Dragon Blade Breaking Records

Dragon Blade is costing approximately $65 million to make which is a record for a domestic Chinese film. It has also broken sales records for a Jackie Chan movie at Cannes Film Festival. It will be released at Chinese New Year 2015 simultaneously across Asia, having been sold to the following countries: Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Indonesia, the Middle East, the Philippines, Brunei, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (just to name a few).

Some additional BTS photos:


Fruit is the Answer!

When it's hot on set, Jackie bring pineapple and water melon to cool every one down!


Dragon Blade Aerial Photography Begins

Aerial photography for Dragon Blade started this week.


Who you gonna call?

From Dragon Blade:

The tent breaks? Find Big Brother! Hungry? Find Big Brother! The rope breaks? Find Big Brother! Wow! You can shoot a movie called "To be OK when something goes wrong, find Big Brother!"


Skiptrace gets new Director

Skiptrace gets a new Director with Renny Harlin replacing Sam Fell. Production is set to start on August 11, 2014.

Photos: Renny Harlin has dinner at the Dragon Oasis restaurant in Shanghai on 12 May 2014:


Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, The Long Kiss Goodnight) will direct the film, with a shoot planned for later this summer. Fan Bingbing (Iron Man 3, X-Men: Days of Future Past) will also appear.

A press release from Bloom, which is now selling the picture at Cannes, announced that Skiptrace will shoot starting on August 11. Sam Fell (Paranorman) was previously set to direct, but Harlin replaced him over the past couple months.

SKIPTRACE follows a Hong Kong detective Bennie Black (Chan), who has been tracking a dangerous crime boss, Victor Wong, for over a decade. When Bennie’s beautiful young niece Bai (Fan Bingbing) gets into trouble with Wong’s crime syndicate, he comes to the rescue and must track down the only man who can help her – a fast-talking American gambler named Connor Watts (Scott) who is also on the run from the mob. The unlikely pair embarks on a hilarious adventure from the wind swept dunes of the Gobi Desert to the rocky spires of the Huangshan Mountains.

The first draft of Skiptrace came from Jay Longino, from a story idea by Jackie Chan. Brian Gatewood & Alessandro Tanaka, and then Geoff Moore & David Posmentier also worked on the script, though the most recent draft is written by BenDavid Grabinski.

Talent International and Dasym Entertainment will produce along with Jackie Chan, Esmond Ren, Charlie Coker, Damien Saccani and David Gerson. The film is financed by Talent International and Dasym Entertainment (a subsidiary of Dasym Investment Strategies B.V., Exclusive Media’s parent company).


Jackie invests in New Production Company

Sparkle Roll Cultural Media Co. Ltd have invested in a new production company making films for the Chinese and international market. Details below.

EXCLUSIVE: Some 12 years ago, Adrien Brody came to the Croisette to unveil his Oscar-winning turn in the Palm d’Or winning The Pianist. He’s back, this time to launch Fable House Ltd, a new production company Brody said has $50 million in development and production funding to make films for the Chinese and international marketplace. It also has a slate of pictures that starts with Manhattan Nocturne, a Brian DeCubellis-directed adaptation of the Colin Harrison novel that Brody will star in alongside Yvonne Strahovski and Campbell Scott. DeCubellis wrote the script, and he will produce with Brody and Scott. The film will shoot late fall, and will be sold here at Cannes by Paradigm for North America and 13 Films for international. In the project, which was first unveiled in Berlin, Brody will play a journalist asked by a seductive young woman to investigate the unsolved murder of her husband. “It is the kind of film Sidney Lumet would make,” Brody said. “It is the kind of film I wish to make.”

The backing for the company comes from Beijing-based Sparkle Roll Cultural Media Co. Ltd., which is 50% owned by Jackie Chan, and entrepreneur Kola Aluko, the latter of whom is putting up $30 million. The Beijing Cultural Assets Chinese Film & Television Fund will contribute $20 million US dollars to the venture, whose mission is to produce English language films for China and the international market. Brody will produce them, and will direct and star in some.

“Fable House will provide a doorway to imagination,” Brody said in a statement. “The partnership will help bridge financial and cultural boundaries and allow us to make films that emphasize humanity and reach a global audience. Our objectives are simple: to make the kinds of films that don’t often get made, to play a larger role as storyteller, and to help filmmakers with a unique vision to have a voice.”

In a mission statement, Brody described the catalyst for the new enterprise. “I’ve spent almost three decades on film sets, working with some of the most creative and talented filmmakers in the world,” he wrote. “I have produced several film projects and have long had aspirations to expand my vision: to produce, to direct and to develop meaningful material. I now have that opportunity and the ability to assist other creative individuals with their dreams.”


Dragon Blade Update

From Dragon Blade Movie -

"Food for the crew is great! Curry Chicken, Fried Rice ... usually there is pork, four happiness meatballs, big duck leg ... good to eat! The key is Da Ge (Jackie) will distribute bread and biscuits for breakfast every morning. In the afternoon, in addition to tea, there are iced drinks and a variety of different teas. You can imagine the parade of hundreds of people who come to eat."


The Green Monster

The Green Monster #16 - "I am a star!"


Dragon Blade Updates

Jackie keeps cast and crew happy during night filming with a collection of snacks:

After taking the entire stunt team out to dinner last night, filming was due to start on stunts this morning, but filming has been delayed by rain - again!


JJCC's Thank You to Jackie

JJCC recorded this thank you to Jackie for his support and encouragement.

And here is a video of them singing at Jackie's birthday:

You can follow them on Youtube - JJCC CHANNEL

Poster for Dragon Blade

Dragon Blade is being promoted at Cannes Film Festival with this poster:


Help a Fan Help Others!

Help Pritha realise her dream of helping others through clay therapy.

Being a fan of Jackie means learning to help others. Education is also something that Jackie feels passionately about. Help Pritha reach her goals by helping her receive the educational qualification she needs to pursue her passion:

Even if you can't donate, help by forwarding her page to every one you know. The more who know about it, the faster she will reach her goal. Let's make it happen!!

Interesting Old Interviews Part 4

PEOPLE Online Chat
PEOPLE Online Conference with Jackie Chan

(PDiL/PEOPLE): Hello everyone. I'm Patrizia DiLucchio, your host, and on behalf of PEOPLE Magazine I'd like to welcome you all here.

Before I introduce our special guest this evening, film director JACKIE CHAN, I'd like to remind everyone that this is a moderated conference -- and it is being conducted simultaneously on Compuserve AND the world wide web! We're incredibly lucky to have him joining us here tonight. Welcome Jackie!

(Jackie Chan) It's nice to be here. It's a magic thing to be talking to everyone!

(PDiL/PEOPLE): I'm going to sneak in one question while everyone else is warming up their fingers.. How will the 1997 Chinese take-over of Hong Kong affect the Hong Kong film industry?

(Jackie Chan) I wish I could be typing this myself!

I don't know about other people, but as far as my own films are concerned, as you know my films are never political--it's always happy-go-lucky, suitable even for kids. My films are all geared toward young people, so no matter what the government, I think that they will welcome my films.

Question from DUBLIN, OH: Kurt Schroeder Of your films, which is your favorite and why?

(Jackie Chan) it's Police Story. Because at that time, many people said that police films would not work anymore. I wanted to prove that they could be made if they were made well. The same thing applied to Kung Fu movies. Everyone said they can't work anymore. This is why I made 'Drunken Master II' and they were both No. 1.

Question from MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Now that Samo Hung has worked with you again on "Thunderbolt", what are the chances that you, Samo, and Yuen Biao might make one more comedy together?

(Jackie Chan) The next movie is Samo-directed. The location is in New York. Everything was done, but Samo came to tell me that "all is done, but New York is too cold." So we changed the place to Sydney, and pretended it was New York. For the last three weeks we came back to New York. I believe it was May or April. Samo directed that. I think the next film will be Samo directed (too).

(4-28,Internet Questions): I want to ask if Jackie thinks Rumble is a funny movie. The trailer made it look somewhat serious.

(Jackie Chan) It is a comedy movie. We have a certain different "cut" to it, because in America I have to show this to a different audience. We have a different for everyone -- ladies, children. I'm not lying, for me, there is one cut and it's for Everybody!

I should add that there will be six to eight different versions of trailers for this movie and each one is targeted for a different audience. But only one movie :-)

Question from REDFORD, MI: If I wanted to introduce your films to someone, which 3 movies would you suggest I have them see

(Jackie Chan) If you really want me to choose: Police Story Part I, Project A, Part I, and Rumble in the Bronx.

Question from PORTLAND, OR: Jackie, what day are you going to be on David Letterman so that I can set my VCR! I don't want to miss it!

(Jackie Chan) That's Feb 13. I'm a little bit nervous. I've been thinking about what I should do for the program...

Should I beat him up (Letterman)? Should I try something funny? I'm worried about my English.

If I can't pronounce my English good, I will kick his butt! Hahaha! :-)

Question from EXTERNAL NETWORK: Has Jackie ever taken dance? Some of his moves suggest he has.

(Jackie Chan) I've never learned dance but I like to watch dance --especially Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I learned a lot of things from them.

(4-28,Internet Questions) Jackie I was wondering if you will ever fight Benny 'the Jet' again?

(Jackie Chan) Benny the Jet -- I think he's a great fighter. We still have a commitment for sparring together. But I think that he's retired now. So I'll let him go. Hahaha. But we're VERY good friends (I should call him up.) (Thank you for reminding me!)

Question from EXTERNAL NETWORK: Will you be working with John Woo again someday?

(Jackie Chan) Not at this moment. I don't know about later -- we might. I still have several projects to do. I'm going to see his "Broken Arrow" on the 5th. I want to see what happens.

Question from SACRAMENTO, CA: Considering the extreme stunts you do in your movies made in china, is their anything preventing you doing the same stunts in American movies, such as insurance, etc. ?

(Jackie Chan) I think that it's difficult in America. For one thing, the insurance companies won't let you do it. So this is why I'm filming in Asia -- I can do whatever I want to do. Since I've been in Asia, all the insurance companies have put me on a black list!

Question from VAN NUYS, CA: Will you work with Maggie Cheung or Michelle Yeoh again? Please work with Lee Choi Fung (Moon Lee)!

(Jackie Chan) Okay, after you've requested it, I'll try it. Because some of those girls have fallen in love, some have other projects to do--they're busy. But I'll keep your suggestion in my mind, thanks!

(Internet Question): Jackie will there ever be another Drunken Master movie?

(Jackie Chan) I've been trying to make Drunken Master III and (chomping on pizza) the script is very hard to think through. I've been working on it, though.

Question from INDIANAPOLIS, IN: Who were you martial art influences and 2. What is your religion?

(Jackie Chan) All good martial arts people have influenced me -- of course. Especially Bruce Lee. There were several Korean teachers of Tae Kwon Do who influenced me as well. Of course, the most important one who influenced me a lot was Buster Keaton. As for the second question, every religion teaches you good things. But I think that the most important thing is to be true to yourself.

Question from LOS ANGELES, CA: Which American directors or actors are you planning on working with or would like to work with, I know Quentin Tarantino is a big fan?

(Jackie Chan) By the way, I believe -- or my philosophy in life -- is that you cannot please everybody. Just make sure you are true to yourself.

They've made fun of me, and I also make fun of them. Sorry (strange fingers doing the typing) (Jackie punches typist) I'm a very big FAN of their. I'm very angry that it takes so long for a Stallone script to come. I've been waiting. The next ones I want to work with are Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Jim Cameron, and WHY doesn't Tarantino have a script for me right now?? I really want to know what would happen with my sense of action and American special effects.

(4-28,Internet Questions) Jackie: what do you think of JET LI?

(Jackie Chan) Jet Li is a wonderful actor but we are different types. He is more serious and has Hong Kong-style special effects. So this is why we have different styles, but we are good friends. Supposedly we'll try to make a movie together. But the script writers aren't done yet. They always think -- how can we put two stars together -- they want to make it even

Question from TORONTO, ON: How do you feel about no holds barred contests such as the Ultimate Fighting ChampionShip? Do you think they help or hurt Martial Arts in general?

(Jackie Chan) For me, I don't like it (Ultimate Fighting). I think it's too violent. Before, all people wanted to learn these kinds of things. But I think this kind is wrong. When I watch this kind of fighting -- it's too violent -- what do you think? I've learned all kinds of martial arts, but this is for sport only.

(4-28,Internet Questions) Jackie- how serious are you about getting into the US market? I think it will be great if you start making movies here!

(Jackie Chan) Right now, I'm very serious about coming here. That's why I'm here doing a promotion tour. I think a promotion tour is more difficult. In 10 days, I have to travel around America -- and I have another 14 days to go! I'm really scared taking airplanes.

Question from CZO: Jackie, what do you think are the main differences between Western made martial arts films and Eastern made ones? What is the box office take of a "successful" film in Hong Kong?

(Jackie Chan) For me, I have a more freedom to do whatever I want to do. If you know Drunken Master II, only the end, that seven-minute fighting sequence took me four months to shoot that. You cannot do that in America. No way. The producer would kill you.

(4-28,Internet Questions) What do you think of American Action Films?

(Jackie Chan) Before, there was the American Action Movie. Now I think there is no AmericanAction movie. In Asia, we call it the American Special Effects Movie. The real American action movies were those of people like Buster Keaton. But the age is changing. I think American special effects are very entertaining, though.

Question from NEW YORK, NY: Is Jackie in Hong Kong or New York right now?

(Jackie Chan) We're on tour right now and, right now, we're at Planet Hollywood in New York -- (I can say that because, by the time you come here, I will already have left!) You want me to wait for you? Hahaha! Come and see.

(4-28,Internet Questions),br> Jackie, how tall are you, and how much do you weigh?

(Jackie Chan) I'm five foot ten and a half...160 lbs.

Question from EXTERNAL NETWORK: Hollywood takes years to produce most movies. How long does the average Jackie Chan movie take from start to finish

(Jackie Chan) I think that, from start to finish, about one year. I spend most of the time with action scenes, choreographing them, reasonable fighting -- natural comedy...

Question from CFT: Hi Jackie. I'm your fan since when I saw "Project A" in Japan, when I was 11 year old. I want to ask you that how many more action movies you think you will make? And would you prefer being a director and producer than being an actor?

(Jackie Chan) I think I will do about six more action movies. Right now, I still like being an actor. I still have a lot of technique to show to the audience. And later on...(thinking) I will be an action director. And producer. I might open a school to teach people how to fight in movies. (Looking at "Staying Alive' on the big screen ) I think American films have good editing.

(PDiL/PEOPLE): I'm posting this for Kenny Fung... He's having tech difficulties so he asked me to ask you... Do people still compare you to Bruce Lee? And if so, how do you react to this?

(Jackie Chan) Not any more. This is what makes this trip very easy. 15 years ago everyone asked me -- the press -- Who are you? The second Bruce Lee? But not on this trip. I'm so happy! When they compare me to him, of course, I'm happy. But by now everyone knows that I have a totally different style from Bruce Lee. He was like a Superhero. I am not. He was like a real Kung Fu Man. I'm more like a Caesar Salad- a mix of everything. I have action, kung fu, comedy...

(4-28,Internet Questions) Do you have any lasting effects from all the injuries you have sustained?

(Jackie Chan) Oh, many. Especially my back and along the top of the back. (I severely sprained my neck in one film). But I'm doing okay. But don't worry about my injuries, just go see my movies. That's my problem. My job is to make movies, your job is to see them. Thank you.

(4-28,Internet Questions) It's hard to find your movies with English subtitles in this country. Are there any plans to re-release your older movies?

