Five Questions For Jackie Chan
by Joshua Moss
Meeting Jackie Chan is kind of like meeting the pope. You’re ushered up to a
high-rise hotel room, checked for credentials, then told to wait in a room.
So there I was with about 6 other print journalists waiting to meet with Mr.
Chan himself, when the door opened and Jackie came in. The hype dissipated
instantly– Mr. Chan was friendly, sincere, polite and surprisingly humble,
as he took time out of his day to answer questions.
indieWIRE: How’s the neck feeling?
Jackie Chan: How’d you know about that?
iW: We watch "The Tonight Show"!…So tell us what you’ve been up to these
last two months?
Chan: Because I hurt my neck, (it made me) think about the new story. A very
good story, I can’t wait to do it, "Police Story Part 5" ("Supercop" was actually
a re-release of "Police Story 3"). Because as soon as I hurt my neck, I went to
the hospital for an x-ray, and I had to wait two hours so I sat down, then
suddenly (I thought), "that might make a good story!" It would begin when I’m
going to buy a ring, and this time Maggie’s family is saying, "Maggie! Are
you sure you want to marry Jackie? Don’t get married, blah, blah, blah". But
at that same moment I have some mission to do, while Maggie is picking out
wedding dress. As soon as we finish the dress (scene), we are in a car, the
mission’s coming, I have to go immediately. When I get there, already gun
fighting, big explosion, I get hurt! I get a big injury. I’m unconscious,
then, TZAH!, "Jackie? Jackie?….Did you get hurt in the head?"
TZAH!,…Flashback!,…"Police Story Part I!"
Chan: Good, huh? TZAH!…. Part 2! Part 3! Part 4!… I keep asking,
"Where’s my Maggie?" But when I finally wake up, I suddenly realize, Maggie
— paralyzed! She can not hear or talk anymore… day before yesterday I
called up Stanley (Stanley Tong, the director) and told him the story and he
almost cried… because I have a very good drama in the middle… I still
follow the mission, and while I’m far away at sea on the mission, we see
Maggie, she tries (to relearn) how to walk, then I do the mission coming
back, we see Maggie, she tries (to relearn) how to talk… then at the
end…. I won’t tell you what happens!
iW: Awww…. C’mon Jackie!
Chan: All right I’ll tell you. No more outtakes [a Jackie Chan tradition at
the end of all his films], instead the making of "Police Story part 5".
iW: I know you’ve had some offers from Hollywood… Which American director would you want to work with?
Chan: Oh, there’s too many… Spielberg… James Cameron. Because I want to
learn bluescreen! Here’s where I can use half bluescreen, half computer, so
I don’t have to do stupid jumps from 10 stories to the helicopter… but I’ll
still jump! Maybe 20 feet (down) though… but with the bluescreen I still
do the jump but more safety! 10 years ago I said, "Yeah! Jump from
helicopter!" But (it’s) a different kind of thinking now…
iW: So are you concerned at all about the Hong Kong film community, the people in Hong Kong who are still there now that you’re moving on
Chan: They’re still there, but right now in just seven days they make a movie.
They just make very local movies… whatever the news comes out, some guy
raped 11 girls, they make the movie very fast, make the fast money, and the
audience sees it but don’t like it, but they’ve already cheated the money! On
Hong Kong all the movies now, the top 10, are all American movies. That
never happened (in the past)….
iW: Do you have a project going with Ang Lee?
Chan: We did talk… but I find that in America when you talk, it takes five
years… (laughing)… Because Ang Lee… there’s a lot of pressure… he’s
special, Ang Lee. He’s the kind of director who takes time… slowly… not
like me! Yes, let’s do it! Like "Police part 5". I go to Hong Kong this
month, and I just start! I can finish shooting the hospital scene, then
begin to think, "What is the mission?". I can do that. But in America,
no… they need a script first. How many days?….How many