Jackie Chan does not want to be remembered as an action star. He wants to be remembered as an actor, he says during our interview, who happened to be making some action movies.
The fact that these movies were some of the most memorable and iconic action movies of all time, well … that’s a different story.
Chan began his career in the early 1960s and 1970s as a stuntman opposite Bruce Lee in ‘Fist of Fury’ and ‘Enter the Dragon’. Over the past four-and-a-half decades, however, he has become a household name and a martial arts icon, acknowledging that he did his own tricks and made the audience laugh.
His latest action-adventure spying thriller ‘Vanguard’, which will be released in UAE cinemas this weekend, sees him play the head of an elite security agency that goes on a rescue mission across the continent (including a stop in Dubai) to pick up a kidnapped customer. . (And yes, Chan is still doing his tricks; he had a near-death experience of shooting ‘Vanguard’: while rescuing a hostage in Africa, his water bike hit a rock and he got caught in a fast river under a strong current for its own rescue team.)
Before the release of the film, the Hong Kong actor (66) spoke to Gulf News via email and reflected on his career, as a child bullied, how he ended his rare day – and the surprising genre he can not wait for. do not.
How was your latest experience in Dubai?
The motor chase scene is excellent. The audience has seen an exciting chase scene before, including the one in ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ [also filmed in Dubai], but this time we have gilded sports cars. And not just in the city streets, but also through the inside of a mall!
You are especially known for action movies. Is it because you have always preferred to take action on other genres?
I do a lot of action comedies because that’s what I’m best known for. But since I do not like to repeat myself, I do not limit myself to one specific genre. I want audiences to think of me as an actor who can do action, not just as an action star. I’m really looking forward to trying more dramatic roles. I will continue to do action comedies, but other genres as well.
Is there a type of movie that you have not done yet, and that you would like?
I’m interested in making musicals. I can also sing and dance. It would be great if someone would hire me into a movie like this so I could show the side of me and sing and dance.
You are very well known and loved in the Middle East. How do you feel about your popularity in the Arab world? Why do you think your fan base is so international?
I am very thankful that I have so many fans in the Arab world. The fans of the fans are what encourages me to keep pushing my boundaries. I think my fan base is worldwide because the language of movies is international. It always brings people together. Action comedies especially overcome language barriers so that everyone around the world can enjoy them.
Have you visited your star on the Dubai Stars? What was your reaction to hearing that you would participate?
I have not yet had the opportunity to visit The Dubai Stars, but I will definitely go there if I have the chance. I am very grateful and humbled that I received recognition for my work.
When you last came to Dubai, you said the one thing you do not like is a holiday – your motto is to work, work, work. But what do you do on a day off?
I would watch documentaries on television, on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic. And I can not help myself to clean the film set, recycle the empty bottles, vacuum and clean rooms. I also still go to the gym every day and run for an hour.
Jackie, you’re a groundbreaker in Hollywood who opened doors for dozens of young people. How do you feel about the growth of the Asian representation in Hollywood over the past few years? Is there still a long way to go?
It’s great to see more and better, Asian representation in Hollywood. As it is the largest film industry in the world, it is important to give Asians and other minorities in Hollywood a voice so that we can promote a better understanding of each other. There is still a long way to go, but things are starting to improve. I look forward to more changes in the future.
Can we expect to see you in a TV series, perhaps with a web streaming service like Netflix, Amazon or Disney?
As long as I’m interested in the subject, I’m open to anything!
It’s rare to see you on social media. Do you think it is necessary to be active online in the entertainment industry of today?
Honestly, I do not have the time for social media. I always want greater interaction with my fans. I prefer to deal with people in person.
You became famous because you did not use body doubling. Is it still a point of pride for you, or do you feel that you have proved enough at this stage of your celebrated career?
I no longer do the crazy tricks of my younger years, but I still do my own tricks. I trained from a young age, so my foundation is still strong. Most action moves are still easy for me. Of course, I’ve changed my fighting style in recent years, but my audience still expects me to do my own tricks, and I do not want to disappoint them.
What would you say is the hardest trick you have had to do in your career?
I’ve shot over a hundred movies and there are too many memorable filming experiences, so I can not really name one here. For example, in ‘Police Story’, when I jumped off the mall’s Christmas decorations; or ‘Project A’ when I fell off the clock tower; or ‘Police Story 3’ when I was hanging on to the helicopter … All the tricks I designed were difficult.
In previous interviews, you were open about being bullied as a child. What would be your advice to children today who are dealing with large amounts of bullying and cyberbullying?
Children need to be brave and learn to stand up for themselves. If not, it will easily be used as an easy target. Be brave, defend yourself and stand up bullies!
What do you want to be remembered for?
I wanted to be remembered as an actor, not as an action star, but as an actor who also happened to make action films.
Do not miss it!
‘Vanguard’ will be released in UAE cinemas on October 8.
Source: Gulf News