In the 90s and 2000s, Jackie Chan was the most popular action star Hollywood had to offer, starring in one hit franchise after another, from Rush Hour to Shanghai Noon. But then the actor appeared to have a cooling-off period as he was seen in fewer and fewer Hollywood movies. In a recent interview with Filmelier, Chan explained the reason for his absence.
Starting off by explaining that he "never left America," the 66-year-old actor revealed that he could not "find the right script." Finding himself typecast as an action star, Chan stated that he "received so many scripts, but the role is... a cop from Hong Kong!"
While the actor is no stranger to cop roles, which allowed him to showcase his athletic ability and made him a star in both China and the rest of the world, Chan has stated that with growing age, he wishes to transition to more dramatic parts. That was why he agreed to take on the role of a Kung-fu mentor in 2010's Karate Kid reboot.
The role showed western audiences that the actor was capable of holding the camera's attention with his immense charisma even while portraying broken characters. After that, Chan went back to China to work on local movies that he produced and starred in. His last American outing was in The Foreigner alongside Pierce Brosnan in 2017, in a role that was a mix of drama and action. For Chan, it is important to show viewers that there is more to his artistry than kicking and punching.
"I want to make sure that every year the audience can see so many different sides of Jackie Chan. I would like audiences to consider me as an actor who can do action, not just as an action star. I don't like to repeat myself."
While Chan wants to be known as an actor who can fight rather than simply an action star, he said he has not turned his back on action-comedy movies and will continue to do them in the future, as long as he can work in other genres alongside.
Most recently, action fans were delighted to discover the slightly-bewildering trailer for a Russian movie named Iron Mask, which united Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger onscreen for the first time for an adventure movie. While the two action icons have shared the screen before, thanks to Schwarzenegger's brief cameo in Chan's Around the World in 80 days, this was the first time the duo were seen battling each other in a fantastical adventure setting.
Hopefully, the coming years will see Chan appearing in more dramatic roles in Hollywood. While the actor rightfully deserves his title as one of the greatest action stars of all time, his movies in China also showcase his gifted dramatic chops. There are a lot of actors who can do action in Hollywood, and a lot who can do serious drama. But Chan, along with Tom Cruise, is on a very short list of actors who can do both equally well. A team-up between the two could give Hollywood its best action-drama film in years. This news originated at filmelier.com.