Jackie Chan is one of Hollywood's greatest action stars. But he wants audiences to see him as more than just an actor who can kick and punch.
Jackie Chan has revealed why he doesn't star in as many American action movies anymore. Chan has been a legendary Hollywood action star since the 80s, but he has spent the past decade deliberately branching out to more dramatic roles. The Hong Kong-born actor earned much of his success in the U.S. film industry by portraying Chang Ka Kui in Police Story and Lee in Rush Hour. Since then, Chan has become synonymous with fast-paced fight scenes and 360-degree karate kicks.
Although Chan is a world-renowned action star, he has many other qualities that shine through in his performances. For one, he is a very dedicated actor. His fight scenes come across as authentic because he does most of his own stunts, which has resulted in injuries as severe as a fractured skull. Complementing his martial art skills, Chan has an undeniable wit and humor that brings comic relief to the rhythm of his constant punches. Lastly, he can also play a wholesome character, such as Mr. Han in The Karate Kid (2010), Bruce Ho in The Spy Next Door, Monkey in the Kung-Fu Panda franchise, and even himself in an animated series made to teach kids to be kind and foster good habits. In recent years, Chan has started appearing in less and less American-made movies, and now he's revealed why that is.
Chan told Filmelier that he really wants the world to see him as "an actor who does action, not just an action star." He is still in the country reviewing scripts, but none has the character that he wants to portray. Chan's full comment can be read below:
“All these years after the 'Karate Kid', I received so many scripts, but the role is [always] a Hong Kong policeman. That's why it took me seven years to accept a role in another Hollywood film, with 'The Foreigner'. I want to make sure that the audience can see these different sides of Jackie Chan. I would like the public to consider me an actor who does action, not just an action star ”.
He recently starred as Pu Songling, a fantastical demon wrangler, in a Chinese feature film called The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang. Playing Songling gave Chan the opportunity to work with one of his unexplored genres. That said, fans of Chan's masterful fighting scenes need not worry about him completely abandoning action roles. In the interview, Chan stated that he will continue with action-comedy. It has already been announced that he will star in a few sequels for his classic films, such as Rush Hour 4 and, supposedly, Shanghai Dawn.
When stars remain in the public realm, audiences get the chance to watch them evolve. Fans get a more all-encompassing view of celebrities when they see them go from goofy sketch comedies to existential rom-coms, or from mysterious hero to threatening villain. Playing the same one-note character is boring for both the actors and the audiences, so it is much more rewarding to see a variety of projects. With Jackie Chan expanding his skills to more genres, he is allowing himself experience in different roles while also gifting his fans with different versions of himself to connect with.