(Jackie Chan) If Rumble is a success, I believe all my movies will be shown in 2,000 theaters with English dubbing. I really hope all my new fans will see my movies not on video, but on a big screen. On TV you lose a lot.

Question from EXTERNAL NETWORK: As a female fan, I would like to see more romance in Jackie's story lines. Is this something I could look for in any new releases?

(Jackie Chan) Now we are beginning to add that. Rumble has a little bit. The next one maybe more. The next one maybe MORE (getting a little excited).

Question from NEW YORK, NY: Has there been any stunt that you wanted to do, started to do, but then said, "Wait, am I crazy? I not going to do this!!!"

(Jackie Chan) None that I reject. Any stunt that I design, I can't reject. I know I can do it. Of course, when it comes time to do it, I'm a little scared.

(PDiL/PEOPLE): I am asking this for Christopher J. Lest... is it true that your first English word was...EGG???

(Jackie Chan) Yes. Because at the restaurant, when I said "eh?" She asked "How would you like your egg?"-- it's a long story (shaking head) And a big joke.

Question from TORONTO, ON: What does your workout regimen consist of? Do you do a lot of weight lifting, or do you feel that bulky muscles slow you down too much?

(Jackie Chan) Jogging, punching and kicking. With weights,, it's very light weight, because I really need a flexible body to make it all work. And light-weight as possible.

Question from LOS ANGELES, CA: You mentioned you'd like to work with Lucas, Spielberg or Jim Cameron. Does this mean you see yourself doing a science fiction or fantasy film? What would be a dream project?

(Jackie Chan) (Now watching Charlie Chaplin and smiling.) I would like to do an action movie. I still want to do my stunts, but I would want to see what would happen with those larger special effects in the background. Maybe there is something new that could come from that.

(PDiL/PEOPLE): Jackie, I know you must be tired with all that traveling around! And I want to thank you for this magical hour you've given us tonight!

(Jackie Chan) Thanks!

(PDiL/PEOPLE): Everyone in the audience, I know some of you did not get the chance to ask your questions! There were so many of them.

Thank you all for coming! And thank you Jackie!

(Jackie Chan) This time that I've come to America, I'm very happy because I've found there are a lot of people here supporting me. This has given me new confidence. But I must say this was a magical hour for me too. This is magic to me--because I can talk to so many of you at once. I hope to introduce more of my new "friends" to my movies. I will continue to make better movies, without hurting myself.

New York Times
Jackie Chan, American Action Hero?

Throughout Asia, he's Elvis Presley, Steven Spielberg and Bruce Lee rolled into one. Finally he's coming to a movie theater near you.

Whenever Jackie Chan leaves Hong Kong to make a public appearance in Shanghai, Taipei or Tokyo, or in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore or Seoul, hundreds - sometimes thousands - of his fans gather in a frenzy of adoration. Last June, Chan, the martial artist, comic actor and stuntman who is Asia’s biggest movie star, flew to Los Angeles for MTV's annual Movie Awards. He was met at the airport by about 25 people. Among the signs and banners held aloft, a bright pink stripe read: ALL AMERICANS LOVE JACKIE. SOME JUST DON'T KNOW IT YET.

Martial arts devotees and patrons of Chinatown movie houses have known to love Chan since the late 1970's. More recently, his signature blend of comedy and combat, honed over 43 films, has turned him into a cult icon among a more diverse audience, including Hollywood film makers and Generation X hipsters for whom high octane Hong Kong films have become required viewing. At the MTV Awards, where Chan was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, Quentin Tarantino heatedly proclaimed him a cinematic virtuoso on the level of Buster Keaton (one of Chan's acknowledged influences) and Fred Astaire.

Now that the action-comedy format he pioneered in Hong Kong has become a dominant genre in Hollywood, Chan will try to leap across the chasm separating the art house from the multiplex. This Friday, Chan's "Rumble In The Bronx" will close the Sundance Film Festival. On February 23, New Line will release the film in 1,500 theatres across the country. (It broke box office records in Asia last year.) This year, Miramax will release the two movies that preceded "Rumble" - "Crime Story" and "Drunken Master II"; in the fall, in the fall, the Topps Company is publishing a Jackie Chan comic book miniseries. Maxine Hong Kingston once wrote, "Nobody in history has conquered and united both North America and Asia," but at 41, Chan has the chance to do just that.

What sets Chan apart from the movie stars we are accustomed to is immediately apparent on a humid morning in Kwai Chung, a landfill area outside Hong Kong. Chan and his crew are shooting a scene from "Thunderbolt", the follow up to "Rumble". A large derrick holds a two-ton container port high above the ground, swinging precipitously at the end of a steel cable, like a railroad car where a wrecking ball ought to be. Inside, Chan caroms from side to side, scrambling to get out before the container port strikes its target, a ramshackle auto garage. Seconds before impact, Chan leaps down to the garage's second floor, dives over a balcony railing, turns a midair somersault and lands on his back - just as the wall above splinters into oblivion.

In an earlier shoot, Chan dangled by his hands from the bottom of the swinging container port. The night before, he did his own daredevil driving in a street racing scene, several times turning to admonish his co-star, Anita Yuen, cringing next to him in the passenger seat, with a curt "Shut Up!" when her involuntary cries of terror threatened to break his concentration.

Now the crew stops for lunch and Chan collapses into a chair. He reaches for a copy of the Apple Daily, a Chinese language tabloid. "Die Hard With A Vengeance" is opening in Hong Kong, and the paper has a photography feature about the film's special effects. In one picture, Bruce Willis's head is shown close up against a green background, but it's sideways, as if lying on the ground. The next photograph shows a car barreling down a busy city street. The third shot combines the two scenes, producing the illusion that Willis was actually brave enough to lie down in the car's path. Chan studies the photographs and shakes his head ruefully.

First and foremost, Chan is a cinematic Evel Knievel, devising and performing bravura acrobatic stunts that straddle the line between courage and lunacy. The powerful devotion of his fans is largely a result of how clearly he risks his life to entertain them. "I want people to come out of the movie thinking Jackie Chan is good, not, the special effects are good", he has said.

However, in Hong Kong and throughout Asia, Chan is far more than super stunt man. He is both Elvis Presley and Steven Spielberg: naughty boy and mensch, movie star and auteur, heartthrob and philanthropist. He produces his own films and those of other directors, makes pop records and organizes charity events, including an annual race car extravaganza. He owns a piece of the local Planet Hollywood, a modeling agency called Jackie's Angels and a shiny hip store full of Chan paraphernalia. Cans of a popular herbal soft drink, Bobo Tea, are labeled a "Jackie Chan Product". The Hong Kong entertainment community calls him Dai Goh, Cantonese for "big brother". Entire families go to the theater to see his movies. Roger Lee, a film producer here says the annual release of a Chan movie at Chinese New Year has become "a holiday tradition, like the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall".

Chan's early years and rise to fame are already folk legend throughout Asia. In 1961, when he was 7, his impoverished parents contracted him to a training school nearby called the Chinese Opera Research Institute. There he endured 10 years of Dickensian cruelty and privation while being molded into a performer of traditional Peking opera. Students were awakened at 5a.m. and trained until midnight almost each day. (Such a school is depicted in the film "Farewell My Concubine", for which Chan was offered and turned down the leading role.) He ultimately mastered a complicated drill of tumbling, singing, acting, dancing, sword fighting, and kung fu. As Chan tells it, the school's leader, Master Yu, enforced a pitiless pedagogy: "We are learning by the stick. The stick tell me jump, the stick tell me kick. The teacher say jump over the table, I say I can't. You can't? Well, as soon as the stick comes up, I jump two tables!"

By the time he was finished at the school, Peking opera was a dying art. Chan went to work as a stuntman and fight choreographer in Hong Kong's prolific film industry (which produces more than 200 films a year, compared with Hollywood's 350, distributing them almost as widely). In 1975, the 21 year old Chan was chosen to star in a Bruce Lee sequel. Fiercely charismatic, Lee had been the first international superstar out of Hong Kong, and in the wake of his death, producers were desperate to find a successor. But the film had made was a commercial failure, and his next several pictures did just as poorly. He didn't carry himself like Lee. On screen, he appeared scrawny and lacked authority.

The problem, as Chan now puts it, was, "How can I get out from Bruce Lee's shadow?" His solution was simple. Just as Samuel Beckett made his mark by taking the extreme opposite tack from his former employer, James Joyce, Chan set out to become an anti-Bruce Lee. "I look at a Bruce Lee film", he says. "When he kick high, I kick low. When he not smiling, always smiling. He can one punch break the wall; after I break the wall, I hurt. I do the funny face."

Chan was remade, in a pair of 1978 kung fu comedies, as an overeager underdog who succeeds mostly by accident. Both films were wildly successful, and Chan, who was being paid $385 a month, suddenly found himself the object of a bidding war. When Chan signed a contract with Golden Harvest, Lee's old studio, he became the highest paid actor in Hong Kong, a distinction he has held ever since. Today, his fee is 30 million Hong Kong dollars per film (about 4 million American dollars). He also earns a percentage of the profits, a unique arrangement in Hong Kong.

More important, Chan was given complete control over his work. During the next decade, he wrote, directed, produced and starred in a series of increasingly ambitious films. He studied old Hollywood movies, inspired by the outsized comic stunts and escalating mayhem of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. In the films of Frank Capra, Lloyd's former gagman, Chan discovered a kindred sympathy for the common man.

The results were unprecedently popular. Chan's manic action comedies became giant Rube Goldberg devices designed to shuttle their star from chase to fight to stunt while resolving a rather simple plot. "The thing about my movies", Chan says, "you don't have to understand the dialogue to understand it. So all over Asia, people go to see them." He gets a serious look on his face. "For my philosophy, the more people look at a movie, it's a good movie. Like Schindler's List - I think it's bad movie. I think Jurassic Park is a good movie. When you make a movie you get Oscar, O.K. Very difficult. But when you make one movie around the world everyone wants to see it, it's more difficult than to get Oscar."

In person, Chan is an irrepressible performer, punctuating his anecdotes with comic gestures and exaggerated faces. Everyone is an audience to be entertained, whether in Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean or broken English. (Chan will often stop to translate a joke, so as not to exclude any listeners.) There often seems little distance between Chan himself and the eager-to-please characters he plays.

He is almost shockingly free of celebrity hauteur. One night while shooting "Thunderbolt", he takes advantage of a short break to head over to his production office to sweep the floor. Next, he straightens up his staff members' desks, then takes a rag and bottle of Windex and works on the Xerox machine. "This is my office", he explains. "These people, they just work here, they don't care about dirty." Even conscientious film makers like Robert Redford or Martin Scorsese are not likely to scrub their own photocopiers - or offer to drive home some extras when shooting ends at 3 in the morning.

When confronted by his fans, Chan seems to appreciate them as sincerely as they appreciate him. Twice a year he hosts a party for the Jackie Chan International Fan Club, many of whose members fly in from Japan. At one point the club had more than 10,000 members, most of them girls. Being a teen idol, however, has exacted its price: in his films and in his private life, Chan must be careful not to reveal too much romantic involvement. In 1985, after he mentioned in an interview that he was dating someone, a Japanese girl committed suicide. The next year another Japanese fan arrived at his office, announced her intention of bearing Chan's child and drank a vial of poison.

"I'm very scared," Chan admits, "because I have a responsibility with all my fans. I cannot say, Now I have a girlfriend, now I getting married, now I have a son". How many people die? So all those years, my private life, I'm very secret. Very hard for me, but I'd rather hurt one person, one girl. I don't want to hurt many fans."

In actuality, Chan is married, to a Taiwanese actress, Lin Fung-chiao. The have a son, J.C., a shy skinny twelve year old who is much better at video games than martial arts. Chan and his wife live separately, however, and he also sees other women. Not that he has a lot of leisure time: he is almost always at work, promoting his work, or thinking about new work. Like the Buster Keaton character who lives in a theater in a short film called "The Playhouse", Chan often sleeps at the Golden Harvest complex while he is shooting, using his office as a studio apartment. (It has a shower, refrigerator and microwave oven.) "Sometimes", he says, "everyone's asleep and my mind is still working. I come downstairs in the middle of the night and edit. Sometimes I shoot all night, drive to the day location, park my car, sleep in the car and then wake up and go shoot."

By the time "Rumble" opens in the United States, he will have already completed "Thunderbolt" and his next film, "Piece of Cake", a globetrotting romp in which Chan takes on rogue CIA agents and a shark. "Maybe my philosophy different than some other people", he says. "Today, most important is work. Relationship with all my staff because they help me. Girl, wife, son, doesn't help me. So I do everything for public first. Then I think about family."

Though some might find Chan's priorities backward, a contemporary movie star who takes his public responsibilities so seriously seems almost too good to be true. In a fight scene in "Rumble", Chan reluctantly beats up about a dozen members of a motorcycle gang. On his way out of their clubhouse, he turns around to say: "I hope next time when we meet we won't be fighting each other. Instead we will be drinking tea together!"

"When I am making a movie," he explains, "I always think: Is children gonna see it? Yes. Is it cheap dialogue? No. Is it sometimes too violent? No."

He is also a founder and officer of the Hong Kong Directors Guild, Performing Artists Guild and Society of Cinematographers. The Jackie Chan charitable foundation provides scholarships to young people for education and training in the arts. When stunt men are injured on his films, he pays for their medical care. One day in Kwai Chung, the actresses who play his teen-age sisters burst into tears after filming a dangerous shot in which an entire three story building crashes down around them. They are unhurt, but very shaken. Chan takes them aside and recounts episodes of paralyzing cowardice that he has experienced over the years. Gradually, the whole crew gathers around to listen. By the time he is done, the two girls, along with everyone else, are laughing.

Will America, long in the business of exporting international pop superstars, be willing to accept the importation of one? Bruce Lee, after all, was born here and spoke English; before he started making movies, he was on television, as Kato in "The Green Hornet". Chan's kinesthetic sensibility also may take getting used to, with its references to centuries old martial arts traditions, the classical grace of Buster Keaton and Michael Jackson's dance moves.

Just where Chan will fall on the culture curve in this country remains to be seen. At the MTV awards, Tarantino's presentation speech placed him firmly in the realm of art, down to a pretentious mispronunciation of his last name as "Chon". What followed was a hyperactive montage of fight scenes from Chan's films, accompanied by the cheesy 70's pop hit "Kung Fu Fighting" - as if to imply that Chan might be merely another oddball addition to the kitsch pantheon.

It may be, however, that Chan's moment has arrived. As American audiences have warmed toward Asian and Asian themed films, the trendiness of Hong Kong action movies in particular among the 20-something crowd has increased Chan's visibility. But to put "Rumble" over the top, New Line is intent on minimizing Chan's foreignness.

"We're in the business of Americanizing Jackie Chan as much as we can," says Mitchell Goldman, president of marketing and distribution at New Line. "Once we establish him as an action star in an American setting, it will be easier for his Asian pictures to cross over." In "Rumble", which was shot not in the Bronx but in Vancouver, British Columbia, Chan travels to New York to help his uncle sell the family grocery store, where he encounters menacing neighborhood gangs and heavily armed mobsters. It may not be his greatest film, but its American backdrop makes it an excellent introduction for audiences unfamiliar with Hong Kong cinema. "Rumble" has also been re-edited for Western audiences, with a clever dramatic justification for dubbing much of the film - with Chan's participation - into English.

