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Quint chats with JACKIE CHAN!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. I was offered the chance to talk to Jackie Chan and I jumped at it. Why wouldn’t I? Like any self-respecting geek I have much love for his early work. I remember in my teenage years finding the subtitled bootlegs of DRUNKEN MASTER and THE BIG BRAWL and THE POLICE STORY films was exciting. There was an energy that never existed in American cinema until they brought over movies like RUMBLE IN THE BRONX and then became huge when THE MATRIX hit. So, we did get to chat over the phone for a bit and he was as personable and honest as his reputation. I love how he keeps saying how much RUSH HOUR is hated in China, but I do disagree with a comment he makes towards the end about his older films… But I’ll let you read those as they come. Enjoy the interview!

Jackie Chan: Hello.

Quint: Hey, how are you doing today, sir?

Jackie Chan: Good, thank you.

Quint: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. I appreciate it. I saw the movie yesterday and I liked it. I think it’s going to act as kind of a gateway film to Hong Kong cinema.

Jackie Chan: [Laughs] Yes. Did you really like it?

Quint: Definitely. It reminded me a lot of a movie called THE NEVER ENDING STORY, which I grew up with.

Jackie Chan: I don’t know. You like it, but I don’t know about the younger generation. Do you think they will like or not?

Quint: I think, especially the really young kids, I think they are going to like it.

Jackie Chan: Really?

Quint: I think so, yeah.

Jackie Chan: OK, but I will tell you what, I really don’t know what the American audience is thinking, just like when I finished RUSH HOUR 1, I thought “Oh my career is finished… the movie is terrible. I don’t know the culture or what they are going to say, like ‘the action is horrible’,” and it was actually a big success in America. Then came RUSH HOUR 2, SHANGHAI NOON, and SHANGHAI KINGHTS and I still don’t understand, you know?

Quint: Yeah.

Jackie Chan: I’ve been directing myself for so long and it is a totally different culture, different schedule and… yeah, everything’s different.

Quint: It depends what the target audience is. Nobody really has a formula that can always tell. I think with the RUSH HOUR movies, it was your chemistry with Chris Tucker and I think that is definitely where a lot of the success on that came from.

Jackie Chan: But at the beginning, when I thought RUSH HOUR was going to be a success before I thought otherwise, I was right, but when Chris Tucker and the American producer… when they “this will be a success,” they are right. Why? Because he RUSH HOUR series was a success in America.

Quint: Was it a success oversees as well?

CLICK IT HERE TO READ ALONG WITH THE NEXT BIT IN AMAZING SOUND-O-TEXT!

Jackie Chan: No!

Quint: No?

Jackie Chan: In Asia it was a flop. Nobody understand what Chris Tucker was saying. Nobody know the American humor. They don’t like Jackie Chan action, because the action compared to my old action is terrible, but in America (it was) a big success. Then I realized “Oh, that’s a different culture… different things!” Every time I come to America and do a big American film, then I would predict, “OK this movie would never be a success in Asia, but only for the American market…”

Quint: It could very well be with FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, because what I think its destiny is going to be is I think it’s going to take the younger kids and it’s going to introduce them to that Hong Kong style of film; with showing us the historical fantasy world and showing like the animal style martial arts and it’s a good introduction, being able to follow Michael [Angarano]’s character into this world.

CLICK IT HERE TO READ ALONG WITH THE NEXT BIT IN AMAZING SOUND-O-TEXT!

Jackie Chan: I really hope it’s a success, because in Asia, especially in China, we have just opened up over the last twenty years to American… Every American culture or Western culture goes everywhere there, like HARRY POTTER, every history… and movies like 300… everything is just so famous, like SUPERMAN and BATMAN, but we have so many stories that in the West nobody knows!

Quint: Yeah.

Jackie Chan: A few years ago they made MULAN, because they made MULAN, then everybody knows MULAN… I really thank you and thank the American producers to bring the Chinese culture to the world.

Quint: Well, there’s definitely an audience for it. I know a lot of the readers of the site that I write for, they are very world cinema knowledgeable and they are so excited to see… At least the big draw for this film is seeing you and Jet Li team up.

Jackie Chan: (laughs) Okay? I hope that if the movie is a big success that there will be a FORBIDDEN KINGDOM PART TWO! [Laughs]

Quint: Why not? So why has it taken so long for you and Jet Li to partner up? Did you guys just happen to fall in and find the right project?

CLICK IT HERE TO READ ALONG WITH THE NEXT BIT IN AMAZING SOUND-O-TEXT!

