Movie star Jackie Chan talks about his career and his film festival

By Tao Mingyang Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/3 19:18:39

Jackie Chan Photo: Li Hao/GT

Surrounded by excited fans and Jackie Chan Stunt Team members, Jackie Chan entered the interview room at the press conference for the 5th Jackie Chan International Action Film Week.  

One of the world's outstanding action stars, Chan has appeared in dozens of films that have entertained audiences around the world. Confident and at ease, Chan sat down with the Global Times On Sunday to share his excitement for his international film festival dedicated to action films.

Taking care of his own

"I have attended many Chinese and foreign films festivals, maybe as a special guest or the presenter," Chan told Global Times, "but almost all the awarded films were art films."

Chan is extremely familiar with the difficulties involved in making action films. Chan's fellow student at the China Drama Academy Yuen Wah was Bruce Lee's only action double, while Chan himself has also been an action double in addition to performing many of his own stunts. 

Three years ago, Chan and his colleagues set up an institution to help injured stuntmen. During this year's action film week, which is set to open in Datong, Shanxi Province, in July, Chan will invite veterans of the stunt field from around the world to discuss and establish some guidelines for China's film industry. 

"I started as a stuntman. I know their devotion and pain. I have to speak for them," Chan told the Global Times. 

"So I established this action film week to reward those action actors and stunt doubles." 

Chan noted that he spent 20 years looking to establish such an action film week, which he hopes will spread beyond China to other countries around the world. 

Developing a style

"I've followed the Bruce Lee style," Jackie Chan said. 

"One of my posters says 'The Second Bruce Lee - Jackie Chan' but the 'Second' and 'Jackie Chan' are much smaller than the huge 'Bruce Lee.'" 

At the height of Lee's popularity, the star was so popular that other actors also named themselves Bruce, but none achieved his success. 

Chan noted that he considers himself fortunate to have met Hong Kong filmmaker Ng See-yuen and his senior stunt coordinator Yuen Woo-ping as they worked together to come up with a new fighting style that set Chan apart from the legendary Lee. 

"We can't say I surpassed Bruce Lee. We don't dare to say that, and what's more, it's impossible," Chan noted.

Yuen told Chan that he should just be himself instead of acting as someone else. This formed the basis of Chan's fighting style. While Lee kicked high, Chan attacked low; Lee roars after his punches, while Chan shakes his hand from pain; Lee can defeat his enemies with one strike, while Chan needs to perform a whole series of combos. 

Chan noted that he put a lot of effort into enhancing his style. After a day of shooting the crew would head home, while he would practice snake-style combat in front of a giant mirror in the gym. 

Chan recalled that his drunken fist-style was another challenge for his early action films as he had to paint his cheeks red to make it look like he was drunk. 

"At the time, makeup was not water-proof," Chan explained. 

"My makeup often got messed up because of my sweat and my face did not appear red." 

So he came up with an idea: hold his head down and hold his breath until his face turned red. 

"The camera man would watch my hand. When I waved my hand, the camera man would turn on the camera and that's it," Chan said.  

Cultural ambassador

Chan is set to star in a new movie The Climber, which tells the story of the first Chinese team to reach the top of Mount Qomolangma, known as Mount Everest in the West. 

Members of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team also took part in the filming. For many of the younger members, it was the first time they had ever shot a film on a snowy mountain. 

"It's very dangerous on a snow mountain," Chan said. 

"I once was in danger while shooting Police Story 4: First Strike with director Stanley Tong." 

According to Chan, they were looking for a lost mobile phone, when they were hit by a blizzard. Before shooting The Climber, Chan held a meeting to share his experiences shooting in snowy conditions with the team. 

Chan promised that he is working to bring more overseas productions to shoot in China and trying to be a reliable "cultural bridge" between
Newspaper headline: Kung FU Action


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