You know him for his stunt work, but did you know that Jackie Chan studied at an opera academy when he was younger? And he didn’t just stop there. In his life he has released 11 studio albums, nine compilation albums, received Japan’s "Best Foreign Singer Award" and sang a song at the 2008 Beijing Olympics closing ceremony.
Chan was in a comedic adult film called All in the Family in 1975. When Information Times asked about the film he said, "I had to do anything I could to make a living 31 years ago, but I don't think it's a big deal, even Marlon Brando used to be exposed in his movies."
The movie also starred Hong Kong martial artist Sammo Hung.
Before he was a household name, he was in a stunt group called the “Seven Little Fortunes." The group, made up of him and a few of his China Drama Academy classmates, would frequently work as extras for movie studios. During this time, he was a stuntman in Bruce Lee’s Fists of Fury and Enter the Dragon.
Jackie Chan was born Chan Kong-sang on April 7, 1954 in Hong Kong. When he was working as a stuntman, a producer liked Chan’s stunt work and recruited him as an actor. They tried to make him the next Bruce Lee and gave him the stage name “Become The Dragon." They quickly realized that he is nothing like Bruce Lee and dropped then name and went with Jackie Chan instead.
Jackie Chan invented the genre that is now comedic kung fu. After failing as the next super-serious Bruce Lee, he found his voice in the comedy Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. He made the film and was given complete control of his stunts and was really able to shine.
He does all his own stunts and he has the scars to prove it. He has had so many injuries, it’s amazing that he is still able to walk! While he was shooting The Accidental Spy, he hit his tailbone so hard that it caused temporary partial paralysis.
The closest he has come to death however, was from a pretty easy stunt in comparison to his others.
“I fell past the tree and hit the rocky ground head first. A piece of my skull cracked and shot up into my brain, and blood poured from my ears. The production team quickly got on the phones to try to find the nearest hospital that could do emergency brain surgery, and eight hours later, I was going under the knife. The operation was successful, and I recovered quickly — even though there's a permanent hole in my head now, with a plastic plug there to keep my brains in.”
He has the unofficial record for the most takes for a single shot in a movie. While filming the movie Dragon Lord, it took him nearly 3,000 takes to get a single shot. In the end he got it, but damn! Talk about practicing patience.
We may think that he is super funny, but Jackie does not understand American humor and doesn’t care for our action scenes. Especially our love for car chases. He has gone on the record saying that he doesn’t understand our audience at all. Well, just keep doing what you are doing because the American audience enjoys you!.
His father was a spy for the Chinese government and during one of his missions he arrested a stage-performer named Lee-Lee for selling opium. The two of them fell in love and they decided to risk everything and flee from China. Five years later they had a child and they sold him to the doctor that delivered him for only $26. That child is Jackie Chan.
Throughout his career, Jackie Chan has had hundreds of injuries, both big and small. These include a broken ankle, neck, thigh, pelvis, shoulder and sternum. Because of his injuries, he does need a body double for any sprinting scenes.
Jackie Chan has worked with many stuntmen during his career. He knows how important it is to take care of them because they risk their lives every day to make a movie as thrilling as it can possibly be. To ensure that he works with the best and that they are taken care of, he built his own stuntman association called "Sing Kar Pan."
While shooting the filmWheels on Meals, Jackie did not have a pleasant experience working with his cast mate Benny Urquidez. The kickboxing world champion was not taking it easy on Chan and kept laying hurtful blows on him throughout the filming process. Jackie eventually wound up challenging Benny to a fight and as time passed, they both cooled off.
Jackie Chan holds the record for the most stunts done by any living stuntman. He also holds a record for having the most roles in one film for the movie Zodiac. On that film, he was the director, writer, actor, executive producer, producer, unit producer, art director, cinematographer, manager, prop man, stunt coordinator, stuntman, gaffer, theme song vocalist, composer and even the caterer. Now that is talent.