Jackie Chan: I think in the old days, well… we have known each other more than twenty years and when we weren’t with the same company, we agreed to make a movie and then I write the script and he agreed to do it. I agreed to do it, but the company had a problem with the distribution, like who owned the rights for the future. I was in Singapore and he was in Taiwan. That made Jet Li and me so depressed… We wanted to do it, but “you guys always want to talk about money money money….” Somehow ten years ago when we were in the U.S, I met Jet Li in a hotel and we called up the two managers and I showed my script and the scriptwriter did not like the script. He did not like my script, but he wanted to write a new script, so then after they spent a million getting this new script, then I don’t like the story.

Quint: (laughs) Yeah, that sounds like Hollywood.

CLICK IT HERE TO READ ALONG WITH THE NEXT BIT IN AMAZING SOUND-O-TEXT!

Jackie Chan: It was just too difficult and also, we don’t have a middle man. Every time I want to talk to Jet Li or Jet Li wants to talk to me, it’s like “Yeah, let’s do it!” We would sit down for two hours at lunch or dinner and then after that he would be busy and I would be busy. We needed a middle man, just like with FORBIDDEN KINGDOM. Casey Silver [the producer]: “are you going to do it?” “Yes!” “Is Jet Li going to do it?” “Yes.” Then we would go home and he would be busy and I would be busy, but Casey Silver would just continue working with the script, finding the director, then every seven or ten days call me “Now we find a director, but…” You know, just some one in the middle for that one year of nonstop chasing us. That worked; otherwise it just doesn’t work.

Quint: It seems like the group that got it together… The movie is very much a love letter to Hong Kong cinema and to martial arts films as a whole. The fact that your character fights with the “drunken fist” style and that’s such a throwback, at least for us and maybe not general audiences, but fans of your past work. I think that is a really nice touch.

Jackie Chan: I think the writer is a big fan of Hong Kong cinema and martial arts, so he tried to write everything he knew in his life with everything like DRUNKEN MASTER and “Monkey King” and the “Jade Emperor” and the elixir… For us and with Jet Li, the first time we read the script, it didn’t make sense, it was ridiculous, but somehow we knew it was a young kid dreaming like a fantasy and fairy tale type movie and so that’s OK.

Quint: Then it works, yeah. I really loved the “Monkey King” aspect of that as well, but I’ve always been a fan of the animal style martial art stuff. One of my favorite films of yours is SNAKE IN EAGLE’S SHADOW and so I was really happy…

Jackie Chan: How old are you?

Quint: I’m twenty-seven.

[Jackie Chan Laughs]

Quint: Thank God for revival cinemas and I saw that on the big screen here in Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse, but yeah I’m a really big fan of it.

Jackie Chan: Thank you. Even now I’m looking at DRUNKEN MASTER and EAGLE’S SHADOW and the action is so slow…

Quint: Really?

Jackie Chan: So slow and like [makes slow popping noises like punches] and DRUNKEN MONKEY (an alternate name for DRUNKEN MASTER) maybe was a little bit better, a little bit faster. Did you see YOUNG MASTER?

Quint: I’m not sure. I might have.

Jackie Chan: I directed it. The beginning of the movie is [makes same slow punch noises] and the end of the movie totally changed, like street fighting. That time I decided to change the action style.

Quint: That’s cool; I’ll have to go seek it out then. Is there any particular kind of movie you’d like to do in the future?

Jackie Chan: Um… I’m looking for a love story.

Quint: You would like to do a love story now?

Jackie Chan: Yeah. I want to try, because right after FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, I just finished a movie called THE SHINUKU INCIDENT. It’s a very heavy drama filming in Japan and now I want to do some… just… what did I say?

Quint: Romantic movie?

Jackie Chan: Not only love stories… dramas without fighting and without action. That’s what I want to do.

Quint: So do you think that will be a career change or do you think that you will go back to action after a few films or can you even tell at this point?

Jackie Chan: I can not tell at this point. I just want to keep on changing… I want to be a real actor and the actor who can fight, not just an action star.

[The representative notifies Jackie that he has to cut it short]

Quint: Well, it was great talking to you!

Jackie Chan: Thank you!



-Quint quint@aintitcool.com



Readers Talkback
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  • April 18, 2008, 6:02 a.m. CST

    Jackie HATES this movie.

    by MaxTheSilent

    He's already been on record with the Asian media as saying so.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:16 a.m. CST

    That was pretty funny

    by Bobo_Vision

    Just reading Jackie's dialogue, I can picture him talking, and its pretty funny. I love how he stops to ask Quint his age, and then laughs.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:26 a.m. CST

    LOST ALL RESPECT FOR THE CHAN-MAN

    by kingralphuk

    .....by this steaming pile of horse shite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoosV0_9aHs Advertising for a shop only frequented by bin-dippers and pikeys. How far you have fallen Jackie-san.

  • April 18, 2008, 6:40 a.m. CST

    That commercial is awful

    by Kurutteru Yatsu

    But more than anything I'm trying to get over the fact Woolworth's still exists. Haven't seen one in twenty years. Oh, and I had to look up "pikey."