Still, Edward Tang, who wrote the screenplay and has worked with Chan since 1979, isn't convinced the gap can be bridged. "We know how good is Jackie", he says. "Even the Americans know how good is Jackie, but so what? If you want to be popular in America, you have to be American. It's the culture." And Chan has tried before. He moved to Los Angeles in 1980 to make "The Big Brawl" with Robert Clouse, who had written and directed Lee's first English language film, "Enter the Dragon". Chan felt misused in the Clouse movie; worse, a Hollywood stunt man choreographed his action scenes. "I always teach people the fighting, but when I come to Hollywood, someone teach me," Chan says. "I ask, How long you been in action film? Oh, six years. Six years teaching me how to punch somebody!" The film disappeared quickly from theatres.

The next year, Chan was cast in "The Cannonball Run" - as a Japanese character. He was flown cross country to appear on the "Today" show, only to be told that his English wasn't good enough for an interview, and that he should demonstrate kung fu instead.

It's not surprising then that he would be ambivalent about making it in America. Willie Chan (no relation), his longtime manager and business partner, says, "Jackie is happy about Rumble", but he's not putting all his hopes on it." In Hong Kong, Chan can do pretty much whatever he wants; even the reabsorption of Hong Kong into China in 1997 doesn't particularly worry him - he is a hero on the mainland, where "Rumble" is the highest grossing film ever. Yet it would surely hurt Chan's pride to fail where Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jim Carey have gone so far while putting out so much less. Chan is also eager to collaborate with certain American directors, offering to work for free if Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola or James Cameron wanted to make a film with him. "I want to find out what happen, my action and their technology", he says.

Such wishes, if they are to come true, must be realized soon, while Chan is still capable of the exertion his roles require. Though he is in excellent condition, the years of stunt work have taken their toll. A fall from the container port in Kwai Chung hurt his back, and twice over the next week he must call off shooting because of the pain. On the "Rumble" set, he mistimed a jump from a bridge onto a speeding hovercraft and broke his right ankle. He had to perform the rest of his scenes in a cast, painted to resemble a sneaker.

Even if an American wave of Jackie-mania doesn't materialize, Chan says he will have few regrets. Late one night, he stands outside his production company's building on the Golden Harvest lot. Around the corner, a sound stage holds an elaborate set - a lavish pachinko parlor - that will be demolished in a fight scene next week. The parking lot in front of Chan is filled with high performance cars and motorcycles, many of which he owns. The next building over houses Filmtech, an equipment rental company he started as an excuse to buy the latest high tech camera gear. "Twenty years ago," he says, looking around, "I work here as the lowest stunt man. Now I have all this. I am very happy."

Time Magazine

He has battled many a superhuman villain, jumped off mountain tops and skyscraper roofs, taken beatings that would have left Muhammad Ali on the canvas--and emerged a winner in scores of movies that have entranced viewers around the world. But the one foe Jackie Chan could never conquer was that tawdry patch of real estate, that font of fantasy and violence, that beckoning, forbidding state of mind called Hollywood. He made U.S. films in 1980, '81, '83, '85; he sidekicked the famous (Burt Reynolds in The Cannonball Run and its sequel), was directed by the anonymous (James Glickenhaus in The Protector), played the preposterous (a '30s Chicago gangster in The Big Brawl). And each time he would return to Hong Kong to make juicier action movies than the studio guys could dream of. Still, ambition gnawed at Jackie like a pack of piranha. Why couldn't Asia's biggest star become America's?

Logic offers a thousand excuses. Because no Asian actor had been a star in the States since the Japanese heartthrob Sessue Hayakawa—80 years ago. Because moviegoers supposedly like their action heroes on the mean and bulky side. Because slapstick and melodrama don't mix. Because this little guy who does his own stunts could get himself slightly killed, thus spoiling a multimillion investment in him. No mogul would gamble on creating a franchise when he might have to attend his star's funeral instead.

Even in the mid-'90s, when Chan's American fame escalated from the cult darling of video-store moles to a guy who, in industry parlance, could "open a movie"--Rumble in the Bronx was No. 1 at the North American box office, with a $10 million take, when it was released in early 1996--the stardom was evanescent. Subsequent Chan films like First Strike, Mr. Nice Guy and Who Am I?, made with his Hong Kong team but aimed at the English-speaking international market, earned less than half of Rumble's final tally in the U.S., and the returns kept diminishing. Jackie shot his films in South Africa, the Netherlands, Australia, in search of steeper slopes (in First Strike he skis off a snow-covered mountain onto the runner of a hovering helicopter) and taller edifices (in Who Am I? he jumps off a 21-story building and tumbles down its 45º incline).

Though Jackie was vigorous as ever, the films had tired blood. His leading ladies lacked the snap of Michelle Yeoh, the grace of Maggie Cheung; and the occidental villains were often too slow of foot to give the fight scenes much kick. His recent cameo in the lame An Allen Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn didn't help. Americans seemed less interested in following Chan's career. He might have been some exotic cuisine that the Western masses were willing to sample once, for the novelty, not as part of their entertainment diet.

But we know a few things about our hero. He can be bruised and even broken but he never gives up; his damned doggedness makes him the movies' most ornery, adorable masochist. And at the close of every adventure, he is rewarded with a happy ending. Well, now, at 44, Jackie has something better: a happy beginning.

Rush Hour, a buddy picture that marks Chan's first starring role in a big American production, earned $33 million in its first week--as much as Rumble did in its entire theatrical release. And unlike most action films, which grab gaudy box office numbers the first weekend but quickly exhaust their young-male audience base, this one has kept finding new fans. In its first 17 days it amassed a fat $84 million; that's a bigger take than the latest film of Robert Redford or Harrison Ford or John Travolta. By the time you read this, Rush Hour should have hit the $100 million mark in North America alone.

The film's success astonishes and embarrasses Hollywood executives, many of whom said no thanks to an action film pairing Chan with Chris Tucker, an agreeably yelping black actor-comedian. Disney could have had Rush Hour; that's the studio that Roger Birnbaum, the film's executive producer, calls home. He had to go to New Line Cinema, which had distributed most of Chan's recent films. It's one of those happy Hollywood tales: the picture no one wanted to make, with the Asian star Hollywood had nearly discarded, strikes a chord and strikes it rich. "Jackie," says New Line chief Robert Shaye, "was a class act waiting to happen. There's always been a market for charming, ingenuous action stars. From the first time I saw his movies, I knew he could succeed here if he were cast appropriately in a film that was really designed for an English-speaking action audience."

To give Western audiences a fuller view of their new hero, Chan has just issued his autobiography, I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action (Ballantine Books). Written with verve and narrative skill by Jeff Yang, the Los Angeles-based publisher of A., an Asian-American life-style magazine, the book is as funny, brisk and exciting as any Jackie movie, with the surprise of poignancy. Here he talks for the first time about his father's turbulent life in old Shanghai, about the cruel but inspiring martial-arts master whose school Jackie attended as a boy, about his bittersweet love affair with pop star Teresa Teng Lai-kwan and his secret, 15-year marriage to Taiwan actress Lin Feng-jiao. The book manages to be brutally revealing and consistently charming--Jackie is beating himself up, just to entertain you.

The author is a movie star first; he must be thrilled by Rush Hour's popularity, right? You would think that. But listen. "All those years in Asia, all my life, every movie I made, the one moment I waited for was the opening," he says, punctuating his thoughts and acting out his feelings as if every sentence were the climactic fight scene from Drunken Master II. "Bang! Yeah! Success! O.K.! Then, go on to something else. I waited 15 years to become a success in America. Now Rush Hour is a hit, and there's a lot of happy news. People keep calling up and congratulating me. But I say what I always say: 'Wow! Finished. What's next?'"

Why is the chronically energetic, typically optimistic Chan speaking with skepticism? Perhaps he is hedging. It's possible that Rush Hour is a fluke, albeit a gloriously profitable one, and that Jackie could soon be back where he was: movie king of the Pacific Rim. Perhaps also he is reluctant to give lavish credit to a film that he did not totally control. "In America there is no way I can make the kind of movie I like to make," Chan says. In Hollywood, even now, the king is only an ambassador.

But an ambassador for a zesty form of popular filmmaking--the Hong Kong action movie--which Rush Hour imitates and approximates with plenty of dash. In the script by Ross LaManna and Jim Kouf, Chan plays Lee, a Hong Kong detective fighting corruption and drug dealing in the colony at the time of its handover to China. One of his friends, a diplomat, is leaving for Los Angeles and taking his young daughter Soo Yung (Julia Hsu), who is studying martial arts under Lee's supervision. He already misses them both. "Will you practice your kicks and eye gouges?" he fondly asks the cute kid. (You know those moves will be useful in the U.S.) Soon after her arrival, the child is kidnapped, and Lee comes to America to help with the investigation. The FBI, deeming Lee a nuisance, teams him with James Carter (Tucker), a mouthy L.A. cop who gets on everyone's nerves. They hate each other and are totally opposite. In other words, they are the typical odd-couple.

Brett Ratner, who directed Tucker in the 1997 comedy Money Talks, mounts the caper smartly; the kidnapping scene is a model mix of suspense, comedy (the kid puts up a good fight) and technical facility. Ratner also stirs a good rapport between the stars: Chris all flailing sass, Jackie the image of stalwart exasperation when he's not talking down and dirty to Tucker's black friends, or grunting along with the old Edwin Starr anthem War: "Huh! Yeah!" Does the film stoop to racial stereotype? Yes, as many Hong Kong action films do: broadly and without malice. "He's he and I'm me," says Tucker of Chan. "He's a real cool person, and he trusted me, so it all worked out, the comedy and the karate together."

The stars also worked out together. "I did like 300 sit-ups," Tucker insists, with a roguish laugh, "and I think Jackie stopped at about 50." Chan thinks that Tucker's rapid street banter, a key to Rush Hour's U.S. success, is a reason the film confounds some Asian audiences. "At the premiere in Taiwan," he says, "they just sit like"--and he puts on the stone face of incomprehension and displeasure. "They cannot catch the American jokes. Even the translators can't keep up. After 10 minutes, they just put a subtitle: 'How are you?'"

What lifts Rush Hour above Chan's earlier stabs at American assimilation is that it lets Jackie do his uniquely nimble stunt magic with minimum interference. Ratner knows that, for Jackie, there's no building ledge too high, no comedy too low. In one funny fight, he must kick beaucoup butt while keeping precious vases from toppling and breaking. Some of the stunt gags are filched from Jackie's own 1985 Police Story (he jumps onto a double-decker bus, he dangles from the top of a mall space), but, if you're going to steal, why not from the best? In the most graceful piece, Jackie hangs from a Hollywood Boulevard street sign, then drops onto a truck, rolls off and slips into and out of a jitney, slides across the top of a taxi and in through the back seat window--all in 15 seconds.

Chan not only choreographed the stunt, he chose the street sign. "The director had me hanging off a Sunset Boulevard sign," he recalls, "and I asked him if I could change it to a Hollywood sign. That sign has meaning to the Chinese. It's like I grab Hollywood. If the movie opened at only $1 million in the U.S., I would have let go. But now I'm happy. It says: Hollywood, I've come back."

He has come back to America, in triumph, at the same time his autobiography traces a painful trip back to his youth--to birth and before. Because he legendarily spent nearly a year in his mother's womb, Charles and Lee-lee Chan's only child, Kong-sang, was nicknamed Pao-pao--Cantonese for cannonball, but also a sound effect from any Jackie Chan movie fight. Charles was a cook for a French diplomat in Hong Kong, and the family lived in a mansion on Victoria Peak. Not until Jackie was an adult did he learn that Charles had been married previously, had sired three sons and had lost his first family during the Japanese occupation of China. In Shandong he met Lee-lee, who had lost her spouse, and smuggled her out of the country to Hong Kong.

Lee-lee gave her son unconditional love; Charles pounded physical discipline into the boy's body. At seven he was placed in the China Drama Academy, a Peking Opera school run by Master Yu Jim-yuen. If one judges a school by its graduates, then this was Harvard, Oxford and the Sorbonne. In Jackie's class were at least a half-dozen future shapers of Hong Kong action cinema: Samo Hung, the tubby terror who starred with Jackie in 15 films, directed him in eight and is now the lead in Martial Law, a new hit series on American TV; cute, lithe Yuen Biao, another frequent Chan-Hung co-star; and comic villain extraordinaire Yuen Wah.

Out of respect for their old master, many of his students took his name. Jackie, known in school as Yuen Lo, did no such thing. At 17 he left the Academy to work in movies, yet the master haunts him still. This is the man who introduced Jackie to "that grand altar of communion between player and audience: center stage." This is the ghost he still needs to please and appease. "Charles Chan was the father of Chan Kong-sang," he writes, "but Yu Jim-yuen was the father of Jackie Chan." And at the end of the book, an invocation: "I hated you. I feared you. I love you, Master."

Kong-sang's parents had emigrated to Australia while he was at school. For a while, in his early 20s, he joined them, and picked up his English nickname on a construction site in Canberra; his Chinese screen name, Sing Lung ("already a dragon," a reference to his ambition to succeed dead superstar Bruce Lee, of Enter the Dragon fame) came from his longtime manager, wily Willie Chan. Jackie served a frustrating film apprenticeship with Lo Wei, who had directed Lee in Fist of Fury and tried to make Jackie a sullen carbon copy of Lee. It was not until he teamed with Yuen Woo-ping on the 1978 hits Snake in Eagle's Shadow and Drunken Master that Jackie located his screen personality: the modest, smiling man of the people. He still is.

The book displays a more complicated fellow: one who reacted to his first stardom with too much swagger and a retinue of burly parasites. That Jackie was no apt suitor for Teresa Teng. "I loved her," he writes, "but I loved myself more. And no heart can ever serve two masters." (Teng died of asthma, at 43, in 1995.) Even today, the older, wiser Jackie knows who's boss. "I spent two-thirds of my time abroad," he says in the book, "and even when I'm in Hong Kong, my schedule is so full that I can barely find time to be with my wife and child." The man is a workaholic; career comes first. "I think each year: this will be the year I slow down to enjoy the important things in life. Some year. Sometime soon."

He can enjoy his new American eminence in the silly, thrilly Rush Hour--"the movie to me is like a toy," he says--and start planning the inevitable follow-up. "The last scene of Rush Hour has Chris Tucker and me on the airplane, headed for Asia," Chan notes. "We said, 'If the movie opens at $30 million, we'll land in Hong Kong. If it opens at $1 million, then let's say there was a plane explosion. No more sequel.' So yes, there is a sequel."

In this whirlwind, can he push the "important things in life" from his mind? That Rush Hour subplot of the kidnapped child must resonate in Chan. In the days when he denied he had a wife and son (with good cause: one Japanese fan threw herself in front of a subway train after reading a rumor of the marriage), Jackie's stuntman friends would take the boy out for a walk. "One day he saw a poster with my face," Chan recalls, "and started uttering, 'Dad!' And the stuntmen grabbed him away. Later they told me this, and I cried." And when the boy was 12 or 13, his father warned him about kidnappers. "Then my son said, 'Don't worry, I'll never tell people that you are my father.' Wow! I just sighed."

In public, Jackie just smiles. His still-boyish energy and relentless charm are a tonic in this glum, sordid age. He is unfailingly gracious to the press, fans and colleagues. Bob Shaye of New Line cites a dinner party Chan threw at a Los Angeles restaurant after the opening of Rush Hour. "He invited 40 people--agents, friends of his, company executives--for a Chinese banquet. He helped serve the food, and got up to talk to people like a real host. He's a terrific guy--a Chinese mensch."

