Vanguard: Jackie Chan Dislikes Typecasting in American Films

Jackie Chan, one of the most venerable international superstars, has kept busy with Asian markets but hasn't kept up as much lately with Hollywood. While the bulk of his near 150 titles to his credit are of the action genre, the 66-year old actor said he prefers the diversity he's afforded making films for the Chinese market, telling Brazilian site Filmelier (via Cinemablend), "I want to make sure that every year the audience can see so many different sides of Jackie Chan," the Vanguard star said. "I would like audiences to consider me as an actor who can do action, not just as an action star. I don't like to repeat myself." The actor continues saying that he sees tons of Hollywood scripts all the time, but it often calls for a "Hong Kong policeman."

Jackie Chan at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The LEGO Ninjago Movie' held at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, USA on September 16, 2017. Editorial credit: Tinseltown /
Jackie Chan at the Los Angeles premiere of 'The LEGO Ninjago Movie' held at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, USA, on September 16, 2017. Editorial credit: Tinseltown /

Jackie Chan's American Success

Chan bounced around from Asian to American markets bursting in the Hong Kong film scene, initially playing disposable henchmen in Bruce Lee films, most famously in Enter the Dragon (1973), later becoming a star in his own right. He filmed a few American projects like The Protector (1985) and The Cannonball Run films before dedicating himself back to the Hong Kong scene. While the actor's overseas films maintained a following in The States, he made his comeback when Rumble in the Bronx (1995) saw a US release. Creatively, Chan largely stayed doing the kind of projects he wanted in China but starred in a couple of American buddy action comedy franchises in Rush Hour with Chris Tucker and the Shanghai films with Owen Wilson. The revenue Chan makes from his American projects help fund his overseas films. Other recent notable American projects Chan's done lately are the animated Kung Fu Panda trilogy lending his voice to Monkey. He was in the 2010 loose adaptation remake of The Karate Kid playing the mentor Mr. Han to Jayden Smith's Dre set in China.

Vanguard: Jackie Chan "Typecasting Keeps Me From More American Films"
Poster for Vanguard. Image courtesy of Gravitas Ventures

For Chan's recent films in 2019 Chinese film Iron Mask, he recruited Arnold Schwarzenegger, who he previously worked with briefly in 2004's Around the World in 80 Days for Disney, to play his rival, James Hook. The star and martial artist also co-starred Pierce Brosnan in the action-thriller The Foreigner (2017), which was another rare opportunity for Chan to exhibit his more serious side after The Karate Kid in an American production. Chan's next upcoming film is Vanguard, a Chinese production that reunites him with frequent collaborator director/writer Stanley Tong, which will be distributed domestically via Gravitas Ventures. The film comes to theatres on November 20.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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