  • April 18, 2008, 7:13 a.m. CST

    Jackie Chan chick flick?

    by Dazzler69

    No way that will fly here. Unless it's comedy with real comedians.

  • April 18, 2008, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Jackie Chan is incapable

    by comedian_x

    of telling a lie. He is the most honest man alive.

  • April 18, 2008, 7:37 a.m. CST

    it will never be the same

    by sillyconjeff

    I dream of the olden days like drunken master and snake in eagles shadow as well, but it is gone. it is sad for peope like me to see jackie go on and make these american flops! i must look forward to tony jaa and other newcomer superstars. We miss you jackie.

  • April 18, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Chan should always thank Bruce for his career

    by Stalkeye

    as every Asian martial artist in cinema.This poor bastard (Lee) had to go through so much shit in America to promote his projects only to get turned down and have David Carradine use his TV series concept which we all know turned out to be Kung Fu.<p>Then after the success of Big Boss in China, now all of the sudden Hollywood acknowledged him..typical.<p>Lee paved the way for martial artists in cinema like Kirby did for creator owned comic artists.That aside I'll wait till I hea any positive reviews before diving in to see this.

  • April 18, 2008, 7:48 a.m. CST

    I don't care what people think...

    by kikuchiyoboy

    You interviewed Jackie Friggen Chan...

  • April 18, 2008, 7:53 a.m. CST

    I'd like to see jackie in a dramatic role.

    by ironic_name

    maybe a HK version of the crossing guard. <P> just a slow buildup, no punches, or silliness.<P> of coarse the crazy government would probably say that it undermines the law, and therefore is illegal.

  • April 18, 2008, 8 a.m. CST

    of course

    by ironic_name

    damn!

  • April 18, 2008, 8:08 a.m. CST

    Correction (not that it matters that much)

    by Sakurai

    Instead of, "I was in Singapore and he was in Taiwan" He said, "I want Singapore, I want Taiwan" referring to the conflict about distribution rights. But great interview Quint. Good Job. I love all the SOUND-O-TEXT!

  • April 18, 2008, 8:11 a.m. CST

    Quint you lucky bastard!

    by johnnykool

    I would love to interview Jackie one day. Youa re a very lucky man to land this. <p>Excellent interview. It really shows the "everyman" Jackie truly is and I appreciate him more now than ever.

  • April 18, 2008, 8:56 a.m. CST

    isn't he the guy who gets 2nd billing to the annoying....

    by the way

    HEY, HARRY! DID YOU GET MY EMAIL ABOUT STARTING A PETITION TO SAVE JONZE'S "Where the Wild Things Are"....instead of waiting over a year for the studio's version.

  • April 18, 2008, 9:13 a.m. CST

    There is NO HATING on Jackie Chan

    by GibsonUSA

    Thats impossible. Everyone loves Jackie.

  • April 18, 2008, 9:17 a.m. CST

    GREAT INTERVIEW QUINT

    by BringingSexyBack

    I met Jackie at a book signing once and he's one of the nicest celebs ever. He took the time to talk to everyone on the line and the book was pretty fascinating too (I Am Jackie Chan). Bruce and Brandon are still my faves, but Jackie's up there.

  • April 18, 2008, 9:28 a.m. CST

    How good is Fist of Legend

    by messi

    the fight between Jet Li and the old student where Jet starts doing Jeet Kune Do and boxing was just fucking awesome.

  • April 18, 2008, 9:29 a.m. CST

    MAYBE JACKIE CAN DO A HAROLD AND KUMAR SEQUEL

    by BringingSexyBack

    with Jackie in the Neil Patrick Harris role. That would fucking rule.

  • April 18, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST

    I hope Forbidden Kingdom is better than The Myth.

    by knowthyself

    Wow what a turkey. Its a sham Li and Chan didn't team up in their prime. This seems like too little too late. But the fan in me has to see this almost historical cinematic event. Its kinda like Freddy Vs. Jason. You just have to see something you've been thinking about for years.

  • April 18, 2008, 11:15 a.m. CST

    I Love How

    by Saluki

    He Has a Love / Hate relationship with the Rush Hour films. Hahahaha. He is a BIG believer in fast action, as I have seen him talk of his earlier films as being slow before too. I look forward to him pulling in a serious drama or two in the coming years, foreign or domestic. Bring it on. Shinjuku? I'll check it out.

  • April 18, 2008, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Shoulda asked Chan about his mob connections in HK,

    by Monkey_King

    his rampant infidelity, the recent woes of Edison Chen(if he's still alive after what happened) and when will we see another on-screen pairing of Chan and Wilson in SHANGHAI DAWN. For the record: My story is about me and how I protected a close-minded and superstitious monk on a pilgrimage to India to secure scriptures that would eventually bring Buddhism to Chinese folks. I fought alone and alongside my brothers-in-arms Chu BaChieh and Sha Monk, and killed many a demon resulting in much blood and gore, but my story was NEVER about animal styles. Get it straight next time Quint!!!!

