“That Was Not Allowed in America”: Martial Arts Icon Jackie Chan Once Revealed How He Adapted to the ‘Rigid’ Film Shooting in the United States

Published 11/24/2022, 10:15 AM EST

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Martial artist and actor Jackie Chan is known for being the flag bearer for acrobatic action choreography in Hollywood cinema. A young actor who struggled to make a name, Jackie Chan, has extensively incorporated martial arts into his unique slapstick style of acting. Although, this was not always an easy feat to achieve.

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In his 2015 autobiography, Never Grow Up, Jackie explores stories from his past. In one such instance, he shared an anecdote involving a globally renowned director. People know Robert Clouse for his work in the martial arts action genre. Additionally, Clouse directed Enter the Dragon, a legendary martial artist Bruce Lee’s second English-speaking movie.

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Jackie Chan did not get his way in America

While working with Clause, Chan had a hard time coping with the way a typical Hollywood set worked. Additionally, the actor, who is used to improvising on set, could not change the rigid methods of his director. “(Clause) had fixed ideas about where the camera should go and how the actors should be positioned. There was nothing wrong with this way of doing things, but it didn’t suit me,” stated Jackie in his book.

Many know Jackie Chan for his acrobatic fighting style, innovative stunts, and breathtaking choreography. The comedian, author, filmmaker, and stuntman were critical of the newer methods he had to adhere to. Unlike Hong Kong, Jackie could not try out different approaches. He said, “That was not allowed in America.”

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The director did not give the actor room to improvise. Instead, he “insisted on sticking to the script,” shrugging off each one of Jackie’s attempts at suggesting alternative sequences. Much to Jackie Chan’s dismay, he concluded, “No one’s going to pay money to watch Jackie Chan taking a stroll.”

The actor struggled with his dialogue

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Presently, Jackie Chan has a plethora of blockbuster English titles to his name. It includes cinemas like Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon, which mark important milestones in Hollywood action cinema. But it is no secret that the actor always struggled with dialogue delivery. In a post-credit scene from Rush Hour 2, we see Jackie making ridiculous mistakes in the bloopers reel.

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In his autobiography, Jackie stated, “My English was so bad anyway that I had to focus all my attention on getting my lines right and forgot to make facial expressions.” Struggling to keep up with remembering his lines, Chan knew he would often come across as ‘wooden’ to his audience.

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Watch this story > Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger’s built compared to Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan

Currently, Chan is looking forward to the release of his movie Jackie Chan: Against Darker Spades. Warner Brothers would distribute the movie.

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Written by:

Anirban Roy

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Anirban Roy is working as a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. Anirban has a Master's degree in Spatial Data Science from Jadavpur University. He has worn many hats, including being a database admin and a scientific researcher.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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