Jackie interview @
1. How did you get involved in the
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
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
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
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
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
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
Asia E! Online
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.
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.
people are curious about how you maintain
your muscular physique. Do you consume
any particular health tonics?
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.
Noon was very well received in the
States. How did you come up the
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.
scene in Shanghai Noon do you consider
the most dangerous?
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!
you afraid when you filmed that scene?
Even if I
was, I can't show it as there're heaps of
the undisputed hero of the Asian movie
scene. And now, your prowess has
penetrated into Hollywood. How do you
feel about this?
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.
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.
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
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.
you were preparing to venture into
Hollywood, was language ever a barrier?
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.
were wearing authentic cowboy suits in
Shanghai Noon and had to ride horses. Did
you have problems riding them?
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.
were on snowy mountain tops in one scene
and in the hot desert the next. Were they
stressful to you?
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.
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?
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.
did you cast Lucy Liu as Princess Pei
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
that you've worked with her, what do you
think of her?
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.
about Owen Wilson who's a budding
scriptwriter, director and actor? Did he
treat you like an idol?
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.
closing-credits blooper reel, Owen had an
embarrassing incident where he farted in
the bathtub. Did you have any similar
situations in the movie?
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
you intend to make a sequel to Shanghai
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.
you tell us more about what's going to be
in the script?
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
much are you paid for a film like this?
that Shanghai Noon II will see me richer
by US$20 million.
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.
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