  • April 18, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    jackie will be at the limp-dicks opening ceremony

    by ironic_name

    to ninja kick any tibetans that appear on the scene.

  • April 18, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Jackie is flippin' aces...

    by BLEST

    no doubt about it. His book, I Am Jackie Chan (BSB mentions it) is incredible! His life as a student in the Chinese opera school is crazy!<p>I love every Jackie movie, no matter the cheeze factor, because he's so darn honest and friendly. <p>I hope he will return for one last "true" Jackie action film to end all Jackie action films after he does his dramatic stuff.

  • April 18, 2008, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Lots of people think that Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee never worked

    by StepJeriTai

    ...but if you look closely in the dungeon scene in Enter the Dragon, you'll see Bruce get Chan (with a Fu Manchu mustache) in an arm lock while holding the back of him hair, then snapping him while the camera zooms in on Bruce. Great stuff. BTW_ does Jackie Chan seem to go back and forth on whether or not he enjoys making American films? I keep hearing him flip flop...

  • April 18, 2008, 12:29 p.m. CST

    It doesn't take much reading between the lines

    by filmcoyote

    to see that Jackie despises the Rush Hour movies, the Shanghai movies and this movie. It's actually nice to see he doesn't get why people like them because it means he's just there for the paycheck and i can respect that. All his American movies suck ass because of the lack of real stunts and fights. Even tamer HK movies like Mr Nice Guy put the American dross to shame.

  • April 18, 2008, 1:20 p.m. CST

    Don't worry Jackie...

    by Johnno

    Even many western people can't understand what Chris Tucker is sayin' most of the time...

  • April 18, 2008, 3:19 p.m. CST

    Too awesome

    by Super Rabbi

    I love how at age 54, he still welcomes and desires change as an actor.

  • April 18, 2008, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Should have asked Jackie about YELLOW FEVER.

    by UMAGA

    A decapitation kick would have been awesome.

  • Sure..there was some in The Matrix, but I didn't do shit for the genre.

  • April 18, 2008, 4:58 p.m. CST

    kingralphuk, Jackie-san?

    by UMAGA

    That's Japanese.

  • April 18, 2008, 4:59 p.m. CST

    Orcus you are right.

    by Damien Chowder

    Jackie did father a child and threw money at the mistress for an abortion. The mistress is a small known TV actress and presenter. Well after that incident the actress has "retired" from the HK entertainment circle and a daughter was born. The thing is people need to know that Jackie has a Western persona and then a Hong Kong persona. Fact of the matter is Jackie Chan makes Tony Soprano look like Pee Wee Herman. I'm used to the bad ass mafia Jackie and not this stupid monkey he pretends to be. He should quit Hollycrud as he is a disgrace in front of a western camera.

  • April 18, 2008, 5:06 p.m. CST

    UMAGA

    by Bass Bastardson

    Are you fucking daft? How old are you - 18? If you were an adult in the pre-Matrix era, you would know that it changed a lot.

  • April 19, 2008, 4:45 a.m. CST

    Cool interview Quint talking to a real legend

    by Toby___Wong

    Jackie has made some dubious movies but most of his Hong Kong work is top notch.

  • April 19, 2008, 1:11 p.m. CST

    Damien Chowder is right on the money....

    by Monkey_King

    Chan had a baby girl out of wedlock, he and his TWINS EFFECT 2 co-stars(Jackie's son included)banged both Gillian and Charlene of THE TWINS, Chan is "very high up" in the HK crime syndicate, Edison Chen is marked for death(or dead already) for banging and taking risque or hardcore pics of many HK actresses(including Maggie Q, Cecilia Cheng, etc..), Chan was in 2 Bruce Lee films FIST OF FURY and ENTER THE DRAGON. A young, bucket-hatted Jackie can be seen during the beginning of Robert Clouse' 1978 abortion GAME OF DEATH after the spotlight falls from the ceiling. Jackie is scum in my wives eyes and I used to be a huge Chan fan. Stephen Chow, on the other hand, is a class act. Jet Li as well.

  • April 19, 2008, 3:05 p.m. CST

    Monkey_King...

    by Sakurai

    Its good to know that tabloid news will always have a customer in you. Although I do agree, Stephen Chow is a much better person.

  • April 19, 2008, 7:19 p.m. CST

    Still want Rush Hour 4!!!!!!!

    by mrfan

    Just kidding everyone.hehehe.

  • April 21, 2008, 12:37 a.m. CST

    Great read

    by Darth Thoth

    Jackie is the man!