Here is the
Tribute Magazine interview from the Sept/Oct issue. Thanks to the Jackie
Chan Message Board for the article.
CHAN PROVES HE CAN
Action star, Jackie Chan, couldn't be more on the go. He recently spent
some time shooting his latest film, The Tuxedo, in Toronto and he told Tribute
all about his adventures wearing the formal suit with the magic powers.
Chan also talks about his other upcoming movie adventures, Highbinders and
Shanghai Knights, and the possibility of starring in Rush Hour 3.
T= Tribute JC= Jackie
T: So how did you enjoy
your time in Toronto?
JC: When I first came here to scout out the location, it was beautiful. Then,
after about a month, we started shooting. The weather can change so drastically.
Sometimes it is warm during the day, and at night it's freezing. I was filming
a scene where the wind was 35 mph and there was a very cold rain; I got soaked.
I was raised up about 150 feet in a silo doing stunts and I can tell you.
I felt like I didn't want to do it. I'm standing there shaking asking, "when
is it going to be lunchtime?"
T: How does that affect
you when you do stunts and the weather is just so freezing?
JC: It's just not good really, but I have to keep going. I remember when I
broke my ankle in Vancouver, doing Rumble in the Bronx. Same thing, it was
January to mid-February. You just want to keep warm. You have to set up the
camera. So you just sit there and shiver and then it's like, let's do it.
Boom! So to keep warm I just keep bouncing around on the set and to try and
keep myself ready.
T: Turning to your
latest film, The Tuxedo - set up your character for me. Who do you play in
JC: My character is named Jimmy Tong and I play a taxi driver who makes his
way around the United States. I have a lot of tickets, and I run from state
to state so I don't have to pay them. I'm a good driver and I've had no accidents.
Then, somehow, I become a chauffeur for this guy. I don't what he does; he
is just very rich and elegant. I think that is just some rich, that's all.
Then later on, I find out he is a spy.
T: Sounds mysterious.
JC: It turns out that the guy who I work for gets hurt and has to go to the
hospital. I go to his home to get him a few things and I find this tuxedo.
I try it on and I become another person when I am wearing it. I can speak
perfect English, I walk like a gentleman, and every girl who looks at me likes
me. It's a fun movie. For me, it's the first time I've used special effects
and I find it interesting.
T: This is also the
first film that you are doing for Dreamworks. Did Steven Spielberg give you
a call and say, "Hey Jackie, I've got a great movie for you".
JC: Well, at first my manager told me about this Dreamworks movie by Steven
Spielberg and said, he wants to meet you. So I said, O.K. When I came to Hollywood,
there were 2 people I wanted to meet. One was Steven Spielberg and the 2nd
was George Lucas. I just think that the two of them are geniuses. When I met
Spielberg I was so excited, but he was just like a normal person. But what
made me so happy was the first time that he saw me, he held out his hand and
said "Jackie, hi, can you give me your autograph because my son just
T: That must have surprised
JC: It was like, wow, he asked ME for my autograph. I was so happy, but I
didn't know what to say. So I turned around and asked him, "how can you
make dinosaurs and people walk together on screen? It's amazing". He
says, "Jackie, that's easy, I press a lot of buttons." Then he asked
me, how I jump from one building's roof to another roof. I told him that just
roll and jump. Camera rolls, director says action, I jump and then it's cut.
T: So now all you need
to do is make a Star Wars movie and your life will be complete.
JC: (Makes a motion like he has a light saber) Yes, that would be great.
T: How is The Tuxedo
different than all of the other films we have seen you in?
JC: In all my other films that you see, I am a policement: CIA, FBI, or an
undercover cop. This one deals with normal people.
T: You are known around
the world for your films and stunts. How do you handle it when you are out
in public and people recognize you?
JC: I really like to be by myself and if I do go out to look around, I dress
in jeans. My secretary is constantly telling me to dress up, shave and look
your best because people know you. That bothers me. I just want to be natural.
Sometimes, though when I go out, people look at me with a puzzled expression
of their faces thinking, "You're Jackie Chan?" When people stare
at me, it makes me uncomfortable. More and more I find that I just stay in
my hotel when I am working.
T: That's a drag.
JC: In the last ten years, I have been all around the world. I'm either on
location, scouting or working, so I dont' really want to go out too much.
I'm very simple, most of the time I spend training or going to meetings, that's
T: Your co-star in
the The Tuxedo is Jennifer Love Hewitt. How has it been working with her?
JC: She is so sweet. She has really helped me a lot. Working on this film
has made me more nervous because of the dialogue. She always comes to practice
with me. When there are times that I can't pronounce something, she helps
me. Also, she is a little bit crazy! She is always smiling, even when I am
playing very serious, I look at her and she is just giggling. I just love
T: Does anything frighten
JC: Nothing, except for thing that I don't know frighten me. Mostly, when
I am making a film, I know what to do in front of a camera. What frightens
me are the scenes with dialogue. Sometime they really want me to speak perfectly
and I don't like that. When I try to speak perfectly then I am not Jackie
Chan anymore. Some words sound like I am trying too hard. The whole thing
is not me. No matter how much more I practice, even ten years from now, my
English will never be perfect. I mean, if it is really terrible, I'll correct
it, but otherwise, I do it my Jackie Chan way.
T: You've got a number
of films coming out in addition to The Tuxedo. Let's start with Highbinders.
JC: In Highbinders, I'm a policeman again. I end up helping people who escape
from China on a boat. It's the first movie where I die! At the beginning of
the movie, I die already! It's hard to explain, but it also has some special
effects in it. Somehow, I become like a ghost-policeman; like an angel policeman.
T: Plus, you and Owen
Wilson are reuniting for Shanghai Knights.
JC: We'll be starting that one very soon, and I am sure we'll be even crazier
than we were in the first movie.
T: We can't forget
Rush Hour 3; is that confirmed?
JC: Not yet, I'll be talking with the director soon. You know, for the next
2 years, I am fully booked. But I believe that if we do Rush Hour 3, we won't
be able to start shooting until 2003.
T: I was checking out
your website and I noticed that you have not stopped working since 1970. That
is just amazing! Do you ever take time out to relax?
JC: Right now, doing this interview for me is relaxing. When we take a lunch
break on the set, that for me is time to relax. I travel all around the world
and it's like a holiday. Besides, working pays my bills. i get lots of money
and my hotels are paid for when I'm working. The projects just keep coming
and, believe me, if someone doesn't come to me with a project, I have my own.
Right now, I'm writing a script with a scriptwriter. I actually have two on
the go at the moment.
T: Is it true that
you are going to remake the Jerry Lewis film, The Bellboy?
JC: Yes, I'll be shooting that one --- looks like in September in Las Vegas.
After that I'll be working with Roberto Begnini, there are just so many things
going on. I am just used to it. It keeps me young, what can I say! I love
that the fans still like this kind of action and as long as they want me I'll
continue to do it.