EXCLUSIVE: Jackie Chan still in action
At 64, the martial arts actor continues to deliver

Jackie Chan in his most recent film, "Knight of Shadows"

You would think that at 65, most people will retire from work and settle down. Some actors push on past 70, even directing a movie or two of their own. You can add Jackie Chan to that list, because he’s showing no signs of stopping.

Jackie Chan is very much well-known for his action-comedy films like Shanghai Noon and its sequel, the Rush Hour trilogy, and his voice-acting as Mantis for the Kung Fu Panda trilogy. And that’s just in Hollywood, his over a hundred film appearances include work in his native Hong Kong, dating back to when he was a stuntman for the legendary Bruce Lee.

Chan just completed another film, Knight of Shadows: Between Ying and Yang, where he plays a demon hunter named Pu Songling, with the character based on the Chinese short story writer with the same name. The Good Life was able to ask him a few questions about the film, and his career plans in the future.

Classic Jackie Chan

Like any other Jackie Chan film, Knight of Shadows promises to showcase his iconic hilarious fighting styles. He recounts one memorable scene where it was shot in a limited space, “We could barely squeeze in the cameras, the dolly, the lighting equipment, the props, and the technicians. We still had to fight, roll on the floor, and fly on wires in a tiny space.”

But apart from action sequences, Chan will also be doing some serious work, like the real Pu Songling did. “I’ve never tried to play the character of a scholar before, someone who practises poetry and calligraphy,” says the actor, though he still promises thrilling scenes fighting demons.

At his age, he continues to do most of his stunts, even if it meant pretending to fight an imaginary opponent during shooting. ” Since there’s many special effects for this fantasy movie, you need a lot of imagination when shooting. Sometimes you’re really acting against dead air and green screens. But the experience was a lot of fun!” says Chan.

“Doing stunts are still easy for me, because I exercise every day. I love to work and to be on set, to make sure that everyone is taken care of,” he also adds, attributing to his passion for films as to why he continues working.

Photo from AP
Hollywood Return

Chan also recently completed Project X-traction, a China-USA co-production which co-stars WWE star John Cena due for release later this year. His most recent Hollywod-based films were 2017’s The Foreigner and 2010’s The Karate Kid – a reboot of the original 1984 classic starring Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita – not to mention also his numerous voice roles.

When asked if misses any actors that he has worked with, he finds it difficult to answer. “I’ve made so many films and worked with so many different people. I miss all of them but at the same time I look forward to work with new director and actors/actresses.”

But fans have a lot to look forward to because Chan is currently in the pre-production for sequels of his beloved films, namely Rush Hour 4, Karate Kid 2 and Shanghai Dawn, and he looks forward to working on all of them.

He also plans to continue making films of different genres, “I recently directed a period drama called The Diary, starring Jaycee Chan. It’s now in post-production and the film has some musical elements. I’ll also start the shooting of Vanguard soon, an action film directed by Stanley Tong.” Clearly he loves his work!

Photo from AP

Message for Filipino fans

Filipinos love comedy films, and they have their action favorites like Fernando Poe, Jr. and Robin Padilla, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they will enjoy Knight of Shadows. “The audience will go on an adventure with my character, and will experience romance, laughter and tears. It’s family entertainment for all ages,” says Chan.

He really hopes for the film’s success in the Philippines, as he is always happy when his audiences like his films, “I hope the film will have great success, and I hope my Filipino fans love it.”

Here’s Jackie Chan’s message for all his Filipino fans:  “Hello everyone in The Philippines! Come watch Knight of Shadows: Between Ying and Yang in theaters! You’ll go on an adventure, witness a romance, and experience thrills that will fill the cinema with emotion. And the unique and original visual effects will definitely take you by surprise.”

Knight of Shadows: Between Ying and Yang is now in cinemas nationwide.

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