“That’s Not the Direction I Want to Go In”: Legendary Director Once Ordered Jackie Chan to Emulate the Martial Arts Legend Bruce Lee

Published 11/24/2022, 12:15 PM EST

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Jackie Chan is a renowned actor and a martial arts expert. He started his career as a stuntman in various action films and soon became a legend in the Asian movies and martial arts community. Chan’s unique acting skills and way of fighting helped him become a star in the West and also act in several mainstream Hollywood films.

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Before Chan, martial arts legend Bruce Lee was one of the pioneers who influenced the West with his action films. However, his sudden death led many movie directors and producers to make Chan the next Lee. But, Chan never wanted to be like Lee, as their personality was completely opposite.

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Jackie Chan once revealed how a director forced him to be Bruce Lee

In 2015, Chan released his autobiography named Never Grow Up. In this book, Chan disclosed many unknown incidents from his life and his journey to stardom.

Jackie Chan also revealed how, after the legendary Bruce Lee’s death, everyone expected him to fill his shoes. However, Chan never wanted to be Lee, as he justified that the two of them had distinct personalities and different ways of fighting. Recalling one such incident, Chan wrote in his book how the shoot of the movie “New Fist of Fury” did not go well for him.

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The director of the movie, Lo Wei, wanted to make Chan the next Lee and thus set a role, keeping the latter’s style in mind. Chan wrote, “I played a cold-blooded, rage-filled, inhuman killer who sought revenge only. Nothing about the role spoke to me, and so my performance was stiff and unconvincing.”

Chan complained about his disagreement with the director’s wish to his manager, Willie Chan. He said, “I’m not suited for this role. The director wants me to be the next Bruce Lee, but that’s not the direction I want to go in.” Later, Chan made his name for himself in the industry and created his style, which became famous everywhere.

Jackie Chan’s most iconic roles

Chan has become a household name, and everyone loves to watch his film. Chan’s movies always contain action, suspense, and humor. Based on the Rotten Tomatoes ratings, Chan’s 1992 film Supercop is one of his most loved movies.

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The martial expert has been featured in many police and crime films. Some of the other top films with Chan include – Police Story, Crime Story, Drunken Master, Shanghai Noon, and others. Chan was also a part of the animated film Kung Fu Panda, which was not just a hit among kids but also liked by adults.

Watch This Story: Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger’s built compared to Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee

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A 68-year-old Chan is still as fit as ever and continues playing lead or guest roles in many Hollywood and Asian movies. The martial arts legend has also become an inspiration to many young kids.

Which is your favorite Jackie Chan film? Let us know in the comments below.

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Written by:

Soumya Bontra

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Soumya Bontra is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has been working as a sports journalist and writer for the past two years. Soumya has a Bachelor’s in Mass Media.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Kumar

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