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

Sambisa Forest Stands Between Nigeria, Victory Over Boko Haram

Military takes back nearly all towns, villages in northeast, except for massive expanse of forest that spreads thousands of square kilometers over several states More

Islamic State Recruiting Stokes Fears for Parents in Georgia

Chechens are a notable part of Islamic State's gains in Syria and Iraq, and analysts fear what might happen if those fighters return to the Caucasus More

Yarmouk Camp Becomes Distant Memory for Palestinian Diaspora

Once thriving capital of Palestinian diaspora, after siege by Syrian government forces and Islamic State group, camp becomes 'deepest circle of hell' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'i
X
Sharon Behn
April 21, 2015 9:18 PM
A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten. Sharon Behn reports on the politics of the word genocide on the 100th anniversary of the events.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video German Program Helps Migrants Overcome Traumatic Experience at Sea

Migrants fleeing poverty and violence in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia risk life and limb to reach safety in Europe. Those who have made it to European shores are traumatized by the experience. A program in Germany helps survivors overcome the trauma by giving a new perspective to their catastrophic experience. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”