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SUBJECT: The Forbidden Kingdom

Poster artwork Martial arts movie stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li finally join forces. Chan acknowledges that he agreed to do this movie because of Jet Liís involvement; heís been eager to work with him for over 10 years.

Chan portrays Lu Yan, a drunken Kung Fu master, who must teach martial arts to teenage Jason Tripitikas from Boston (Michael Angarano), who has been hurled back in Time to ancient China to free the fabled Monkey King.
Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Michael Angarano and Liu Yifei.

Q: You are in your fifties now, what kind of adjustments have you had to make with your martial arts at your age?:
Jackie ChanJackie Chan: I think in the last six years you can tell I have changed my style. I just finished a movie called The Shinjuku Incident; itís one percent action, heavy drama. I want to be a real actor, not just an [action] star. Jackie Chan is a myth, but I am still surviving, more than 30 years, Iím the only one. How long can I keep fighting? So this is why I have to change. Iím not like I used to be, Drunken Master 3 or 4, no, Iím tired!

Q: You and Jet Li have known each other for a long time, but you both have different backgrounds, and he has a different style of martial arts. How were the action sequences with him?:
Jet Li and Jackie ChanA: I remember the first day we were on the set. Woo-Ping [Yuen, action choreographer] and the stunt coordinators had choreographed an action sequence, and Jet and I took a look at it. Two stunt guys did a demonstration, and I was standing there with Woo, and I said, ĎYou know, Iím a fast learner. Just show me one more time.í And then I said, ĎLetís shoot it without rehearsal.í And I looked at Jet Li, and heís like, ĎOkay, letís shoot.í After the first cut, the director [Rob Minkoff] and Woo-Ping came up and said, ĎGood, but can you guys slow down?í Jet wanted to show off quick, and I wanted to show off quicker! Fighting with Jet was very, very comfortable. [Thinks for a moment] I think because Iím good, it made him comfortable. [he laughs]

Q: How did it feel to play the drunken master again?:
Drunken MasterÖA: I was very embarrassed to have to do it again. When people know a Jackie Chan movie, itís ĎOh, Drunken Master!í Especially in the West, even Brett Ratner knew it. On Rush Hour 3 there is one scene where I get drunk and get in a fight with a drunken master. With this movie, at the beginning I refused. But later on I said, ĎOkay, itís a purist movie, and young boys will love it,í but not any more. If the box office is good, the next one will be Forbidden Drunken Master.

Q: Are you pleased the Olympics will be in China this year?
A: I am the Olympic ambassador. I always promote the Olympics. The Olympics are the Olympics, and they should not be mixed with politics. The Olympics for me is love, peace, unity, no matter what country. Every country when they have had the Olympics have had a lot of people come to oppose them, in LA, Russia it was the same. It doesnít only happen in China. So come to China and watch the Olympics Ė I will be standing in the airport and bowing, welcome, welcome, welcome.

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
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Film Review, #696, June 2008 cover

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