News / Arts & Entertainment

    As Body Ages, Jackie Chan Longs for Hollywood's Full Embrace

    Actor Jackie Chan arrives at "An Academy Salute to Jackie Chan" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California June 3, 2013.
    Actor Jackie Chan arrives at "An Academy Salute to Jackie Chan" at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California June 3, 2013.
    Reuters
    Jackie Chan wasn't in the mood for proclamations.
     
    The Hong Kong martial arts film star, who declared last year at France's Cannes film festival that he was retiring from action films, now says that after more than a decade of contemplating quitting, he is going to let his body decide.
     
    “When I was 40-something the media would ask me and then I said another five years, and then five years and five years until now,” the Kung Fu actor said in an interview promoting his 2012 Chinese action film Chinese Zodiac, which will be released in U.S. cinemas on Friday.
     
    “Six more months and I'm going to be 60,” Chan said. “And I (will) see how far I can go until my body tells me, 'Stop.”'
     
    Chan, famous for performing all of his high-flying and physically punishing stunts, has appeared in more than 100 films and now writes, produces and directs his own films in Asia.
     
    “I get hurt,” the actor said after 50 years of flips, kicks and punches. “It gets really tiring, not like it used to be.”
     
    The only real outward sign of aging in Chan are some crow's feet around the eyes. He is obviously in great shape still, but won't reveal his secrets for staying that way.
     
    But as Chan starts to enter his twilight years he laments how Hollywood typecasting may force him to begin using a stunt double for his acrobatic scenes as he believes Hollywood studios would never cast him in dramatic roles.
     
    “I hope the audience, after they say, 'Jackie, that's a double!,' they forgive me,” Chan said in his trademark broad-grinned and animated style.
     
    “Then I can continue (my career) because poor me, nobody in Hollywood hires me to make a Kramer vs. Kramer (or) like Sound of Music - actually I'm a pretty good singer - and nobody hires me to do this kind of film,” Chan said, referring to the 1979 family drama and 1965 musical, both Oscar winners.
     
    “All we think about Jackie Chan: Chris Tucker, Rush Hour one, two, and three ... always action-comedy, action-comedy,” he said about the Rush Hour buddy-cop film series with comedian Chris Tucker that helped Chan cement his place in Hollywood 15 years ago.
     
    Turned down 'Interpreter'
     
    Chan has already added “dramatic actor” to his resume with the 2011 Chinese historical drama 1911 about the revolution that overthrew China's final imperial dynasty.
     
    “I really hope someday in Hollywood, some producer or director will hire me only to do drama,” Chan said. “I (would) really appreciate it.”
     
    But that is never going to happen, Chan believes.
     
    “Why?” he asks rhetorically with a sigh. “Because the audience is just not used to seeing Jackie Chan doing drama.”
     
    Chan's ideal roles would be in films such as 1988 Oscar-winner Rain Man which starred Dustin Hoffman as a savant and Tom Cruise as his yuppie brother together on a road trip, or 1982's Tootsie, also starring Hoffman as an actor who dresses as a woman to land acting roles.
     
    “It's just ... my English is not that good,” Chan explains.
     
    That also held him back from pursuing a role in The Interpreter, a 2005 thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. Chan said his manager thought the role would be good but told him the amount of dialog was too tough.
     
    Chan said that although the part would have been difficult, he does regret turning it down because he lost an opportunity to work with Kidman and a chance to burnish his legacy.
     
    “I see so many action stars all those years come and go, and come and go,” Chan said. “Action stars cannot live too long, unlike drama, true actors, like Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, they live forever.”

    You May Like

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.

    New in Music Alley

    Soul Lounge: Sweet Honey in the Rocki
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    February 10, 2016 1:48 PM
    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B. The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.

    For over 40 years Sweet Honey In The Rock has entertained audiences around the globe with their signature blend of Blues, African, Gospel and R&B.   The Grammy award winning group stopped by The Soul Lounge to perform and share their story as well as how they plan to keep African American musical traditions alive.