He is considering other Hollywood projects, with titles like Strike Out, Escape, West West. "All action," he says. "New for American audiences. For me, I'm a bit bored already." Just like his stardom. After all, he has been Jackie Chan, superstar, for two decades; and smacking his head against the Hollywood wall all those years hardened him against emotional vertigo when he finally hit the heights there. So instead of moving to L.A., as Samo and Michelle and Chow Yun-fat have done, Chan wants to make his next film in Hong Kong. And describing this, he feels the excitement of the artist-salesman: "A love story. First Jackie Chan movie love story! Everyone in Asia will say, 'Yes! We are going to see it!'"

Nice career move, Jackie. And who will be his co-star? Maybe Lin Feng-jiao? At least, then, Mrs. Jackie Chan could get to spend some time with her husband.

There we go, trying to slap a Hollywood ending onto a very Asian marital arrangement. What Chan and his wife do is their business. But what Jackie has, at this moment in a spectacular career, is exactly what he wants: a happy middle. An American hit. The faithful adoration of his Asian fans. And his own renewed enthusiasm to keep fighting, loving, filming.

Interesting Old Interviews Part 3

Jackie interview with actor/writer Mike Leeder. Year : 1995

Mike:...Looking back at the film (DM2) two years later, are you happy with it?

Not really...I am not 100% satisfied with the film. If from the beginning I had been the director myself, it would have been a better film and very different in style to the released one...I invited Lau Chia-liang direct. He is very good director...I wasn't always in China during the early part of filming...I had very high expectations of Lau Chia-liang, so later when I saw the footage I was disappointed and thought that the film would not do too well at the box office and the audiences would be very disappointed. But, I respect Lau Chia-liang so I did not say anything and we continued filming.You know that we were making the film for the Hong Kong Stuntman's Association (HKSA), but when the members of the HKSA Board of Directors see the film, they are shocked, they say that there is no way they can release the film as it is....So they (HKSA board) sat down with Lau Chia-liang and told him that they were not satisfied with the film, but it's not like they were firing him...

Mike: It's strange, because certain elements of the Hong Kong press and some Western Magazines/writers tried to accuse you of firing him, pushing him off the set.

Jackie: No, it was the decision of the HKSA, not me. They asked me to take over...Lau Chia-liang had shot over 9000 feet of film by the time he finished. I cut 4000 and reshot...I know that Lau Chia-liang is not happy with the HKSA decision, but it's not my fault... ...after I finished the re-shoots on Drunken Master 2, and showed it to the HKSA, they gave me a standing ovation. I am very happy that they and the audience
are happy with the film.

Mike: Fireman's Story is one project that I know you have been wanting to do for a very long time....The film was to feature little fighting, a lot of drama and emotion and some incredibe fire stunts...Peter Pau and your former assistant director P'ng Kialed ...both told me how the special effects crew from Backdraft were attached to the project and that several incredible fire sequences had been planned. What is the status of the film?

Jackie: I'll make it one day! I promise! You know we have already spent several million HK$ on the film's pre-production. I first had the idea a long time ago, and when I saw Ron Howard's movie I know that we could do the special effects we needed, but it will be bigger than Backdraft. Then just when we are ready to
begin production, ATV (Hong Kong's second TV channel) made a drama series Flame about the firemen. So I put the film on the backburner. I know that one day I will make it.

Mike:...What about your Eastern Western?

Jackie: (Laughing) This one is coming too!

Mike: I know that for this project...Willie told us that it would be your next project after DM2 and that he was worried about you shaving your head for the role. What happened?

Jackie: (Shrugs shoulders) I don't know? It's going to be made though, you know I had the idea for Rumble In The Bronx several years ago. So many times I get ready to start one of these films and then something happens and I end up doing another project.

Mike: Do you ever find it strange that despite you being Jackie Chan, and our position in the film industry you can't always make the films you want to?

Jackie: The whole film industry is very strange! (laughing) I know some of the prblems, for my Eastern Western the script isn't finalized. And if we make this film, we will have to film it in the U.S. and deal with so many unions and things. will be using a lot of Americans for cast and crew, they won't work like a Hong Kong crew and just take ten minutes for lunch, they have set times for everything and I can't afford to be like in Hong Kong and spend three months doing the ending. Even when we filmed in Canada, the crew is very good but as soon as it's time for lunch, everybody stops! In Hong Kong, the crew will sometimes work and eat at the same time. For this movie, I have to make a very good plan and schedule or else I will be in a lot of trouble when we are filming, but wait and see Mike, one day you will get to see all these movies!

Mike: When I was at your birthday party in April 1994, you and Samo Hung seemed to reconcile after some years of disagreements. Then at the Hong Kong Film Awards, you, Samo and Yuen Biao reunited to present a lifetime achievement award to Golden Harvest founder Raymong Chow, and at the Hong Kong Stuntman's Association Ball, the three of you seemed to be getting along fine. As a team, the three of you made some great films together, Dragons Forever, Wheels on Meals, Project A, etc. And I know that a lot of people including myself would very much love to see another triple-header from the three of you. What are the chances?

Jackie: (Laughing) It's going to happen again! Soon! Samo, Biao and me are more than friends; we are like brothers. But when we were all together at Golden Harvest, because I was very involved with my projects I couldn't always spend time with them. I don't always have the time to do films with them, even when I want to. So while their faces seem happy when they see me, I think inside they aren't always happy with me. Then when they both left Golden Harvest, I missed them and try and get the three of us back together again. But I can't do it all myself. They have to make the effort too. I can't make them be my friends again. As I've said, they are just like my brothers. I love and respect them like my brothers. And now we are talking about some projects to work together on soon. I gave one script to Samo and he will direct me soon.

Mike: When I've spoken to your fellow classmate, Yuen Wah ( Bruce Lee's stuntdouble in Enter the Dragon) about his lifelong relationship with you, Samo and Biao, he describes it as a brotherhood, just like a family and that just like any family, sometimes people disagree and have arguments.

Jackie: He is right! We're all human, sometimes we get angry with each other but not forever. Eventually we start talking again. We have known each other for so long, but we don't always want to or have to talk to each other. There is rivalry between us, expecially between Samo and me because we both always want to be the leader. Samo always treats me like I'm still this little boy from when we were at Opera school together, he is my big brother, I respect him and I just want him to respect me, too.

Mike: If you don't mind, can we talk a little about the man behind the myth? The real Jackie Chan. You're very much a role model and public figure, a spokesman for Aids Concern, the Royal Hong Kong Police Force uses your Police Story thene tune in its recruitment ads, you're the tourist ambassador for Hong Kong. Do you find that because of your position in the public eye, you have to be that bit more responsible?

Jackie: You know that I don't ask for any of these things. People observe the way I behave and then ask me to assume these duties...I'm like a goodwill ambassador...I feel very proud when people refer to me as a role model or think highly of me, so I try harder to be responsible and not let people down.

Mike: Jackie, you are held in very high regard by many noted American actors and directors such as Michael Douglas, Oliver Stone and especially Sylvester Stallone, who not only borrowed the bus stunt from Police Story for his Tango & Cash, but also name-checked you in Demolition Man. The rumors relating to the two of you working together are getting stronger and stronger. Will the two of you be teaming up for a forthcoming project?

Jackie: We hope so. I have been a fan of Sylvester Stallone since the first Rocky movie...I feel happy and honored to have him as a friend. We're just waiting for the right script, he knows the Western market far better than I do, so I said to him that if he finds a script that is good for u, then we'll do it. I think it will be a very good combination if we work together.

Mike: How do you feel when people re-use your action scenes and stunts for their movies?

Jackie: I feel very happy and very proud. You see when I first started out, I was influenced by a lot of people....Now people are turning the tables on me, they are copying us. I am happy that my work is good enough for them to want to copy it, I feel very flattered.

Mike: I know that you damaged your ankle quite badly during the making ofRumble in the Bronx. What happened?

Jackie: It was a pretty easy stunt. (laughing) For some reason I always seem to get hurt doing the easy stunts!...When I'm doing a big stunt I'm more careful, but the stunt in Rumble when I broke two bones was pretty small I jumped from a bridge onto the deck of a hovercraft. When I landed I was falling forward and would have banged my head on the cabin, so I turned as I landed. But the deck of the hovercraft is covered in non-slip material, so while my body turned, my ankle didn't (laughing)! Go see the movie, it is much easier to see than to talk about it!

Mike: Do you have any messages for your fans worldwide?

Jackie: Thank you very much for all your support and your friendship. I am very happy that you like me and appreciate your support. I hope you continue to support me and enjoy my films, I hope that we can all meet sometime. All the best!

Jackie interview about Gen-X Cops project Click2Asia

How did you get involved in the Gen-X Cops project? (Click2Asia)

My partners, Willie Chan and Solon So, and I, are share-holders in the company that produced 'Gen-X Cops', Media Asia. Therefore, I was involved in developing 'Gen-X Cops' from the very beginning. Also, I know the director, Benny Chan, very well, because he directed my film 'Who Am I?'. I always said, in interviews, that I want to bring some new blood into Hong Kong action movies. When I read the script for 'Gen-X Cops', I realised that this would be the best chance to do that. I produced the film, and lent them some members of my JC Stunt Team to arrange the action. (Jackie Chan)

Had you ever worked with the actors from 'Gen-X Cops' prior to the project? In what capacity?

Actually, most of the stars of the film are so young, they only made a few films before! I never had the chance to work with them. Talking about the young actors, I really got to know them for the first time on this film, and I was very impressed that they were so brave and hard-working. I'm sure that they all have a bright future. I know Eric Tsang, who played 'Inspector Chan', very well. He actually started out as a stuntman, you know! We worked on many films, including the 'My Lucky Stars' series, together. He was also the producer of my film 'Armour Of God'.

What is your favourite scene in 'Gen-X Cops'? Why?

I would probably have to say the blowing up of the Hong Kong Convention Centre, because no Hong Kong film has featured this kind of effect before. I really felt proud that we can get an Oscar-winning special effects expert, Joe Viskocil, to work on our film. I also liked the end fighting sequence, because I feel happy to see the new generation use the same style of action that I invented. I think Hong Kong action is unique. No-one can copy it. Acting-wise, I like the scene where Eric Tsang really stands up to the tall, mean cop (Moses Chan). Eric Tsang is a really good actor, and I think the audience is really rooting for him.

Did you have any input on the stunt scenes in the movie?

As I mentioned, my stunt team, led by Nikki Li, were responsible for the action in the film. I came to the set sometimes, but just to visit. I know I trained my team well. Nikki has followed me so many years, he can direct any kind of physical action scene. I really think he did a great job, especially when you think that none of the actors had any experience making this kind
of film.

Did any of the principle talent look to you for advice on performing stunts?

All the boys did most of their own action. Before filming started, I talked with them about doing stunts. I told them that, henever you do a stunt, you have to give a hundred percent. Let's say you have to do a jump from a high place. If you don't jump, okay. If you jump with all your energy, okay. If you half-way jump, and pull back at the last minute, then you can get hurt. I told them that, physically, of course, you have to be ready, but that you have to be ready in your mind, as well. Of the young guys in the film, Daniel Wu was the most experienced, because he's trained in kung fu for over 18 years.

To date, what has been your most exciting film project? Why?

For action, after all these years, I still have to say the first 'Police Story'. If you look back, that film really changed everything. No-one had made a modern day action movie like this. It was on this film that I developed my new style. This was the first film where my stuntmen really showed what they could do. The beginning scene, with the car chase down through the village, and the ending, the fight in the shopping mall¡| After all these years, they're still the best! However, just talking about film-making, I'm very proud of 'Miracles'. I made this film after I heard someone say "Oh, Jackie Chan can't really direct, he just directs action." I made this film just to show I could make a REAL movie. I really spent a lot of time and money on this production. I was the first one to use Steadicam in Hong Kong! When I look at that film today, I think it still looks beautiful.

What type of film projects are you working on now?

Right now, I am making a film called 'The Accidental Spy'. It is being directed by Teddy Chen. Teddy directed another film that I produced for Media Asia, called 'Purple Storm'. He is very talented. We are shooting on location in Hong Kong, Korea and Turkey. After this film, we start to prepare 'Rush Hour 2', which we will shoot partly on location in Hong Kong.

A large part of your career has been spent in front of the camera. How do you like working behind the scenes? What do you not like about working behind-the-scenes?

Honestly, I enjoy directing and producing. You can have much more control of the finished product than if you're just an actor. Maybe when I finally retire from acting, I'll miss it. At the moment, I can still star in films, and also produce films for other people. I'm someone who enjoys every part of film-making. In my own films, sometimes I'm the camera-man, sometimes I'm an extra, sometimes even sweeping the floor! I just love every part of making movies.

Do you prefer shooting in Asia or the US? Why

I'd like to have the kind of control I have in my Asian films and the kind of budget I have for my US films. When you make movies in Hollywood, you really can't do everything you want to do, and, when you make movies in Hong Kong, you sometimes can't afford to do everything you want to do. So, I want to bring the two sides together, and take the best from east and west. Then we won't make a Hong Kong movie or an American movie. Just a Jackie Chan movie!

Will you be involved in the sequel, 'Gen-Y Cops'?

The team for 'Gen-Y Cops' is the same : same producers, including me, same director, most of the same stars. The difference is that everything will be even better! Better script, better stunts, better special effects. We have a new star, Edison Chen, who is managed by our company. My nickname for him is 'my secret weapon for the new century'! It won't be just another sequel. You'll see!


Interesting Old Interviews Part 2

@ClickAsia Interview on "Gorgeous"

1. How did you get involved in the Gorgeous Project?

The Producers wanted to maintain the tradition of the Jackie Chan film for the Chinese New Year season. However, time was too short for a regular action movie my style. Hence, the idea of a comedy emphasizing on romance instead of
action came up. Everyone thought it was a novelty idea. Cameras started rolling 2 weeks after the idea was conceived.

2. Have you ever worked with the actors from Gorgeous prior to this project? In what capacity?

No, mainly because the other cast members are not really of the action genre. But it turned [out] great. The leading actress Shu Qi, with her broken Cantonese (this might not be noticed in America) turned out to be perfect for the part. And Tony Leung of Cannes fame, proved himself to be a great actor
in comedy as well. It was so easy to establish rapport with him.

3. What is your favorite scene in Gorgeous? Why?

The dance with Shu Qi at the Paper Factory. Well, it's not actually just a simple dance. It's an opportunity to use the environment to improvise and
choreograph the dance, just as I do in my action sequences. The action scenes too are of course my favorites as well, especially the duel with my student Bradley Allan. Guess I'm still an action guy at least.

4. Did you have any input on the stunt choreography in the movie?

Of course! I can leave the romance and comedy sequels to the Director but the action scenes are my own "babies". I'll never let them be shot without my input and involvement.

5. In the use of color and symbolism in the film significant? How?

Sorry but I don't really understand what you mean by this question! If you are referring to the scenes with the dolphins, etc., it is because the Directory wanted to give the entire film a fairy tale kind of feel.

6. Gorgeous is your first romantic film. Were you concerned about the reaction it would receive from your fans?

Not really. I'm lucky that most of the fans in Asia have been with me for a long time now, many from the tie when they were just school kids. They have all grown up now, some even with families of their own. They can now accept me in a romantic role. Guess I've graduated from the "idol" stage to a real "actor"!

7. Was it a challenge for you to play a romantic lead?

Yes, especially the bits that involve a lot of conversation under a moonlit sky! Fortunately, there were no bed scenes. As for the kiss in the ending scene, well if it was a challenge, I think I came out alright! Don't you?

8. Do you prefer shooting in Asia or the U.S.? Why?

Both sides have its good points. Hollywood is good for scheduling and budget control but it perhaps a little bit too restricted by union rules and regulations. Asia has much more flexibility in terms of daily work and scheduling but unfortunately, as a result, many film (especially mine!) ends up over-budget! It'll be great to marry the two systems together. I especially envy the big budget that my American counterparts get to work with.

