Star's academics interrupted by showbiz

At the very balmy Aug. 15 preem of Lionsgate’s “The Expendables 2″ at the Chinese, Simon West was sweating bullets.

“This is the first time I’ve ever opened a film without a test screening, which is scary,” the helmer said at the Drais afterparty. “So I feel very relieved.”

The 70-plus days of shooting — mostly in Bulgaria — concluded Christmas Eve. “I got out of there just before the snow arrived,” West recalled.

Dolph Lundgren, whose Gunnar Jensen character includes a penchant for math genius, admitted that it’s the first time he’s acted a part in which his academic background came into play.

“I got a chemical engineering degree and was studying at MIT, partly because that’s what my parents wanted,” he said. “Then I met Grace Jones and everything changed.”

Lionsgate’s Jason Constantine noted that Sly Stallone came up with the idea of having Lundgren portray a brainy character. “It helps that Dolph really is a genius,” he added.

Stallone offered heartfelt thanks to Lionsgate, West and his castmates when he intro’d the sequel while conceding that the premise seems far-fetched. “It made no sense on paper,” the star admitted.

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