Friday, September 16, 2005

Jackie Chan to World: Take Me Seriously

The best moment in the new Jackie Chan film The Myth, where he plays a modern-day archeologist and an ancient Chinese general, is a frantic fight on a sticky conveyor belt in an Indian glue factory. Chan does everything his fans want of him: twists, spins and kicks with his trademark comic panache. Speaking at a press conference the day after the film’s late-night screening, Chan speaks repeatedly about everything but his funny fighting stunts. Chan wants people to take him seriously.

“I don’t want to do Rush Hour 1-2-3-4 and 5,” he tells the roomful of press. “I’m tired of Shanghai Knights, Shanghai Dawn, Shanghai everything. I want something new; really want to change my look to my audience. Jackie Chan is not just an action star. Jackie Chan is a dramatic actor who can fight.”

Later in the press conference, Chan admits meeting with acclaimed filmmakers Ang Lee and Zhang Yimou to discuss possible projects only to be told they’re only interested in making a Jackie Chan action movie.

For now, the only person convinced of his newfound status as a dramatic actor is Chan himself.