scenes showing an early fight between Apollo Creed and Ivan Drago, the actor Carl Weathers wanted to modify the scene to make the climax more interesting in which the Russian kills an American opponent in the ring. A few minutes after Ivan Drago punches Creed, he is seen falling in the canvas spellbound where he twitches before dying scene. It was a moment when the crew thought Ivan killed Creed. According to Weathers, “It worked so perfect to book-end the life of Apollo Creed — a man who in the very beginning comes into do this as a lark … and in the end, a guy who has already left, but there is still that fighter in him and that muscle memory in him where he is still trying to move, and it’s gone.”