Compiled by: Jack Foley
JACKIE Chan talks about the pleasure of being allowed the extra
time needed to choreograph his stunts, and what it was like to
work with Owen Wilson, during the filming of Shanghai Knights...
Q: Does it get harder to create newer and funnier stunts for
Jackie Chan: Yes and I'd like to thank the producers and
director for giving me the time to get the stunts right. With
this movie they said Jackie do it. If I needed three
more days they said: Ok, take three more days. If
I need more budget I get it. This way it gives me a lot of freedom
to do whatever I wanted to do.
Owen Wilson: Also, I remember Jackie saying that there
had been a movie where they wanted Jackie to do the bellboy where
he felt he had done that stuff before. So you do start to run
out of ideas and thats why he liked a movie like this which,
because it takes place in turn-of-the-century-London means that
there are lots of new props for Jackie to use.
Q: Is there an element of risk involved when you use bottles
as props in Shanghai Knights?
A: I just look around and anything thats there I see if
I can use it. Every time I have a problem on a set I start thinking
and a new idea comes up. The big problem for me is that the next
film Around The World In 80 Days is late-19th-century again. I
will use a penny farthing bicycle in that. I am always thinking
about what I can use in the scenes.
Q: The Singing In The Rain parody is great, would
you be interested in doing a musical?
JC: Yes, Id like to do a musical, but I dont
have the confidence. To do musical stuff for a few minutes is
ok. To do a whole movie that was a musical? No I dont think
so. Im a pretty good singer, but Im not that good.
But I like the idea of doing musical scenes in an action/comedy.
OW: Probably not, Im not very musical. I cant
sing and I cant dance.
Q: You have said your Hollywood movies are safer than the ones
you did in Hong Kong. But do you still get injuries?
JC: I have a lot of injuries in every movie. But for me
when I dont have to go to the hospital then its not
really an injury. Why I said the Hollywood movies are more safe
is because before I come on to the set there is a stunt co-ordinator
who makes sure about everything. There is more safety.
OW: I think the out-takes are pretty revealing because
you usually see Jackie getting hurt or something going awry. Its
JC: Once when we were doing a scene, Owen says Jackie
do you think this is safe? And I said yes. Then Owen says
Its just a tiny wire, do you think it could break?
And I said no. Then I told him to stop talking because
he just keeps asking all sorts of questions that made me scared!
Q: Whats next?
JC: Im going to Thailand to start filming Around
The World In 80 Days. We rehearse for two days in Bangkok and
there is four days shooting after that. Then we go to Berlin,
London and around the world. For me the travelling is fun.
Q: You seem to have lots of fun in your films?
JC: I go to different countries and see different people
and somebody pays me! I have fun on the set. Of course sometimes
you get angry but most of the time its happy. All the travelling
and different food. I have just spent a few days in Berlin and
then Los Angeles and now London and now Im going to be in
Hong Kong tomorrow and then Thailand. Every day there is something
Q: In Shanghai Knights Britain means bad weather and bad teeth.
What about Britain surprised you when you first came here?
JC: First time I came here I found the weather was really
sticky. Maybe I came at the wrong time. Then I noticed that British
people were more serious. I love British culture and collect antique
cup and saucers and womens small things like bracelets.
If you saw my office youd be surprised at how many of these
womens things I have collected. Even womens umbrellas.
The handles are so beautiful. Sometimes silver or ivory. I collect
these kind of things.
Q: Are your movies an opportunity to pay tribute to movie heroes
like Harold Loyd and Douglas Fairbanks?
JC: I think it is coincidence. I did the clock tower stunt
a long time ago in Project A. When I picked up the umbrella somehow
I started thinking of the tuned for Singing In The Rain. I just
like the action to have humour and be for the family.
Q: You lose fights in Shanghai Knights. Isnt Jackie Chan
meant to be unbeatable?
JC: Look at my Hong Kong films and I am not always the
hero. If I cant beat someone the audience wonders what is
going to happen and that can help the comedy.
Q: You will work with Steve Coogan on Around The World In 80
Days. Have you seen his work?
JC: I saw him in a film. My fan club on the internet said it would
be good. I dont really know him but I trust the producers.
Q: Is there a time when you will stop doing action movies?
JC: In the next couple of years I have been trying to change
my career a bit with movies like The Tuxedo and Highbinders and
now Shanghai Knights. After Around The World In 80 Days I will
do Titanium Ring and then a period drama. I want to be an actor,
I want to be a Robert De Niro, a pure actor. I have been in the
film industry for 30 years and Im becoming a miracle because
Im still doing action/comedy.
Q: Its been said you are afraid to be romantic in your
movies, especially with non-Asian women?
JC: Not any more. In the beginning, yes. Long time ago
20 years ago as soon as I have a girlfriend a girl jumped on to
the subway to commit suicide, another girl in front of my office
took poison. Asian culture is different from American culture.
In America its divorce, get married divorce, get married.
It doesnt matter. But in Asian it is a big problem. This
is why in my movies I dont have a kissing scene. If I have
a kissing scene the girls cry and howl in the theatre in Asia.
In a Jackie Chan movie I could have a girlfriend but never kiss.
But now, slowly, slowly it is ok because all the fans are growing
up and bringing their children to see my movies. Now in my movies
I can have a love scene but the studio is still careful. I have
had a big kissing scene with Claire Forlani in Highbinders I was
shy but she just grabbed me and said come on and kissed
me. During rehearsal she said for me to touch her, she didnt
care. She really made me comfortable.