SPECIAL effects may have changed the way most modern action blockbusters are made; but action maestro Jackie Chan still swears by the real thing.
“A genuine action movie is marked by real stunts,” insisted the star, who was in town last week to promote his latest movie, Police Story 2013.
Honour the bold
With the increasing focus on film awards these days, Chan said he also wanted to establish a stunt action film award that would “give recognition to the true heroes that contribute to the success of good action movies”.
“It is time (we) paid tribute to real action stars and genuine stunt performers. A film award with categories for best action movie, best action performer for both male and female actors, best action director, best stunt choreography, best fight scene and such.
“Many times, as I stand before the true heroes, the unknown faces of committed stunt performers who lay their lives on the line, all for the sake of making a good action film, I wish that others would realise how much blood, sweat and tears were involved,” shared Chan, who has broken practically every bone in his body. In fact, he almost died after sustaining a head injury during a stunt for the 1986 film Armour Of God.
“A martial arts actor has his work cut out for him. Trying to act and remembering your lines while trying to fight and getting your choreography right; that is definitely not easy to do.
“Most people don’t realise how difficult it is to focus on getting everything right. That is why action movies used to focus on action only. But now, a good script is of paramount importance. I will only make a movie if the script is good,” offered Chan.
Like other Jackie Chan movies, Police Story 2013 also includes a blooper reel during the end credits. One scene shows Chan’s wrists being bound to the arm of a chair with thick metal wires and how he tries to free himself using only brute strength and perseverance.
“I was told that it couldn’t be done. But, that only strengthened my resolve, so I insisted on doing it. I wanted to show Jaycee that it was possible, and that I could do it,” quipped Chan, who just had to prove his son wrong when the young man paid a visit to the set.
Despite his show of nonchalance in the movie, it was apparent that his wrists were badly bruised, cut and even bleeding after he succeeded in breaking free of his bonds.
“It was not easy to do. The skin and flesh around the wrist area is the thinnest, and just a bit of scraping will reveal the bone in most cases,” he explained.
Chan’s fight scenes in the movie also looked very painful, and he admitted that they were as painful as they looked: “The fights were with genuine MMA (mixed martial arts) boxers, not stuntmen; so, they didn’t know how to control their strength when we were filming the fight sequences. Those were rock-hard, solid punches and kicks.”
Other upcoming projects include the setting up of a martial arts acting school.
“Not just martial arts, but a martial arts acting school. And, it will not be just martial arts and acting. I will teach everything about making action movies. I will even include skills such as framing and editing. I want to train them to become all-round action stars!” he enthused.