News / Arts & Entertainment

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

Actor Jackie Chan arrives at
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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

Country-pop singer, Lizzie Sider sits down with "Border Crossings" host Larry London to perform songs from her new album, “Butterfly,” and to talk about her anti-bullying tour.

Blogs