By Clark Collis
March 02, 2017 at 10:00 AM EST
Everett Collection

In the horror movie Don’t Kill It (in theaters and on VOD/iTunes, March 3), action legend Dolph Lundgren plays a Deep South demon-hunter named Jebediah Woodley on the trail of a supernatural entity capable of possessing the person who murders its previous host. That explains both the film’s title and the scenes of bloody mayhem with which director Mike Mendez peppers his film. What it doesn’t explain is why Woodley wears his boots to bed.

“The boots were my idea,” says Lundgren, whose many credits include Rocky IV and the Expendables franchise. “You know, to sleep with the boots on, especially when you’re spending a night with a woman, I thought it was kind of an interesting detail.”

When EW spoke with Mendez last year, the Big Ass Spider! and Tales of Halloween filmmaker insisted Lundgren had more dialog in Don’t Kill It than in all the actor’s other films put together. While that is a little bit of an exaggeration, there’s no doubt Woodley is a change of verbal pace for Lundgren. “He’s kind of loud and he talks a lot,” agrees the actor. “In cinema, a lot of times, you try to do something with less words — it’s a visual medium. But as an actor, it’s fun to have a lot of dialog. Because you can warm up, you have some time to embellish the scene when you’re actually speaking a lot. There was more dialog than in my last five pictures put together.”

Lundgren’s costar is Kristina Klebe (Proxy, Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake), who plays an FBI agent reluctant to believe Woodley’s demonic explanation for the film’s murders. “She was very good,” says the actor. “She played the character kind of restrained because my character’s so colorful. We balanced out quite well.”

Mendez is well known in horror circles for his collection of action figures, including some characters played by Lundgren. “I make no effort to hide that I am a hardcore geek and, much like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, have a massive action figure collection,” Mendez told EW last year. “One of my favorite moments in the production was having Dolph come over to my house. I got some amazing photographs of him holding his Ivan Drago figure, reuniting him with Castle Grayskull. He was a good sport. He was like, ‘Oh my god, what a little geek! I love him!’”

So, what was that like for Lundgren?

“It was a bizarre experience,” he says. “There must have been thousands and thousands of them, and some of them were of me. A lot of them, actually, were me and my buddies Arnold and Sly. I just asked him, ‘What’s it like when you take a date back here?’ He says, ‘Well, either they turn around or they really like it.’ But it was a fun experience. He’s just one of those guys who loves art, he loves the films he does, and that’s how he lives. I’d love to work with him again, for sure.”