Just because an actor finds fame in their home country doesn’t mean they’ll be embraced by audiences worldwide. But when Jackie Chan karate-chopped his way onto the silver screens in America, people instantly warmed up to him and his action-packed films.
Beneath the fierce bravery, insane stunt work, and years of martial arts training, however, is a gentle-spirited person who deserves all of the accolades he’s received. In life, there are those who Chan and those who Channot. You better believe Jackie sure Chan.
1. From the age of 11 to 17, Chan was enrolled at the Chinese Opera Research Institute preparing for a career in theater. Though he released multiple music albums and received Japan’s Best Foreign Singer Award, he pursued a life in martial arts.
2. Even though Chan is known for performing some risky stunts during filming, he does have a crew of stuntmen available. However, much of the time he uses them for simple body stand-ins.
3. Chan is famous for fending off criminals in his films, but at one point the notorious Triad gang in China gave him real problems. Chan confronted them equipped with weapons and they left him alone. That’s some real courage.
4. While filming a scene from a 1986 movie titled Armour of God, Chan fell out of a tree and smashed his head on a rock. After surgery requiring a metal plate in his head, he now has a permanent quarter-sized indent in his skull.
5. It’s not unusual for members of film productions to have more than one credit at the end. Chan landed himself a Guinness World Record for having 15 credits in the film Chinese Zodiac.
6. In 2006 the idea of clean-air transportation got him excited enough to open his own Segway dealership. Unfortunately, Segways weren’t cheap and the dealership struggled to really to take off.
7. Chan and comedian Chris Tucker had audiences laughing with the Rush Hour films, but believe it or not, Chan didn’t like them. He said “Chris Tucker’s English, I don’t understand. Terrible movie!”
8. Chan’s family comes from a sordid past. His parents left him at a Hong Kong boarding school while trying to escape the Communist regime in the 1950s, and they got tangled up in criminal activity shortly after.
9. While visiting London in 2010, Chan went to a Build-a-Bear shop and left with two pandas he named Chan La and Chan Zy. He apparently never leaves home without his faithful friends, even taking them to the Academy Awards in 2017.
10. During the filming of Wheels On Meals, Chan thought world kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez was hitting him unnecessarily hard during a scene, and the actors almost fought for real. Luckily, the crew diffused the situation.
11. Sometimes actors take whatever roles they can to make ends meet. When Chan was 31, he appeared in an adult Japanese film called All in the Family. Chan actually shot a scene wearing just his birthday suit!
12. One of Chan’s biggest breaks was given to him not long after high school by a director who needed an intricate and dangerous stunt done in one take. Chan volunteered and nailed it not once, but twice perfectly.
13. Chan has been a familiar face around Hollywood for quite some time now, but he’s admitted the industry as a whole confuses him. He says he doesn’t quite understand American humor and the need for constant thrills.
14. The actors in Chan’s 1982 film Dragon Lord got a dose of his perfectionist directing when he filmed 2,900 takes for the opening 10-minute scene! He earned himself a Guinness World Record for his tedious effort.
15. Chan gets all the credit for his action-packed stunts, but there’s actually a whole team responsible for his daredevil moves. Chan started a stuntman association called Sin Kar Pan, and this group of trusted friends helps Chan pull off his epic feats.
16. Pulling off jaw-dropping action scenes doesn’t come without its broken bones and injured muscles. Chan puts his life at risk on every movie set, and he’s suffered multiple broken noses, spine damage, and severe blows to the head because of it.
17. Directors have offered Chan the role of movie villains, but the martial arts star won’t take them. Even though early in his career he played no-name street thugs in Bruce Lee movies, he sticks to good-guy characters now.
18. A guy who kicks as much tail as Jackie Chan needs to sport some flashy clothing, and that’s why he started a line of casual, athletic, and high-end attire called Jackie Chan Design. He can leap from building to building, looking stylish while doing it.
19. Chan never stops trying to make the world a better place. He runs The Jackie Chan Charitable Foundation, which raises money for natural disaster survivors, and he’s involved with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, as well.
20. Chan has been approached by many companies over the years to star in advertisements, and an oddly high number of those particular companies fell on hard times soon afterward. This weird string of bad luck had news outlets speculating if the actor is cursed.
21. Jackie Chan provided insights into the world of martial arts in The Art of Action: Martial Arts in Motion Picture. The film was narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, another movie star with a stunning history that could surprise even his biggest fans…