9. To date, what has been your most exciting film project? Why?

My most exciting project is always the next project I'll be working on. I give a film all I have when I'm doing it but the minute it is finished, my mind is on the next one, which I am sure I can make better!

10. What type of the film projects are you working on now?

Right now, I'm in Istanbul, Turkey filming ACCIDENTAL SPY for Hong Kong's Golden Harvest. I consider this a "Chinese Film", which means I'm the Director, the scriptwriter, the actor, the choreographer, the editor and even maybe the music guy! In other words, I'm in full control. This kind of film I make with the taste of the Asian audience in mind. After ACCIDENTAL SPY, I
will go back to "Hollywood" production - RUSH HOUR 2, in which I'm just the actor! This is solely for the Western audience, and I leave the final say to the Producers, the Director and even the other cast members because I feel that they understand the Western tastes, their humor, and their culture much better. This will be my policy hence forth - one film for the West and then one for the East. I value both markets and I want to make both sides happy. It is really extremely difficult to make a film that will cater to both markets just as well.

Asia E! Online Jackie interview
by Joanne Soh

I'd rather die than idle my life away...

Though he has been in the movie industry for more than 30 years, there was no trace of fatigue on his face. Having left his mark in Hollywood two years ago with the success of Rush Hour, Asia's king of action Jackie Chan is poised once again to kick right back into Hollywood with his second American movie Shanghai Noon.

For someone who has attained astonishing achievements and the same amount of scars to go with it, Jackie should have retired to a life of luxury, but the megastar is not showing any signs of slowing down. On the contrary, the ambitious Jackie is taking the opportunity of his popularity in Hollywood to promote Chinese culture. In fact, he told us that he would not back down until he has become the first actor to bring home US$30 million.

Most people are curious about how you maintain your muscular physique. Do you consume any particular health tonics?

Definitely not but I do take huge quantities of fruits. My favorite food is green bean soup, and if it's possible, I'd take it 24 hours a day! There was one occasion when I went for a medical checkup in Australia where the doctor attributed my good health to the vast amount of green bean soup I'd consumed, as beans are very high in protein.

Shanghai Noon was very well received in the States. How did you come up the story idea?

To make a Western flick has always been the dream for most Asian kids. When I was six years old, I love wearing cowboy hats and playing with toy guns. The concept for Shanghai Noon dates back to 20 years ago when I was shooting a film in Texas. Looking at the green fields, rivers and people on horseback everyday sparked my desire to make a Western movie. I didn't have much confidence to venture into Hollywood until the breakthrough success of Rush Hour two years ago. From that time forth, movie scripts were sent to me almost every day. But the plot's always the same--either I'm a Hong Kong cop, or a Chinese assassin, or someone who goes running amok in Chinatown just to have his revenge. Why is it that we Chinese are always portrayed as killers or prostitutes in the States? After Gorgeous was completed, I broached some Hollywood producers about Shanghai Noon. They took to the story immediately and decided to make this Western-Far East movie.

Which scene in Shanghai Noon do you consider the most dangerous?

Actually, every scene we made was difficult, but they left fond memories. If I really have to name a particular scene, it'd have to be the one where I was fighting on the logs which were rolling off the train. That was tough as the train was moving and we didn't have any safety nets around. If we fell, we won't even know where we'll land!

Were you afraid when you filmed that scene?

Even if I was, I can't show it as there're heaps of onlookers around.

You're the undisputed hero of the Asian movie scene. And now, your prowess has penetrated into Hollywood. How do you feel about this?

In the beginning, I was rather troubled as I felt that Asian youths are very westernized and have lost their Chinese culture. But in recent years, this trend has changed and the Americans have cultivated a taste for Chinese culture. For instance, some American action movies have adopted the "Jackie-style" in their action choreography. Also, they like anything with Asian symbols like Chinese characters and dragons. That's why I've decided to bank on my current influence in Hollywood to promote our Chinese culture. I'm currently setting up my own fashion retail store on New York's 5th Avenue. You'll be able to find Chinese-styled clothes that I designed myself, Chinese masks, Chinese tea sets, and other Oriental stuff.

Do you feel a sense of pride when you went back to Hollywood to make Shanghai Noon?

When I was filming in the States 20 years ago, no one knew who I was. I was snubbed everywhere, and had to do everything myself. It's such a different story now. I've my own lighting crew, producers, directors, cinematographers, art directors... and all these people practically grew up watching my movies! I used to be in awe of American directors and scriptwriters. I really respect them. Now, the role seems to be reversed. They eagerly listen to my opinions and follow my directions. I'm so happy about it. Looking back, all those suffering that I've got through were worth it. It proved that my perseverance through those tough times have certainly paid off.

You're also one of the producers for Shanghai Noon and you managed to keep the "Jackie-style" in this movie. Do you think you've really conquered Hollywood?

No, no! I only want to increase my presence in Hollywood and make good movies there. They respect me now not because I've the ability to make my own Hollywood movies, but that they're the ones who invite me to film in Hollywood. And I'm also proud that I can still keep my style in the movies without having to resort to computer-generated effects. Moreover, in all my movies, regardless if it's Rush Hour or Shanghai Noon, you'll notice that there're no vulgarities in them. I made that very clear in my contract. My motto has always been "action without the violence, funny yet not crude". I'll definitely continue to be the producer in any future Hollywood projects to make sure a certain standard is maintained.

When you were preparing to venture into Hollywood, was language ever a barrier?

I underwent intensive English lessons the last time. I was worried that my pronunciation was inaccurate. Now my English is classified as "Jackie Chan English". If you can understand it, that's good. If not, too bad for you.

You were wearing authentic cowboy suits in Shanghai Noon and had to ride horses. Did you have problems riding them?

That was very tough. I took horse-riding lessons for about a month and I had to drive for an hour just to get to the instructor. The worst thing was that I have a fear for horses! Before I started my lessons, I read a piece of news where a Hong Kong lady died after she fell off a horse. Also, the picture of the paralyzed Superman Christopher Reeve was vivid in my head. When the instructor found out, he gave me a mini-lecture about horses before putting me on one. Through him, I learnt why cowboys dressed the way they do and why they're so skilled with horses. Though the fear gradually subsided, I still get the creeps whenever the horse starts galloping. I focused on the beautiful scenery to distract myself from the nervousness.

You were on snowy mountain tops in one scene and in the hot desert the next. Were they stressful to you?

Anyone who has filmed in Hong Kong or China would find filming in American a heaven! How can it be stressful? In Hong Kong, we have to do every single thing ourselves. In Hollywood, I really felt like a movie star. I've my own trailer, my own make-up artists, my personal bodyguards...they're very attentive to my needs.

In all your movies, your leading ladies are always the damsels in distress, waiting for you to rescue them. Is that the picture of your ideal woman? That they're demure and submissive?

My ideal woman? Well, I'm a very traditional person, probably influenced by my mom. I like women with long hair who don't wear much makeup. She also needs to be virtuous and docile. I usually portray the things I like in my movies, and that's why my leading ladies have to be my kind of woman.

Why did you cast Lucy Liu as Princess Pei Pei?

To be honest, I didn't know who Lucy was initially. It's the other producers who chose her. It was much later that I realized that she's very popular in Hollywood. I don't watch much television programs, at most, I only watch documentaries.

Now that you've worked with her, what do you think of her?

She's very good and professional. I like her attitude and she's such na active person! Initially, her role is someone who doesn't know martial arts, but since she like action movies so much, I added those kick-ass scenes for her.

How about Owen Wilson who's a budding scriptwriter, director and actor? Did he treat you like an idol?

Of course not! He's quite an introvert. But as we got to know each other better, he'd come over to my trailer every morning to report to me, and we'll have our meals and green bean soup together.

At the closing-credits blooper reel, Owen had an embarrassing incident where he farted in the bathtub. Did you have any similar situations in the movie?

Not in this one. I've lost count of all many embarrassing stuff in my movies! But the most unforgettable one was when I was filming Dragon Lords many years ago. There was one scene where I NG-ed more than 1,700 times! I was so hot and flustered that when I went for a shower, I stripped off my underwear unknowingly, as it became stuck to my clothes from all that perspiration. I only realized my blunder when I heard laughter from the fans nearby!

Do you intend to make a sequel to Shanghai Noon?

Yes, the details have just been settled. We'll probably start shooting next year. The storyline's roughly about my sister who flew over to America to look for me, and we'll fly to New York to look for some lost manuscript, and then we'll head over to London. Fly? I don't think airplanes were invented in the Qing Dynasty. Oh, I meant traveling by boat.

Can you tell us more about what's going to be in the script?

I'm sorry I won't. The last time I divulged a story idea to a fellow filmmaker, he actually stole my idea. That's the ugly side of an Asian.

How much are you paid for a film like this?

Let's say that Shanghai Noon II will see me richer by US$20 million.

You once said that your dream is to die on a stage. Now that you have a family and you're almost 50 years old with a tremendous success story. And you've had way too many injuries. Do you think this dream of yours has changed?

To die on a stage will be glorious to me. What I'm afraid of is that I may be like Christopher Reeve and become paralyzed. That will be hell. To be frank, each time I suffer an injury, the thought of quitting does come to my mind as the stunts are too dangerous. But I told myself that risks and injuries are part and parcel of movie making. I used to make movies for the sake of making money, but now, things have changed. I don't see monetary gains as a motivation to make movies anymore. I'm the highest paid actor in Asia now. It would be nice, though, to be able to take home a US$30 million paycheck, and truly be the World's No. 1.

Interesting Old Interviews Part 1

While browsing the web I found these old interviews with Jackie:

Inside Kung Fu Magazine
By John Little

INSIDE KUNG-FU: Obviously you are in very good shape. What do you do to keep in shape?

JACKIE CHAN: Before I used to run 45 minutes every day, but after Rumble in the Bronx I broke my ankle. Now, after I run 15 to 20 minutes, my ankle really starts to hurt.

And also after I filmed the Mountain Dew commercials, my left ankle and knee also had some problems. So right now I’m doing the Master Step for one hour every other day. On Mondays, for example, I’ll do one hour, and then I’ll not do the Master Step on Tuesday. I’ll come back in and do it again on Wednesday, take Thursday off, and then do it again on Friday and take Saturday off–and so on.

IKF: At what level do you set the Master Step at? Is it at an intense level?

JC: No, at a normal level. I can’t go too low or too high because of the ankle and the knee. I try to keep it as flat as possible. Even sometimes when I don’t have access to a Master Step I will walk on the street–but on a flat surface. The best is the grass because it is soft and absorbs the impact better. I’ll do this for one hour.

IKF: Do you do any weight training?

JC: Yes, usually after working out on the Master Step, I’ll do some light weight training. I use very simple movements like dumbbell laterals, dumbbell flyes, bench press–that type of thing. I don’t use heavy weights.

IKF: What kind of weight would you use, for example, on the bench press exercise?

JC: I’d use about 45 kilos on each side.

IKF: And for how many repetitions?

JC: Twenty or thirty–done at a very quick pace.

IKF: How many sets of each exercise would you perform?

JC: I average around four sets per exercise.

IKF: Do you work out training different body parts on different areas?

JC: No, I just work out depending on how I feel like it, because we have very good basic training, so we really don’t need to train different body parts on a schedule. When you’re on a set, when we are fighting, there is already a lot of movement. We just cannot get too big especially on our shoulders and arms,

IKF: Your shoulders and arms are very well developed for someone who doesn’t do a lot of specialized weight training for them. Is this muscle development a result of your martial arts training?

JC: Yeah, I think when I was younger.

IKF: And gymnastics?

JC: Yeah, gymnastics is very good for strength and when you do things like flips and hanging upside down, it helps you also with your coordination.

IKF: You have a very good sense of body awareness. By that I mean, gymnastics have a great sense of balance and coordination. Is that something you can train for, or is it simply a genetic factor?

JC: No, you can definitely train for it. The most important thing is when you are young. When I was six and a half or seven years old, at that time we had a very good basic training. It didn’t matter how we felt–push-ups, knee bends, and so on. The basic training is very important. After all those years, it becomes very natural. It’s actually very hard to tell you how I train, because I just "know" what to do. When I lose my balance, you just know how to get it back. So, this way, when I do a stunt, I do get hurt sometimes–but less than some other people.

IKF: Because of your conditioning.

JC: Right.

IKF: I should probably make a note of what weight training exercises you do. You mentioned that you do bench presses, dumbbell laterals for your shoulders, dumbbells for your chest. Do you do any weight training for your legs?

JC: No, just kicking. I do kicking and punching exercises.

IKF: How do you train in this fashion? How many days would you perform punching and kicking exercises?

JC: Every other day. Every other day is hard training, like, really kicking and punching hard. Some other days it’s like fooling around–(begins to punch at the air) boom! boom! boom! boom! boom!, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick. Just depending upon how we feel on any given day. Some days we just lay down, we just don’t want to do it. Some other days, we are really kicking and punching hard for three minutes every round, then take 30 seconds rest, then another three minutes of punching, followed by another 30 seconds rest, followed by another three minutes. You just keep on punching–boom! boom! boom! boom! boom!–until your three minutes are up, no matter how slow or tired you get. You just finish up for three minutes, then you rest another 30 seconds.

IKF: So do you mix it up (i.e., three minutes of punching, 30 seconds rest, three minutes of kicking, 30 seconds rest, and so on in this fashion, or do you do combine punching and kicking for three-minute intervals followed by 30 seconds rest?

JC: No, it’s punch first–punch, punch, punch, then kick, kick, kick, then punching/kicking, punching/kicking.

IKF: And are the punches and kicks of any type (i.e.,
random combinations and techniques), or do you practice only certain kicks and punches for training purposes?

JC: No, they are of any type. Because we already have a solid basic training, the most important thing is to keep flexible and to keep the movements fluid.

IKF: So what do you train your kicks on–an airshield, a heavy bag?

JC: A bag. I use a standing bag.

IKF: How long would all of this take to complete all your three-minute intervals of punching and kicking?

JC: Yeah, more than a half-hour.

IKF: This would also be excellent cardiovascular exercise, too, wouldn’t it? After all, it gets your heart beating faster, you’re metabolism would increase...

JC: Oh, yes.

IKF: Let me also ask you this: you say you used to run–now you step or walk, and you do your punching and kicking for cardiovascular fitness; you lift weights for strength fitness, but what do you do for flexibility? Do you stretch?

JC: When we’re on the set, we just put our leg up on something and stretch. Even when we’re talking, or having a conversation with my boys, everybody puts their leg up on a table, on a chair–we just put it up and stretch during conversations and breaks in between scenes.

IKF: Do you find any difference now in warming up, now that you’re older than you were when you first started in the industry?

JC: Yes. Before, a long time ago, I didn’t need to warm up, I’d just do it. But I’ve found out that it’s very easy to twist my shoulder, hip, knee, and "aaagh!" Now, before I do a scene, all my boys make sure that all of us stretch, stretch, stretch. So now I stretch everything before I shoot a scene involving kicking and punching.

IKF: In movies such as Rumble in the Bronx, where your physique is shown, do you have to engage in any different type of training, more specifically, bodybuilding or physique training to acquire such a muscular appearance. Or is this the kind of condition you are in all the time?

JC: No, I didn’t need any specialized training. That’s pretty much the condition I’m in almost all the time. Sometimes when I finish one movie, I’ll travel around and, after one or two months off, I always think to myself, "I’m getting fat, I’m getting fat, I’m getting fat." Always in my mind. So then I know that I’ve got to start training again.

