Q’A with Jackie Chan: Everybody was Kung-Fu fighting
Jake Hamilton recently interviewed the stars of the new martial arts epic, The Forbidden Kingdom, Jackie Chan, Collin Chou (of The Matrix sequels) and Michael Angarano (of 24 and Almost Famous).
Jake Hamilton: With the first shot of the movie, the film pays respects to Bruce Lee and the classic martial artists. How do you pay respect in your work and why is it so important?
Jackie Chan: Because that’s just in my heart. To promote Chinese culture, to promote respect of the "old people," like Bruce Lee or some old director. Whatever I can do on the screen to promote Chinese culture, like today during the interview I’m wearing a Chinese costume. That’s my country, its just part of my martial arts thought. When you learn martial arts, you learn respect. Respect your family, respect your country, be loyal to your country – loyal to everything! If you’re loyal to your friend, he will be loyal to you. You know if your father walks up to you, you stand up and bow. This is the culture that I try to promote in my movies. Love. Peace. United.
Hamilton: I think one of the things that’s going to surprise people about this movie is how funny it is, but that’s not different from your comedic style of fighting, as you’ve always been one to promote adding outtakes at the end of your films. Why is it about that added humor to the fight scenes?
Chan: Action always makes people think I’m very violent. When I see these violent TV shows I say, "Wow, why do you have to do those kinds of things?" I love action. I love martial arts. I don’t like violence. In the old day, you didn’t have a choice. You had to protect yourself. You had to protect your family; you had to learn martial arts. These days, we have the police, and if anything happens, you just call. It’s protect, it’s not attack. It’s a different thought process now. Now, martial arts for me is an exercise.
Hamilton: When people go see this movie, they go in expecting to see who they know as "Jackie Chan." What is it about this character that you’ve tried to promote and what have you tried to get away from?
Chan: Away from violence. We put action and comedy together, to make this kind of humor. Then when people see it, they get the message. It lets people know, "Wow, you have to respect people. Wow, they fight and laugh. Ha ha ha, funny!" Let more people learn martial arts and when they do, they will respect everything.
Hamilton: So many things go into making a movie. How do you deal with personal issues and personal loss while trying to maintain the image of who people think Jackie Chan should be?
Chan: I’m just an ordinary person. Outside of the movie, inside the movie, I’m just me. I’m a loving guy. Some movies are not me. Like in the Forbidden Kingdom, the Old Hop is not me, I’m learning from Marlon Brando. But the Drunken Master, that’s me. I just be myself. Or with something like New Police Story, it’s a little bit me, a little not me. That’s just my real personality.
Hamilton: Thank you so much Jackie, I really appreciate it.
Chan: Thank you.