Chan rules Hollywood via The Tuxedo
Crispina Martinez Belen
LOS ANGELES, CA Jacky Chans celebrity in Hollywood is growing
by leaps and bounds and it is expected to be enhanced even more by his latest
movie, The Tuxedo.
Jackie with the petite but very talented Jennifer Love Hewitt, was premiered
on Thursday (Sept. 19) night at the Mann Graumans Chinese Theater and
judging from the crowds enthusiasm when Jackie appeared, the Chinese
comedic action superstar has indeed conquered Hollywood, an heir apparent
to Bruce Lees throne.
Always the nice and down-to-earth fellow, Jackie went around the fans that
lined up both sides of Hollywood Blvd. in front of the Mann Graumans
Chinese Theater and shook hands with some lucky ones. Hollywood Blvd. was
closed to traffic in part for a few days for some very exciting events, including
the Latin Grammy Awards and the premiere of Dreamworks The Tuxedo.
Prior to the screening of the movie, a karate stunt was performed by hundreds
of kids in karate outfits. On the stage in front of them, Jackie Chan applauded
and thanked them and the crowd that chanted his name. Some shouted I
love you, Jackie! to which the wellloved actor answered back I
love you, too! obviously very touched.
After the screening, Jackie mingled with the guests (that included the international
press who covered the event) at the premiere after party held
at Vert Restaurant just outside Renaissance Hotel on Hollywood and Highland.
Colleague Ricky Lo reminded Jackie he interviewed him previously in Hong Kong
(for his Shanghai Noon movie) and the actor smiled broadly at
The Tuxedo tells the story of a cab driver (Jimmy Tong) who becomes
chauffeur to a playboy millionaire named Clark Devlin (Jason Isaacs). Devlin
likes him but early on he admonished him never to touch his prized tuxedo
which is securely encased in glass. But when Devlin is hospitalized due to
an explosive accident, he ordered Jimmy to put on the tuxedo.
Jimmy obeyed and behold, he gets the power to do extraordinary abilities
like kick and punch the enemies, but also sing and dance beautifully. The
tuxedo is not an ordinary tux but one computerized with awesome and stateof-the-art
It turns out that the out of commission wealthy industrialist
Devlin is a secret agent working for the CSA. Jimmy, with his rookie partner
Del Blaine (Hewitt), is suddenly thrust into a dangerous world of espionage.
He becomes an unwitting but impeccably dressed secret agent.
Del Blaine, on her part, does not know that her partner is actually Jimmy
Tong, the driver, and not the suave and fabulous Devlin.
This is now a typical Jackie Chan role, but definitely it has the charm, the
wit and the humor that are characteristically his alone.
The very ingredients that catapulted him to international fame (via his movies
Rumble in the Bronx, Rush Hour 1 & 2 and Shanghai
Noon among others).
Jackie said he grabbled the opportunity to play this role, which is a big
departure indeed from his usual screen persona because as he said its
the kind of part Ive never done before, and that is what made me want
to do the movie. The script was funny, and my character was interesting. I
wasnt playing a policeman, just an ordinary person a taxi driver
who becomes a kind of super spy because of a tuxedo that lets him do all kinds
of special things.
The Tuxedo marks the film feature directorial debut of Kevin Donovan,
an awardwinning commercial director. Being a first time director, Kevin
confessed to encountering some problems with the producers at first but then
Jackie noticed his predicament and he wrote me a two-page letter saying
he understood my dilemma but that he wanted to help me in every way he can.
And he did. Jackie is the kindest man on earth. He was very supportive of
me. He encouraged me to work on, Hes amazing.
As to the chemistry between Jackie and Jennifer, Kevin said it was so
great that it made our work much easier. The first-timer that he is,
Kevin said there were a few regrets he felt when he saw the result of his
work, scenes that he could have done differently, that he could have changed;
scenes he shot incorrectly. I did huge political mistakes. But
somehow the movie turned out well and is predicted to be another blockbuster
for Jackie Chan.
Kevins next project? I think everybody is reluctant to get you
again until they see the result of your first work, he said.
The Tuxedo, which opens next week in LA, will be released in the
Philippines through United International Pictures (UIP).