IKF: How long can you go before you feel you "have" to work out again?

JC: After about two weeks or a month–at the most–I feel that I’ve got to workout.

IKF: How about your diet? What do you eat to keep so lean?

JC: I really don’t have a special diet–I eat everything. Of course, I’m watching not to eat things that are too oily. Mostly I eat vegetables and once or twice a week I’ll eat ice cream, but mostly I just stop myself from eating too much junk food.

IKF: You mentioned that sometimes you feel as though you are getting fat, but you must have a tremendous metabolism. Have you always been fairly muscular due to your years of training in gymnastics and martial art?

JC: I think so, yes. And also because I enjoy being I active. I would rather walk than take the elevator. I don’t want to take the escalator. If I can exercise, I’ll do it. If there is an opportunity for exercise, I’ll take it. For example, if I can walk up three flights of stairs, I’ll walk up three flights of stairs, rather than taking an elevator. In life, I’ve found that most people these days are very lazy. Like, they will get in the elevator, then in their car. Then, after car, they get on the escalator, then sit down in the restaurant, then get back in their car for an hour’s drive home, then when they get home they sit on their sofa, take hold of remote control, then, within a half-hour, they fall asleep. With such a lifestyle it’s very easy to get fat. So mostly I make sure that I take the time to just walk, walk, walk, walk.

IKF: Do you have an exercise machine in your house?

JC: I do. Right now, yes.

IKF: Do you bring anything with you to help you keep in shape when you travel?

JC: I just bring two pieces of exercise equipment with me–wherever I go around the world: a barbell set and a bench press. That’s all. Wherever I go, they break it down and pack it up. Like when I was recently filming in South Africa, they put it together in my room. I always have two rooms that interconnect when I travel, and one of those rooms is for exercising. I don’t really use dumbbells and weights that much, however. Mostly in these empty rooms I use them for practicing my punching and kicking. Punching, kicking, and jumping–these are more important than the dumbbells and the weights.

IKF: Do you consider yourself an expert in all facets of the martial arts?

JC:Right now, because I’m not training as intensively in the martial arts as I did before, I wouldn’t call myself a "martial arts expert." Before, I could say that I was a martial arts expert because I was actively training in everything: I learned southern style, northern style, hapkido, judo–everything. But after I started doing movies, I just mixed everything. Now if you asked me, "Jackie, do the bai-mei," I already have forgotten the routine! I only remember a part of it because I have mixed in so many martial arts into my training over the years for the movies. Right now I would consider myself an expert in "martial arts in the movies."

IKF: What are your thoughts on the martial arts you see performed in the movies these days by other actors?

JC: Right now, in the movies, they don’t really utilize martial arts anymore. Not classical martial arts, anyway. It’s action, action–it’s more than simply fighting these days. It’s more like boxing. Even the kicking is different. And also, right now too many people are kicking in the movies. So I don’t want to kick. I want to make myself special. Van Damme is kicking, everybody is kicking–that’s the big thing, apparently. So I want to make my movies different, so I’m not kicking so much. I do more difficult things like jumping on the sofa and going up to the roof. I do so many different things, like punching with a bicycle, or I flip kick with a motorcycle. I want to use some other thing, not just standing there–boom! High kick–like Bruce Lee.

IKF: In your fight scenes, one thing I do notice is that you make your fight scenes practical. Like, if there is something on a table that you can use to help you get out of a jam, then you incorporate it into your fight scene–rather than the typical North American method of simply "putting up your dukes" and delivering a punch toward the camera, and then cutting the scene to show a close-up of an adversary taking the punch on the jaw. I think this is important because, while you still perform incredible feats of skill and martial arts mastery, you remain believable to the audience. Is this something that you’ve deliberately intended to infuse into your fight scenes, or is it something that just happened to evolve over time?

JC: I just don’t know. I went to the video store the other day to look at something and I was shocked at how many "biographies" there are on me! (laughs) There’s too many biographies on me. But seeing the boxes and, later, looking at my older movies, like, the ones I did 25 or 30 years ago, it’s almost like looking at a different person. I was almost pure classical kung-fu in my moves, doing techniques from different martial art styles. There would be no use of, for example, chairs in my fight scenes or other props, just hand-to-hand fighting in a very traditional manner.

IKF: How do you go about setting up your fight sequences? What’s the most difficult aspect of your choreography?

JC: For a stunt coordinator to choreograph all the fighting scenes, the most difficult thing is the initiation of the fight between two people–how do you land the first punch? That’s very difficult. Then you think about what are the reasons why the character is going to fight? What are his motivations for throwing that first punch? Then, when you start that first punch and kicking, it becomes very easy in terms of what camera angles to use, and things like that. When do the combatants separate, catch their breath, and then resume fighting–and then, what are the strikes or kicks that would be suitable for them at this juncture of the fight? Many things have to be considered when choreographing a fight scene, besides simply a string of techniques because we are not, like, say, two gentlemen fighting (adopts a John L. Sullivan pose) where it’s (adopts a polite expression): "Okay, now we will fight." That’s not how fights take place in these days. It’s more like, "You kill my sister, I’ll kill your father!"–(Jumps up and delivers several lightning-fast strikes) Aaaagh! As the fighter, you would have to think about going there ahead of time to fight this person and once there, you would look for something–anything–to get it going.

If you saw a table, you probably would kick it toward your opponent, because then it might hit him and hurt him, or, at the very least, it would distract his attention so that you could close the gap between the two of you with a technique–boom! (throws a backfist at an imaginary opponent). You make some move, or think about "how can I make that first contact?" That’s important. You must put both the thought process and emotion of the character into the fight sequence, particularly at the initiation of the fight. So this is the way that I choreograph my fight scenes. It’s a mixture of things. It’s not like, "Okay, I don’t like you. You don’t like me. So now we’ll go outside and have a fight. Come on. Now, are you ready? (puts up his hands in a fighting posture). Now I am ready."–Boom! boom! boom! (simulates punches being thrown, then steps back into his fighting stance once more) Now, let’s do it again." That’s a different kind of thing.

The way I choreograph fight scenes was actually a big help to me in becoming a good director, because when I teach people fighting, I am also teaching them the emotions and motivation behind their actions, like, why I am kicking the table, why I’m doing this, why I’m doing that. So later on, my martial art changed from martial art to action. Right now, it’s the 20th century, almost the 21st century; how can you justify fighting in this way? No, it’s ridiculous. Getting into classical, traditional kung-fu stances and gentleman-style techniques is okay for comedy (throws a series of wild man punches and then quickly attempts to adopt a classical kung-fu stance to make it look like the previous punches were part of his style and not simply wild swinging.) It’s not like before, though. I’m the one who really wants to change these types of things and make the fight choreography more up to date and modern. You see this in not only martial art, but with dancing, with the rhythm and everything.

IKF: You must notice a huge difference between your approach and that of your American counterparts in the film world?

JC: A lot of American movies feature fighting that is, really, old-time martial art (assumes several classical and theatrical fighting stances and techniques). And that’s wrong. Now there is an audience for this type of fighting, but it’s small. Only a small amount of people make up that type of audience. Most audiences like to see the real thing, not the old traditional thing. They like the natural thing–the way fighting really is–natural comedy, too.

IKF: You mentioned that when you kick the table, for example, toward the opponent to initiate a fight, it brings a lot of emotion into your fight scenes, whereas Jean-Claude Van Damme, for example, seems to prefer using orthodox martial arts kicking which many filmgoers find unbelievable.

JC: I think every action star–not only Van Damme–like Stallone, Chuck Norris, whatever, are good fighters and martial artists. Or if not good fighters, at least good actors. The only reason that Jackie Chan has become special is because they don’t know how to choreograph, they only know how to fight. And when they make an action movie, maybe their director is not a martial artist, he is only the director. Which means that when they fight, everything’s wrong. So this way, when the action in the movie comes up, it doesn’t make sense sometimes. It doesn’t look as good as a Jackie Chan movie. Why? Because when I direct all the fighting scenes, I’m directing myself. And, most importantly, I use my own stuntmen. Even if I were making a movie where you were the director, when it came time to film the fight scene, you would go away and I would direct it. So this way, it makes my action movie more exciting than some other people’s. This doesn’t mean that I am better than Van Damme–no, because Van Damme is good. But because of the situation, the people here in America have to listen to one person tell them how to fight, and then if the actor wants to do this type of kick, but his stuntman doesn’t know how to do the proper reaction, and the cameraman who is a good photographer, but is unfamiliar with how to ideally film action scenes and the director is more drama oriented than action, all of these things combine to make the action scene not work. When you look at Jackie Chan’s action, it works. Why? Because I use my own cameraman, my own lighting man, my own stuntman, I’m the director, I’m the stunt coordinator–I’m the actor! So I do everything.

IKF: What do you look for when you select your stuntmen?

JC: I train them.

IKF: You train them yourself?

JC: Yeah. Like, a lot of people like him (points to a young protégé), when he was with me he was just a young kid, but he’s not in my group yet. He just hangs the pads, sets up the safety things, and does those kinds of things until I think he’s ready to join my group. Once I think he’s good enough, then I’ll bring him on my team. They know that if they keep at it, then one day they will have the chance to fight with me (on screen), which is so exciting to them. I mean, nobody else can fight with me in Asia. No matter how good the stuntmen they are just standing way in the back. If you are the actor here, and I’m talking to you, as soon as it is time to fight–"cut!"–you are out. As soon as the fight begins you are out, they replace you with a stuntman, they change his hair to look like yours. But my stuntmen fight with me because when you fight with me–no matter how good you are–we’re unfamiliar with each other. So, when you kick or punch toward me, I’ll be pulling away too soon or maybe I’ll be worrying about getting hit and, believe me, I’ve been hit too much already. I’ve been hurt so many times from people who were not my stuntmen; my nose has been broken three times because I trust people; my tooth is gone because you cannot control your technique as well as it needs to be. I’m not saying that I still don’t make mistakes, my own stuntmen have hurt me, too, but that’s okay–I trust them–and that’s an accident. If you hurt me or fight with me, then I’m scared (that an accident could happen). But with my stuntmen, the chances of my getting injured are greatly reduced. We can go full out–(throws punches and kicks) bam! bam! bam! bam! bam!–we know each other’s rhythm and timing!

If today, you find in America a very talented Caucasian stuntman, like you or, like anyone, to fight with me, it will be the worst-looking Jackie Chan fight scene of all time. Why? Because when you go to kick me, I’ll be already flinching and turning away from you. If the scene calls for you to hit me across the back with a stick, I’m already covering up and trying to get away from you because I’m really scared that you are going to hit me. But my stuntmen can hit me right across the back with a club–boom!–and you can actually see it touch my shirt, and I’ll stay there and take it because I know that he’ll pull it just enough to prevent me from getting hurt. That’s what we want in fight choreography. So that is why I always bring my stuntmen with me wherever I go. We have that timing together. Like, in Rumble in the Bronx, when they were throwing bottles at me–boom! boom! boom!–I trust them and tell them, "Come on, now, hit me right here on the arm with it," and they will. But if you throw the bottle, I’d rather be ten miles away because if I stand there, I might move because we’re not used to each other–or you might not throw it where I’m expecting it–and I’ll get hurt. So this is quite different from some of the other action stars who might use one set of stuntmen for one film, and then a second set of stuntmen for another film–how can you create realistic looking scenes this way? You must fully trust the people you are working with, and you have to know each other, anticipate each other and know each other’s rhythm and timing. This is essential. You could put two good fighters together in a fight scene, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be entertaining to watch in a movie. In the movies, it’s different fighting than what you would see, say, in a martial arts tournament or a boxing match. There, it’s bam! bam! bam! And that’s a good fight to watch, too, they’re really fighting and it’s exciting. But in a movie, it’s all rhythm, and that requires a different type of fighting. And even in the action star’s films, the actor doesn’t want to get hurt, and says "Don’t hurt my nose, don’t hit my face"–they’re already scared! And that comes across in their films and really compromises their ability to fully express their character’s personality or intention in their fighting scenes.IKF: You have truly elevated stunt coordination and fight choreography into an art form. You have really infused an element of soul or honesty into your action sequences that keeps your character’s scenes very pure.

JC: Yes, well I like action, but I hate violence. That’s why in my movies you don’t find a lot of violence. If you say, "Your movies are violent," I’ll respond: "It’s good violence; I didn’t show the blood from the nose, there was no swearing" no, I never have any of this kind of dialogue. Also, I never have gunfights where there is someone shot–"Bang!"–and then blood comes pouring out of a guy’s mouth, his nose, and so forth. So that is why when I design fighting scenes, it’s more like an art, like dancing, rhythm. Like a tap dance, "ba-da-da-dum-dum, ba-da-da-dum-dum."

IKF: Is there a difference in the type of people that go to see your films, and the ones who go to see those made by other action stars in Hong Kong?

JC: One of my movies has been released right now in Asia and I just got the press reviews from Hong Kong. When they go to the theater to see my film, they are not surrounded by the young kids in the yellow hats with the earrings through their noses. These type of kids go to see the Triad-produced films. They want to see the Triad movies. But everybody can bring their children to a Jackie Chan movie, everybody feels comfortable bringing their children to a Jackie Chan movie. When I’m fighting on screen, all the children are smiling and laughing. The children are smiling and the big people are excited, saying "Oh, yeah! Look at that!" That’s my audience, and that’s the only audience I want.

IKF: That would explain the difference between "violence" and "art." The honesty and purity comes across the screen in what you do. I want to ask you, given your upbringing in the Peking Opera and its very tough regimen, and the fact that you personally put your life on the line in many of your stunts to give your audience 100 percent of your best in each and every film you make, when you see a lot of the North American stuntmen who complain about doing stunts that are quite minor in comparison, does it upset you? Does it cause you to think "These guys don’t know what hard work is?"

JC: (emphatic) No. I think differently. I really learned my action, my punch – a lot of my punches in the movies – I really learned from American stuntmen. From the beginning. Before, in the old days of the Hong Kong film industry, we were all fighting in a classical style–(performs a series of classical blocks and strikes) tung, tung, tung, tung, suddenly a movie came to Hong Kong to shoot in Hong Kong called, The Sand Pebbles and it used a lot of Hong Kong stuntmen. They taught us how to do the reactions to a punch. It was a movie about a boat and a gunfight, and they used some Hong Kong actors. It was an American-made movie.

IKF: How long ago was this?

JC: Oh, this would have been 35 or 39 years ago. The American stuntmen had to teach the Hong Kong stuntmen how to react properly to movie punches, and how to throw the punches. We learned how to do our reactions and our action from the American stuntmen.

IKF: And now it has come full circle as the Americans are looking to Hong Kong to learn new ways to do stunts.

JC: All those years ago we learned that much–reaction and punch. After that, we continued to create more things. However, in all of the years since then the American moviemakers have been concentrating more on computer graphics and these kind of things, staying away from what we were working on developing because of union things and insurance considerations.Later on, they went more for big stunts, parachutes, crashing cars, motorcycle jumps, and in those kind of things America is the best. We cannot do those kind of things–parachuting, motorcycle jumping–because we don’t have that kind of room in Hong Kong. Even if you had a motorcycle, there’s nowhere to jump!

Paragliding? Where? There’s no space! So we developed the smaller things, like, kicking and punching. For 50 years, almost non-stop, we’ve been working on improving our fighting action every day. Especially me. So, it’s like going to school every day, how many things every day can I create? Many things. Look at American movies–how many things are created by computers? And they are the best at this. So now, we learn from America the special effects, and America learns from us the punching and kicking, the small things.

