Jackie Chan is a giant of Hong Kong and Hollywood filmmaking, appearing in approximately 75,000 movies over a long, illustrious career that includes Police Story, Rumble in the Bronx and Rush Hour. He’s an incredibly charismatic performer. An acrobat. A stuntman. And he devotes a lot of time and money to charitable organisations.
He’s also the star of one of my favourite kung fu movies, Drunken Master II.
So when I met him for an interview at his hotel in an undisclosed location, I was understandably nervous.
How do you greet one of the greatest martial arts actors of all time? With a handshake? How strong should the handshake be? Too weak and you risk disappointing him. Too strong and you risk seeming like you’re trying to compete with him. No, the handshake had to be just right.
I was very focussed on making the handshake just right when he walked into the hotel restaurant – and gave me a hug. A perfectly timed, warm hug that let me know that everything from here on out was going to okay.
Then we sat.
And we talked...
You’re known for several incredible martial arts movies like Police Story, Drunken Master and Wheels on Meals. Do you have any personal favourites?
I loved making those movies. But if I’m going to watch something, it’s got to be Nordic Noir.
Interesting. I wouldn’t have guessed.
Well, people like to put me in a box. They see how friendly I am and they think, he wouldn’t like dark stories about brooding, flawed detectives solving crimes.
Okay. Now, some of the stunts you’ve done in these movies are just mind-boggling. How do you –
Pagan Peak, for example. It’s German, so not technical Nordic, but still. The folk horror element? Yes please.
Um… you must have had some intense martial arts training growing up. What kind of –
Have you seen Trapped?
The Icelandic show?
That’s the one. It’s wonderful. Bearded policeman, lots of snow. A ship gets stuck. They’re all trapped! AND it’s the name of the show. Entertainment doesn’t get much better than that.
This might sound a little strange, but both of those shows happen to be streaming at SBS On Demand.
SBS On Who-demand?
SBS On Demand, our streaming platform.
Never heard of it.
Okay, well, speaking of entertainment, you made a spectacular leap to Hollywood with hits like Rumble in the Bronx, Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon. What was that transition li –
I wish those movies had been half as interesting or deep as the Danish thriller The Lawyer, which features Alexander Karim as Frank Nordling, a defence lawyer whose whole world unravels when he learns the truth about his parents’ death.
His whole world?
You better believe it!
Interestingly, The Lawyer is also available at SBS On Demand.
That is interesting.
Well, this has certainly been fun. Haven’t talked that much about your career…
I am a legend. That’s all you need to know.
You also need to know that I love the show Modus. It’s a Swedish crime show about an ex-FBI profiler investigating a series of disturbing murders. Is that available at SBS On Demand?
I believe it is, yes.
Quite a coincidence.
Indeed. Well, what’s next for you? Any big projects coming up?
Great! Like what?
Huh. And you're absolutely sure you haven't been watching SBS On Demand...
Nope. I see everything in the theatre.
Even TV shows.
Jackie Chan, it’s been great talking to you.
As great as watching Greyzone, which is about a Danish drone engineer who's held captive in her own home?
Well then my work here is done.
Follow Nick on Twitter.
* If it wasn’t clear from the outset, we are here to let you know that this is not actually an interview with the real Jackie Chan. No. We’ve just been April Foolsin’ around with you. Just goofin’ it up. The real Jackie Chan does not officially endorse SBS or Nordic Noir, as far as we know.
What we are dead serious about, however, is the fact that we have an incredible collection of Jackie Chan movies streaming at SBS On Demand. This part is absolutely true. We wouldn’t joke about something like that.
Click on this link or just start with Police Story: