An Interview with Jackie Chan
- Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Q: So why are you doing Rush Hour 3 then?
A: "American market. Yeah, right now I know making a film for American market and every year I go back to make Asian film for Asian market. So right after Rush Hour 2, now I'm doing my next movie, Around the World in 80 Days, right after that I go back to Hong Kong to make Titanium Ring. It's a Hong Kong film for Asian market. But Asian market film cannot release in American market, only direct to video. Even though I think my Asian film Accidental Spy, 10 times better than Rush Hour 2! [Editorial note: Again we all laughed.] Has anybody seen Accidental Spy? You see it?"
[Editorial note: Jackie addresses a woman across the table from him, but most of us shake our heads no. He then explains the difference of making a movie in Hong Kong vs. in America and talks about the financial differences as well.]
Q: So let's talk about this movie--you know the ballroom James Brown strut? How did you do that? Singing, dancing and doing the splits and all?
A: "Split it kind of easy. Singing for me--it not difficult. I have my own album in Asia but different kind of song. I sing like country song [Editorial note: He launches into a melodic refrain in a very good singing voice]. I like this kind of song. When I listen to American song--I like 'You are always on my mind, you are always on my mind' I like this kind of song. Never like a James Brown. What's that? When I listen to rap song, I only use the beat for me to train, what are they saying? I don't know. So I never listen towards of song, I only listen to music for my training."
Q: So did you tell James Brown that you were a big fan of his?
A: "Of course! Yes I did! Because when I see--I big fan of his the way he dances [Editorial note: He stands up and launches into a Chinese version of "Yeah! Good God Y'all!" and does a little dance. At this point we again burst into laughter]. Then after I know I have to do that kind of movement and it makes me scared. I was in the islands and the teacher send me the video and I look at and I know I have to do his dancing--dancing okay I like dancing--but I have to sing and remember every lyric. Every day getting tired. Work on it for three months! I practice! At the end of the month the producer come and say, 'Jackie don't feel bad, but we don't like that song.' So I learn other song and we get along fine and I do it in movie. It turn out pretty good."
Q: Did you like playing a James Bond type of character in this film?
A: "Yes I do! When I younger I always dream to be in James Bond movie. I love watching and dreaming about being him when I was younger. I say I want to be like him. I dream about saving the world, saving people, so I want to be like him and do those things. So in this movie I get to be James Tong and it fun to dress in tuxedo and be cool and have all the toys that make spy cool. I had good time making this movie because of that."
Q: Who's your favorite Bond?
A: "I think, I like when I younger and he the best. Who the older one with gray beard? [Editorial note: Someone yells out Sean Connery.] Yeah that right! Sean Connery! He the best Bond for me, and only he the true Bond as far I concerned."
Q: In the movie you made a joke about Jennifer (Love-Hewitt) always laughing at you, how did you like working with her?
A: "I like working with Jennifer. But she always laugh at me, all the time we have to stop camera because she laugh at everything I say. But she fun and good actress. She like to do fight scenes so I teach her how. We had good time."
At this point our interview was over. It's not usual in these interviews for the press to gather around the star and get an autograph. But in this case, Jackie Chan was one of those most of us couldn't refuse. He obliged several with an autograph, shook our hands, and a couple of us took a few pictures.
I walked away with a sense that this is a humble man who's worked hard for his dream, loves his fans, has tried hard to understand and bridge the differences in our cultures but is enjoying every minute of his fame and popularity. He truly is a star who loves his fans.
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