IKF: Do you think that a lot of American stunt coordinators copy a lot from your movies?

JC: I believe right now that there are a lot of American stunt coordinators who watch my movies. I can tell when my movie is released in Asia, they are already looking at it. After that, they are releasing copies of my stunts and action sequences in their own films before mine are released in America.

IKF: What do you think of that? When you see stuff that you’ve created in your own mind and worked out with great effort and meticulous detail on the screen, then ripped off by your American counterparts with absolutely no credit given to you?

JC: (smiles) I’m happy.

IKF: Really?

JC: Yeah, because I first learned from American stuntmen. After that I created my own things. After I create my own things, somehow the technology comes up. I look at the videos of Buster Keaton and I think, "Wow!" I find out that Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, we have the same–not the talent–but the same kind of idea for making movies. Then I find out that I have the same kind of talent.

IKF: But doesn’t it upset you when you see, for example, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell’s film, Tango & Cash, ripping off your bus stop crash sequence?

JC: No!

IKF: But that’s like your painting–something that you created! That doesn’t upset you?

JC: No, because I respect Stallone, I like him. He’s my hero. Also, Spielberg is my hero. When I look at Spielberg’s Indiana Jones Part II, I see that he totally copied my bicycle sequence from Project A–I used a bicycle, he used a motorcycle–I’m so happy that even the biggest director has learned something from me! That makes me happy. But I have also learned from other movies. I just create my own things. I think in the world of movies, everybody copies everybody.

IKF: You’ve always been original, however. And even when you were starting out and becoming famous, I remember you saying that "Bruce Lee did it this way, so I’m going to do it the opposite way"–like yin and yang–but you always did your own unique thing.

JC: Well, I always wanted to do something that was different from all the other movies. That’s what makes what I do special. Look at, right now, American movies–everything is a big explosion. "My explosion is going to be bigger than your explosion," type of thing. When I did explosions, that was ten years ago! Police Story Part II dealt with everything about explosions. The whole movie, you can find out, the explosions were hitting my body, in my eyes, in my head, then from the small explosions to, at the end, the big explosion.

Then, after that, I stopped doing it. In Police Story Part I, I did everything with breaking glass–glass, glass, glass–the whole movie was breaking glass things. Then, with The Miracle, I played with some other things. Then, I find out that in America, during these same two years, everything was explosions. Then I tell myself, "My movie is not going to use any more big explosions." Small explosions and more difficult action scenes. So that’s what made me and my movies different from Hollywood movies. So I’m always watching some other movie and then doing something different as a result of having seen it. That’s what makes mine special.

IKF: I wanted to touch on your martial arts background. You’ve said that you’ve studied all sorts of different martial arts, so what would you consider to be your “style” of martial art?

JC: Right now it’s chopy suey (laughs). Everything! I know everything! I can talk to you about judo, I know tae kwon do, I know—I know everything, but right now I can’t say that my style is any one of them. I’m like a “chop suey expert.” You name it, I know it, but on each art, I’m not an expert—but on the whole thing, I’m the expert. And if you are talking about fighting for a movie, I’m the big expert.

IKF: When you first started martial arts training in the Peking Opera, what was the style they trained you in?

JC: A northern style. It dealt with everything. After the northern style, then I learned the southern style. And after the southern style, I learned the “White Eyebrow” (Pak Mei) style. I concentrated quite heavily on the White Eyebrow style.

IKF: What are your thoughts on all the various styles you’ve studied in the martial arts?

JC: Actually, all the styles are almost the same, only the titles are different. I was really interested in learning other martial arts after I learned the styles I just mentioned, so I went on and studied some other arts after these. I went on to learn hapkido for six months, tae kwon do, judo, wing chung for three months, boxing for another six months, and I learned that only boxing was different. Boxing’s punches are different, but these other martial arts are almost the same. Hapkido, tae kwon do, karate—the same! They’re just a little different in some small respects. Then I found out—because I’m crazy about martial art—that it’s only the titles that are different. Everybody’s the same. Right now if I opened a school, I could call it Dragon Do, then after somebody learned from me, he could call it Dragon Curtis Do, so right now there are just too many arts with names like Jak Koo Soo, Su Chi Soo, Ha Soo Soo—too many things going on—but the basic things are all the same. They just change some things a little bit, like, wing chun puts their hand out like this: Pak Mei puts their hand out with a slightly different arc, hung kune does it similarly—basically, they’ve just called what they do by different names. But basically, it’s the same thing. Like a gun and a bullet—pow!—but now they have machine gun, revolver, semi-automatic, but they’re still guns. Just a little bit different.

IKF: Going back in your past for a moment, and people always ask this, have you ever had to use your martial arts for real? Have you ever had a real fight?

JC: Yes. When I was young.

IKF: Really? Can you remember the details of it?

JC: You know the different thing is when you learn the martial art and you’re fighting on the street, you just only use a certain part of your martial art training. It’s just what naturally comes to you—”bam! bam! bam!” It’s rather wild and uncontrolled—and not like you see in the movies where a guy will do 15 blocks and end up in a stance. But at that moment, you’re really fast. In the fight you are asking about I was one of three people that had a fight against six people. They all went down and I, myself, got hurt. I ran away afterwards and when I was running away I heard my shoe—at that time we didn’t have “Airshoes,” we just had the Chinese slipper type of shoes and they were sloshing against the ground as I ran. Then I looked down at my shoe and it was all blood. Then I went to the store, called White Stone, and I changed my jeans and—do you know Hong Kong?

IKF: I was there once.

JC: Well, I crossed the street to look back at where the fight was and I saw the police come, the ambulance come (laughs)—yeah! Just once. It was a big fight on the street. Then I had other fights at the school with Sammo (Hung) and some other brothers. Yeah, we used to fight a lot.

IKF: The one where the
ambulance and the police came, what happened afterward?

JC: We don’t know what happened, we just saw a lot of people standing around.

IKF: How did you feel after the fight?

JC: Well, for 20 or 30 seconds immediately after the fight you shake. You run away, and even when I was talking to my friends I was shaking, you just can’t help it. My whole hand was shaking and hurt. I found that a bone in my hand had popped up through the skin and I tried to push it down but I could not. Then I saw a white thing in my knuckle showing through the skin and I tried again to push it back inside my knuckle, but I couldn’t do it. Later on, however, it just popped out! I thought, “What was that?” It turned out to be the other guy’s tooth—from his mouth. I think it went into my knuckle when I threw a backfist at him. I hurt for two weeks and my muscles were sore. My whole body ached —and yet the fight was like—wham! bam! bam! wham!—it was over so fast.

IKF: How old were you when this happened?

JC: Oh, like, 17 years old.

IKF: Do you remember how it started?

JC: Yeah, just by looking. There were six people standing next to their motorcycles. The motorcycles were standing up, all of them right beside each other. Then we were passing by and I said, “Ahh, my dream is to one day have a motorcycle!” I just pointed at them. And one of the guys turned around—and this was at night—and said, “What are you pointing at?” Then I said, “This.” Then my friend went over and, with one kick, knocked all six of the motorcycles down. Then he ran over to fight with these guys. Then my other friend, who was still standing next to me, ran over to fight—except me. Then I looked at myself and thought, “What am I doing standing here?” Then I went over and started fighting—boom! boom! boom!—and that was it. Just that quick.

IKF: And that was the point at which you took off with your bloody shoe?

JC: Yeah. We all got hurt. You just don’t know what’s going on in a situation like that. Boom! Boom! Boom! It was over so fast.

IKF: That must have been quite an introduction to life—as it really is on the streets of Hong Kong—as compared to how it was in a Peking Opera school.

JC: Right, because we didn’t know any better. We were in a school, protected from the realities of the outside world by our master. Wherever I went, I had 30 or 40 people surrounding me. Suddenly to come out—like a bird leaving its parents and nest—to fly wherever I wanted, I quickly discovered that there were a lot of hungry eagles out there. But until that time, we thought we were the best fighters. But out on the street we learned that people don’t fight that way; if you fight two people, they’ll come back with four people, if you come with four people, they’ll come back with ten people. Then we learned that, “Wow, society is really that bad.” They’re not coming to fight with fists only, they’re coming with knives and, if you take their knives away, they’ll bring a gun, and if you take their gun away, then they’ll come back at you with a machine gun. That’s when I understood that I had to be careful out there. And now I get away from the trouble, I just keep away from it.

IKF: Did you see a lot of bad things, violence, growing up in Hong Kong?

JC: When I was young, yes. I saw people get killed, I saw people selling drugs, all those bad things. It’s not that my life was really bad, but it was bad.

IKF: What was it at that age that you think created your ambition, because it’s obvious that at that young age you decided that that’s not what you wanted to do with your life?

JC: Yeah, because I always remembered something my father told me. Around me at that time were all the Triads. And in the old days, all of the Triad organizations tried to recruit me for their gangs. “Come, come, come” they’d say to me, but I remember my father saying, “Never get in the Triads and no drugs.” Those two things I promised my father. I said, “Okay.” And then my father left me and went back to Australia and I was left by myself in Hong Kong. And ever since then I’ve stayed away from the Triads. Even if a friend of mine was in the Triads, I would tell him to go away from me. He was okay—he was still my friend until he did something wrong. If he sold drugs, I would just go away. We’d sit at the same table—until the drugs came out.

IKF: It’s hard, I think, for people in America and around the world, to understand just how prevalent the Triads are in Hong Kong. But they’ve been there for decades—centuries, in fact, which must have made it especially hard for you growing up to do what your father told you to do when the Triad influence is everywhere. How were you able to do that without “offending” the leaders of these Triads?

JC: I just pretended to be dumb to their requests and, also, I was quite young at that time. I’m quite lucky and I pretended that I didn’t know anything and they would just say, “Oh, leave him alone.” And also, my personality has always been happy-go-lucky—ha, ha, ha, hee, hee, hee. They just treated me like a very good friend and were just waiting, I think, until I got a little bit older and maybe I would need their help, or something like that. And I suddenly became interested in bowling.

IKF: You like bowling?

JC: Oh, yeah, I’m a champion at it. Then suddenly I was not going to the poolhalls any more, where a lot of the triad members would congregate. There were a lot of British-owned pool halls in Hong Kong at that time, and until I discovered bowling, I would hang out in the pool halls quite a bit—even sleep at the pool halls. I liked the pool halls because there was always something exciting going on in there. At that time, our schools didn’t have basketball or soccer—we had nothing. When I first got out of the Peking Opera, I liked soccer very much, then three months later I liked learning boxing. After boxing, I learned that there was gambling going on, so then I liked gambling. After gambling, there was pool, and I continued to play pool—people were always introducing me to new things—and I loved pool, I would play it almost 24 hours a day. And, while I was not professional, I became very, very good at it. You know, young people always learn things very quickly, so I learned pool until some people said, we’re going to play bowling. Then I found out that I liked bowling and so, I’d spend up to 24 hours playing bowling. But bowling is different. A bowling alley is very big. Sometimes I would go to the bowling alley and sleep—just by myself. So the bowling alley helped me in a way to get away from the Triads. The Triads are not really hanging around in bowling alleys.

IKF: But how do you deal with them today? After all, you are now very famous and you represent a lot of money to a lot of people, which is something that the Triads are very interested in.

JC: You mean now?

IKF: Yes.

JC: No, they stay away from me. They stay away from you when you get too big.

IKF: Really? I would have thought that it would have been the other way around.

JC: No, because all these years I’ve been doing a lot of things for charity. I’m the image in Asia that is against the Triads. I’m the model of the police. In all my movies, I always say good things about the police and I have a very good relationship with the policemen. And also the Triads know that if I get some problem, they get a problem too. I’m the one who stands up and says to the newspapers, “Come on Triads. Come to my office to destroy my office—come on! I’m staying right here and will lead the people, marching against the Triads. With the Triads, if you take one step back, they’ll take one step forward. Then, if you go forward, they move backward. The Triads are always in the darkness, when you take out a flashlight and put it on them, they scurry away and hide. You have to fight back. Most of the time I concentrate on...let me put it this way, if I’m doing something bad, of course it would be very easy for the Triads to get to me because I would need their help. But I’m always on the good side. If I say something like, “You are wrong! You are wrong—why are you threatening this girl? Go away!” They say, “Okay,” and go away. That’s the way to be.

IKF: Obviously you are the first one we’ve heard about in America that has done that. Were you a little nervous when you first decided to stand up to the Triads?

JC: Ummm, yeah—but someone had to do it. And after you do it, you find out, yeah, everybody backs me up on this, and you find out that you have a lot of support, and that gives you much more confidence. Then, you just keep speaking out again, and again, and again to protect some other witnesses.

IKF: You mentioned earlier that you dared them to come and disrupt your office. Had they threatened to do this to you?

JC: No, I just said it to them. I said, “I’m here in my office right here. Come here and destroy it—if you have the guts. Come!” Nobody came. If you don’t say it, that’s when they will come.

IKF: What was the reaction of the people of Hong Kong when you did that?

JC: Everybody applauded me. I got a lot of phone calls the next morning, with people saying, “I saw what you did in the newspapers! That’s good! It’s about time we found somebody to stand up to them and say those things!”

IKF: You led a march against the Triads in Hong Kong, didn’t you?

JC: Yes. Also, I think I’m quite different and, after that, I’m always moving around. When I come into Hong Kong and people come up to me and say, “Jackie we need your help, would you say something on our behalf?” I say, “Okay,” and do what needs to be done. But then I get with my group and we’ll fly off to Malaysia to film for six months, and then come back to Hong Kong and do something else. I don’t just stay in Hong Kong these days, I’m traveling around all over the world. But, still, everybody knows I’m from Hong Kong, and I try to help Hong Kong in many ways. I help the Hong Kong film industry and try to always do good things. Then, after that, I go off to make my own movies. After I spoke out against the Triads, everybody in Hong Kong just calls me “Big Brother.”


IKF: What is your philosophy of life?

JC: I just like to look after myself and to improve. When I have time, I try to engage in more training. Health is very important. And, also, I try to help some other people. I help the elderly, I help the children who don’t have a father or mother. I try to help people as often as possible because when I was young, the Red Cross helped me quite a bit. I remember the Father who worked there said to me, “Don’t thank me. When you grow up and you have more strength, then you can help some other people.” So I think what I’m doing now is kind of like a payback to those people who helped me in the Red Cross.

IKF: What makes you feel sad? I know you do a lot of work with underprivleged children to help them out, but I’m guessing that in Hong Kong you are quite active with the hospitals. Do you help out in hospitals?

JC: Yes, because later on in my career I found out that there were many children who watched my movies, so I made a conscious decision to cut down on my violence. If you look at my earlier films, my later films, and my present films there is quite a difference in this respect. When you see Drunken Master I, I was telling people that they should mix drinking and fighting—this was wrong. There’s too many children who watch my movies; how could I tell these children that drinking and fighting is okay? That’s wrong! That movie was a comedy, but some children might take it seriously and it gave out the wrong message to these children. Then when Drunken Master II came out, I gave out a different message: “Don’t drink. Don’t fight.” It was far less violent, it contained no sex scenes, and had no curse words in it. No blood. And my character was always happy-go-lucky, because I care about children. I know that children are watching my movies. It’s very natural for me to care about children.

IKF: What are your views, philosophically speaking, on issues such as racism? Like, in this country, in America, there has always been a prejudice against different cultures and even giving Asians leading roles in films. Even though you may be a big success and can come over and star in an American made film, there is still not a lot of opportunities for Asians in the film business here in America. Has it been your experience that there is still a lot of racism here in America?

