Jackie Chan’s lat­est Po­lice Story

Jackie chan stays true to the things he does best in the lat­est Po­liceS­tory movie.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By SETO KIT YAN en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my Po­lice Story 2013 opens na­tion­wide to­mor­row.

SPE­CIAL ef­fects may have changed the way most mod­ern ac­tion block­busters are made; but ac­tion mae­stro Jackie Chan still swears by the real thing.

“A gen­uine ac­tion movie is marked by real stunts,” in­sisted the star, who was in town last week to pro­mote his lat­est movie, Po­lice Story 2013.

This point of view is only to be ex­pected from a man who holds the Guin­ness World Record for Most Stunts By A Liv­ing Ac­tor. This was one of the two world records awarded to him last year af­ter he made Chi­nese Zo­diac ( CZ12). The other ti­tle was for Most Cred­its In One Movie – he wore a to­tal of 15 hats on the CZ12 pro­duc­tion.

For a man who has been mak­ing ac­tion movies across five decades, Chan con­tin­ues to sur­prise many with his bound­less en­ergy, en­thu­si­asm for film­mak­ing, and dar­ing new ideas. Ca­su­ally dressed in a blue and white striped shirt and white pants, Jackie was in his usual chatty mood as he sat down and im­me­di­ately started to neatly ar­range the as­sort­ment of record­ing de­vices lined up on the ta­ble in front of him.

Look­ing up to see all eyes watch­ing him as he straight­ened out ev­ery­thing in front of him, Chan smiled and of­fered: “Yes, I have ADD (at­ten­tion deficit dis­or­der) and OCD (ob­ses­sive-com­pul­sive dis­or­der). Sit­ting down here to do this in­ter­view is ac­tu­ally more of a chal­lenge to me than you can imag­ine. I am a nat­u­rally ac­tive per­son. I like to move around and keep my­self oc­cu­pied. I also like ev­ery­thing to be tidy and I like to make sure that ev­ery­thing is in or­der be­fore I be­gin.”

Po­lice Story 2013 is the sixth in­stall­ment of the famed fran­chise, the first film of which is still his favourite. The 1985 Po­lice Story won Best Film at the Hong Kong Film Awards; Chan him­self won two Best Ac­tor ac­co­lades for the series, first at Tai­wan’s Golden Horse Awards for the 1992 Po­lice Story 3: Su­per­cop and then at China’s Golden Rooster Awards for the 2004 New Po­lice Story.

Hon­our the bold

With the in­creas­ing fo­cus on film awards these days, Chan said he also wanted to es­tab­lish a stunt ac­tion film award that would “give recog­ni­tion to the true he­roes that con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of good ac­tion movies”.

“It is time (we) paid tribute to real ac­tion stars and gen­uine stunt per­form­ers. A film award with cat­e­gories for best ac­tion movie, best ac­tion per­former for both male and fe­male ac­tors, best ac­tion di­rec­tor, best stunt chore­og­ra­phy, best fight scene and such.

“Many times, as I stand be­fore the true he­roes, the un­known faces of com­mit­ted stunt per­form­ers who lay their lives on the line, all for the sake of mak­ing a good ac­tion film, I wish that oth­ers would re­alise how much blood, sweat and tears were in­volved,” shared Chan, who has bro­ken prac­ti­cally ev­ery bone in his body. In fact, he al­most died af­ter sus­tain­ing a head in­jury dur­ing a stunt for the 1986 film Ar­mour Of God.

“A mar­tial arts ac­tor has his work cut out for him. Try­ing to act and re­mem­ber­ing your lines while try­ing to fight and get­ting your chore­og­ra­phy right; that is def­i­nitely not easy to do.

“Most peo­ple don’t re­alise how dif­fi­cult it is to fo­cus on get­ting ev­ery­thing right. That is why ac­tion movies used to fo­cus on ac­tion only. But now, a good script is of para­mount im­por­tance. I will only make a movie if the script is good,” of­fered Chan.

Chan went on to say how Po­lice Story 2013 di­rec­tor Ding Sheng bowled him over with a good script, among other things.

“Ding Sheng is a very tal­ented man. He im­pressed me with his well-writ­ten script. His sto­ry­board was in or­der. He even com­posed the songs. I Im­me­di­ately asked when we could com­mence film­ing,” Chan said, singing the praises of the main­land film­maker who also di­rected his Lit­tle Big Sol­dier (2010).

Mir­ror­ing real life

In Po­lice Story 2013, Chan plays a vet­eran cop who has is­sues with his es­tranged daugh­ter, played by main­land ac­tress Jing Tian. The vil­lain, played by China’s Liu Ye, takes ad­van­tage of their strained re­la­tions in a hostage sit­u­a­tion.

Point­ing to his re­la­tion­ship with his fam­ily, Chan said the char­ac­ter in the movie also mir­rored his own, in the way he ne­glected son Jaycee and wife Joan Lin be­cause his days were spent away from home, as he trav­elled around the world for movies and other projects.

Like other Jackie Chan movies, Po­lice Story 2013 also in­cludes a blooper reel dur­ing the end cred­its. One scene shows Chan’s wrists be­ing bound to the arm of a chair with thick me­tal wires and how he tries to free him­self us­ing only brute strength and per­se­ver­ance.

“I was told that it couldn’t be done. But, that only strength­ened my re­solve, so I in­sisted on do­ing it. I wanted to show Jaycee that it was pos­si­ble, and that I could do it,” quipped Chan, who just had to prove his son wrong when the young man paid a visit to the set.

De­spite his show of non­cha­lance in the movie, it was ap­par­ent that his wrists were badly bruised, cut and even bleed­ing af­ter he suc­ceeded in break­ing free of his bonds.

“It was not easy to do. The skin and flesh around the wrist area is the thinnest, and just a bit of scrap­ing will re­veal the bone in most cases,” he ex­plained.

Chan’s fight scenes in the movie also looked very painful, and he ad­mit­ted that they were as painful as they looked: “The fights were with gen­uine MMA (mixed mar­tial arts) box­ers, not stunt­men; so, they didn’t know how to con­trol their strength when we were film­ing the fight se­quences. Those were rock-hard, solid punches and kicks.”

Af­ter he worked with Jet Li on For­bid­den King­dom, Chan said, au­di­ences have been ask­ing for another movie pit­ting the two stars in another leg­endary fight scene. “Even Jet Li has said to me: ‘I will play the main an­tag­o­nist’. And, I am very keen to work with him. But, since we are ba­si­cally sim­i­lar in (our) strengths, we have yet to find a suit­able script,” he lamented.

The Hong Kong ac­tion star turns 60 next year and his birth­day plans in­clude the stag­ing of a Peace and Friend­ship con­cert in Bei­jing. The mul­ti­ple-act event is set to fea­ture per­form­ers from all over Asia, in­clud­ing China, Ja­pan, South Korea and Sin­ga­pore.

Other up­com­ing projects in­clude a se­quel to his 2010 Karate Kid, a fourth Rush Hour film with Chris Tucker, a musical, and the set­ting up of a mar­tial arts act­ing school.

“Not just mar­tial arts, but a mar­tial arts act­ing school. And, it will not be just mar­tial arts and act­ing. I will teach ev­ery­thing about mak­ing ac­tion movies. I will even in­clude skills such as fram­ing and edit­ing. I want to train them to be­come all-round ac­tion stars!” he en­thused.

Due recog­ni­tion: Jackie chan wants to es­tab­lish a stunt ac­tion film award to give recog­ni­tion to the true he­roes who con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of good ac­tion movies. — raJa FaISaL HISHan/The Star

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