JC: I think there is still a lot of racism in every country. In America, in Europe, in South Africa, even in Hong Kong—the Chinese call the Caucasian “gwei-lo” (foreign devil) and call the Chinese from China, “Ah-Chan.”

IKF: What does that mean?

JC: I don’t know, it’s kind of a term for a stupid person. They call similar names to the Vietnamese people. It’s everywhere and I don’t like it. I just don’t like it. I think we should help everybody. Everybody should help everybody. That’s why when I do charity work, it’s not just for Hong Kong. When I do charity work, I’ll do it in Malaysia, in Singapore, in Korea, in Taiwan, in China. I let them know that all the people in the whole world should be willing to look after each other. It helps to spread peace. Now there are already so many accidents going on, earthquakes, tornados—all kinds of problems to contend with already, so why do people have to fight against everybody?

That’s why when you look at my movies, like Rumble in the Bronx especially, there was a Chinese in the Bronx. Why? I did that on purpose, I let the audience know that the Chinese have good people—I’m the good person—but they also have bad people in the Bronx, and not just Black people, White people, Italian, French, and Chinese. So that way, it shows people who see my film that the world is full of good people and bad people of all races. No one race is good, and all the other races bad. That’s my philosophy. So when I’m making a movie, I have to put—even in Who Am I?—I put a Chinese guy in it and said, “Why do Chinese have to fight Chinese?” Then I had to cut that scene out. Why? Because the movie was too long, but I will put it into one of my other movies with the hope that the Chinese government will see it. That means, China—don’t fight Taipei; Taipei don’t fight China. That’s my philosophy.

Then, of course, I put in a little comedy. I don’t want to always say political things. I put a little politics in, and then I put in a little comedy. That’s why when the bad guy is fighting me, I say, “Come on, why Chinese have to fight Chinese?” Then he says, “No, I don’t hold a Chinese passport!” Then he starts fighting with me. Then, when I start to beat him up, he says, “No, no, no. I’m Chinese.” And I say, “Now you say that you’re Chinese!”

You see, I put in a little politics with my comedy. I don’t want to put in my movie to be like, say, a Bruce Lee movie where the Chinese are always good and the gwei-lo are always bad. My movie, I want to put in that American people can help me, and that they can also hurt me. Chinese people can help me, but Chinese people can also hurt me. Everybody is the same. There’s not only one way, there are many ways. That’s my philosophy. Especially when you see a Bruce Lee movie. In his first films, the Japanese are always the bad guys. He’s this type of person, he’s a big hero person (to the Chinese), but there’s a lot of good Japanese, right? Even during the Second World War. When he was making the American movies, then the Americans were always bad guys, and he was the good guy. I don’t like that. I’m not this kind of person. When I make a movie in which there is a bad Japanese guy, then the people who are fighting with me and help me, are also Japanese.

That’s my philosophy—just to let the people know, to tell the whole world, that even your own people are bad people. Just don’t promote something wrong. When you continue to make these kinds of movies, the children are made to think that “the Japanese are bad, bad, bad!” If that continues throughout his lifetime, he sees maybe 100 movies and thinks that all Japanese are bad. That’s the wrong message. It’s like the old education they used to have in Taipei, when you would open a history book you’d learn that the Japanese were nasty people. And whenever I would see a Japanese person we’d get scared.

IKF: You touched on education. Just how important is education in your opinion?

JC: Education is very important. I do not have a very good eduation. What I learned, I learned is mainly from the society. I don’t know how to read or write properly—even in Chinese. Of course, right now I can read a little bit. As far as writing goes, I have someone else write for me. As far as English, I can talk a little bit, I cannot read it or write it, however. So, I want my second-generation to have a very good education. Also, my father had no education, my mother had no education, no school. Me? No school. In this way, I want my boy to have a very good education. He can speak very good English, and speak Mandarin, Cantonese. He can read Chinese, write Chinese. So, education is very important for everybody. If you have an education then you know what’s happened. You can judge good things from bad things.

IKF: You seem to bring a lot of social consciousness to your films.

JC: I always tell the actors and actresses in Hong Kong, “We have the responsibility to do something for the society. Show bad things on the screen as little as possible, because we are the role models. Everybody watches us. Everybody wants to copy us as role models. If, for example, you have the hero in a movie, take a cigarette out of his mouth and throw it on the floor, everybody will then take their cigarettes out and think that it’s alright to throw them on the floor. That’s the bad things. How many children have learned from movies that it’s okay to kill people? Too many. They rob the banks, rape women, these kinds of things. So in my movie, even if somebody else drops a newspaper, I will have my character go and pick it up and throw it in the wastepaper basket. Why? Maybe you don’t care—but I care. I don’t care if you care or not, but I, myself, do care. That’s my responsibility.

IKF: It must be a very good feeling for you to know that you can so positively affect people in such a manner.

JC: Well, really I should thank you. I should thank the audience for supporting me. Because of them, my career has changed. I wasn’t born to become a good person or a “God.” No. I was a bad child. A long time ago, I went around fighting on the street. I wanted to fight, I wanted to see how powerful I could be, how powerful my punch was, how fast my kick was, and how fast I could run. And then later on, I found out that this was wrong. That was wrong. Then, later on, I found out how much the audience supported me. I know, “Wow, so many children go to see my movies.” But when I first became famous, I didn’t want anything to do with charities. People would come up to me and say, “Jackie Chan, would you please help out our charity?” And I’d say, “No, I’m too busy. I want to go to a disco, I want to have fun.”

Then on one occasion, a person came up and asked me to go to a charity. They said, “Would you please go—just for one day? Just say ‘hello?’ The children really need to see you.” I said, “No, I’m busy.” So, for whatever reason, I said, “Okay, I’ll go—but make it quick. I’ll give you 15 minutes.” Then when we got to the children’s hospital I saw these children with no legs, some couldn’t speak, they were sick but they were so happy to see me! My being there made a difference in their lives! Then, the people announced, “Jackie bought a lot of presents for you children, and now he would like to present them to you.” I didn’t buy them any presents. But they had already prepared all these presents to make the kids happy. I asked the people, “What’s this?” They said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” I asked, “But you’re the ones who bought them!” “Would you please just give them out to the children?” they asked. So I started to give them out, one by one, to the children. They were so happy, some were crying. I touched them, they cried. I shook their hands and they would tell me, “I’ll never wash my hand again!”

I suddenly looked at myself in the mirror. Why did I have so much power to help these children? Then I find out that I was cheating those children, the presents weren’t purchased by me! Somebody bought them for me. The children asked me as I was leaving, “Are you coming back to us next year?” I knew what I had to do. “Yes, I’m coming back” I said. Then I turned around and told them, “People, I’m coming back next year. Let me know what time, what day—I’ll buy my own presents.” Then the next year, I went to buy a whole bunch of trucks and toys and went back to see them. I was so happy because I wasn’t there under false pretenses. This time it was true. “Here, here, here” (gestures giving out gifts). “Are you coming back next year, Jackie?” “Yes!”

Then another children’s school requested my appearance. “Yes” to that, too. At first, I went back and then promised to go back again. Then I went to a second one, and promised to go back to that one again. And this just grew from Hong Kong to Las Vegas. Why would I go to Las Vegas to do a free show? Because I know that the proceeds are going to go to charity. Last year, I did a benefit for the elderly in San Francisco—and I’ll be going back again this year. Then I did the charity for MGM—over 14,000 people came and I gave all the money, over $200,000, to the elderly. Not doing it for the posture it gives me, but doing it naturally. And everybody I work with, the actors, the actresses, I tell them “Go! Do it!” They are like me, hesitant at first, but once you’re involved—you’re involved. I like to have everybody involved because if everybody helped everybody, how pretty is the world? Now it seems that everybody is just interested in taking care of themselves. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I take care of myself, too. That’s okay. We should. But everybody should look at everybody. That’s my philosophy. Of course, I know that it’s difficult. It’s hard. But I just try to do the best that I can. Maybe one day, you’ll try the best you can. If everybody just tells everybody, then ten people will tell ten people. It grows. And maybe not this generation, and maybe not the second generation—but by the third generation, everybody is becoming good.


IKF: What are your thoughts on the current political situation now in Hong Kong, what with the Chinese takeover from Great Britain?

JC: Of course, I’m Chinese. I hope China becomes big. Like in America they say, “I’m proud to say I’m American.” One day, I hope that there will be the same pride when a person says, “I’m proud to be Chinese.” Why is it that every Chinese immigrates to some other country? Why are American people not immigrating to China? Why is everybody going away? That shows that we are ashamed. Why were we Chinese scared when China took back Hong Kong? You’d suppose that we should be happy. But now everybody scared. “We don’t like China.” Why? Everybody immigrated to Canada, America—why? Maybe I’m too idealistic. I realize that there are no perfect things, but I would like things to be perfect. I want everybody to be like, “We’re Chinese, we have a good government.” I know it’s difficult.

Everybody in China and Hong Kong were going on about the government. I said, “Do something for the Chinese government. Do something for your government. Don’t always tell the government, ‘Do something for me!’ You sit there, you throw the rubbish on the floor, you throw your cigarettes on the floor—you’re not helping your country.” You just sit there and say, “We need this and this...” No. If you don’t have the strength to help your government, then help yourself. Help your country—pick up something, at least. Yeah, that’s my philosophy. If I cannot help my government to do something, then at least I can do my best to make my movies the best that I can. Then people say, “Ah, Jackie’s from Hong Kong.” I let people know I’m from Hong Kong. I pick up some rubbish if I’m in my own country. I do some smiling for the tourists. If I can help the tourists, then, more tourists will come to Hong Kong to help our businesses.

IKF: Is there a lot of dissent from Chinese people outside Hong Kong who are complaining about the new government?

JC: Well at that time a lot of Chinese immigrated to Canada and then it was coming back to Hong Kong that they said, “Oh we don’t like the Chinese government!” To them I say, “Shut up! You’re not Chinese anymore. You’re Canadian. Go away.” I say, “Go away!”

IKF: Really?

JC: Yeah! I tell them, “You suppose you’re Chinese after you immigrate to Canada? You have a Canadian passport and now you’re coming back saying, ‘We don’t like China!’ You’re making a problem for those of us who stayed! You went away. Let our Chinese resolve our problems. You’re not Chinese anymore. You’re Canadian.” That’s what I’m saying. I hate those kind of people. I’ll tell you why I don’t like those kind of people; alright, some people for some reason immigrate—okay—because generation after generation go. That doesn’t matter. But these other people, they move to China, and from China, they skip to Hong Kong. They stay in Hong Kong for seven years. After seven years they get a passport. Then they find out China will be taking back Hong Kong, so they move to Canada. After the Canadian government says that they don’t want anymore Chinese, or if they encounter racial problems in Canada, these people get scared, so they move to America. They get scared again when they experience an earthquake in L.A., so they move to Singapore. Those kind of people are useless. They never help the country they are in, they just want to find a good country. Now, because Singapore’s laws are so strict, they are holding a Singapore passport now, so they go back to Hong Kong. I hate those kind of people.

IKF: Do you see a lot of that in Hong Kong these days?

JC: Yes! Yes. I stay in Hong Kong because I have to give the people confidence. And I help my country so that it can become the best country.

IKF: It’s true. You could have gone to, say, America and said, “Oh, the Communists are coming to Hong Kong, I’m going to take my money and go to America.” But you didn’t do that.

No. I had to let six million people see that I’m staying. I trust our government. Everybody was saying, “Let’s give the policemen trouble.” “Let’s give the government trouble.” I say, let the government alone to make our roads better, to do the good airport things. The citizens should do their part to pick up the rubbish and help to keep the city clean. Let’s try and make Hong Kong the cleanest city in the world. That’s what I would do. That’s what I would promote. I don’t know. Maybe a lot of people, after they read this interview in the magazine will not agree. Okay, that’s my thinking. You asked me, so I’m telling you my thoughts on the matter. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m wrong and too idealistic. No matter what anybody else says, I’ll do my own thing. I’m happy. You don’t want to pick up the rubbish, okay. I’ll pick up the rubbish and make myself happy.


Jackie, a lot of people in this country obviously look at you as being the ultimate in successful. And I’d like to know what do you think are the secrets to your success?

JC: Hmm. I think there’s a lot of audiences that know me and know my road to success has not been overnight, but rather a process extending some 35 years. Some other new audiences think, “Wow, Jackie Chan is a big star!” They think I’ve become a big star overnight. No, I’ve been through a lot of painful ups and downs. I don’t know. I don’t care what image or how the audience see me, I know who I am. I always have my feet on the ground. You treat me, say, as a big star, then I become a big star. But I never treat myself as a big star. I just treat myself as a fellow with a job and that job is to make better movies. Besides making a movie, besides making money, I have a responsibililty. That’s all. Then making movies is my choice. I have fun. Everyday I have fun with the 300 or 400 people who are on the set with me. I’m like the leader who can control everybody. And that’s the most fun part. And I can make fun toys to show, like, a billion people. That’s the most fun thing about it. If you are talking about success, there are far more people who are far more successful than me. My dream was simply to have everybody in the whole world to know me, like the dinosaurs or like an E.T.

IKF: What are the ingredients or qualities that go into making you so successful?

JC: Well first, of course, it is the audience. First, of course, I want money—for living. After I get the money, I find out that for a film to be successful, a lot of people have to go to see it. Then I get the support from the audience and not just the Asian audience. There was the Indian, Malaysian, Vietnam, Thai, Korea—everybody. They send me flowers for Valentine’s, Christmas. Then I find out a lot of parents write to me, “My son thinks you’re a role model. Please write to him and encourage him to do well in school.” Then I find out I have a responsibility, so I have to make better movies.

Either then, I make 20 movies a year or I make one movie a year. But I knew that I could guarantee myself that that one movie I could make really good. How could I make 20 movies, all with dangerous stunts? I might die soon if I did that. Okay, I want to make good movies. Aside from making money, I want to make good movies. Then later on, I find an enemy in Asia; this company or actor is almost as good as me, so I want to knock him down. I want to make a better and better movie so that I can beat this action star. At the time there were several action stars in Asia, but I don’t want a few, I want one—me. Because this other fellow would make five or six movies in a year, the audience was seeing him every three months and were starting to get tired of him.

Then Jackie Chan’s movie comes out, with the best things in it, and always different than any other movie. When you make five movies, I have a chance to watch you in four movies, then I know what direction you’re heading in which tells me that I should be doing something completely different. That way, my movies are always fresh. Pretty soon, nobody in Asia could compete with me.

The Asian scene was no longer giving me any challenges to overcome, so then I started looking at the American movies. So then I have to find a new “enemy” to beat in the American movies. Let’s say I choose Sylvestor Stallone. Okay, I like Stallone, so he has become my target. I find out different things, they use special effects, so I’m not going to use them. American directors think they can make anybody into an action star, but when the people watch their action movie, they think only of Jackie Chan. So after a while, I became very popular in America where they consider my movies and stunt coordinating very outstanding.

I know I’ve paid the price for this position—broken finger, broken ankle, this kind of thing. But I like it. I want to be different than the others. I don’t want to be Superman, and I don’t want to be Batman, because you or anybody can be Batman or Superman—but nobody, or at least very few people, can be Jackie Chan. Then when I found this out, I thought, “Good, I want to be a Jackie Chan.”

So only making one movie a year, I have a lot of time for research what kind of locations, action, comedy I want. I’m always making notes on these things—”I want this for my next movie,” “I want this for another movie,” “This one for Police Story,” “this one for Police Story V,” and so on. I always write it down. So this way, I think the audience is the most important ingredient in pushing me on. I’m like a train and the audience and fans are what keep me going down the tracks.