Jackie Chan’s autobiography shines some light on his most dangerous stunts. The book reveals what makes the martial arts sequences cooler than ever.
Jackie Chan‘s book successfully makes his most dangerous stunts seem even cooler. I Am Jackie Chan proves that there is something behind Jackie’s life-threatening stunts that he does not show. Jackie Chan’s autobiography helps audiences and fans better understand the method behind his physically taxing stunt work.
Written by Jeff Yang and the man himself, the 1998 publication I Am Jackie Chan revealed the inner workings of China’s biggest actor. In Jackie’s own words, the book details the beloved action hero’s biggest moments on film — producing several of the most outrageous action sequences in martial arts films. From his humble beginnings as a stuntman in Hong Kong cinema, to his rise in popularity in the western market, Jackie Chan’s record number of movies speak for themselves. Since he performs his own stunts — from Project A to Police Story and Super Cup — Jackie’s blockbusters became infamous for risky, yet intricate choreography. Jackie Chan consistently did wild stunts despite the obvious danger.
The book I Am Jackie Chan makes all of his stunts seem even cooler because the actor knew exactly how terrifying they were, both physically and mentally. By showcasing the legend’s ludicrously dangerous stunts, the autobiography gave the harrowing sequences some added realism. This actually makes the stunts cooler than if Jackie Chan were not afraid. In fact, the Wheels on Meals star was always worried about the dangers of the stunts, but still did them anyway, despite his natural fears. He confessed, “The ads called me fearless, but that’s just publicity. Anyone who thinks I’m not scared out of my mind whenever I do one of my stunts is crazier than I am.” From emergency skull surgery to a plethora of on-set accidents, Jackie seriously proved how he took his craft, all while saving face.
Jackie Chan has kept his fear hidden from the public, but it is perhaps surprising that audiences had been willing to accept his public image. After being in over 150 films, Chan clearly risked his life more than most actors. Therefore, it is quite paradoxical that Jackie Chan would be afraid during his most horrific stunts. Over his career, he had projected a “fearless” image. In the mind of the megastar, the fearless outward projection was verily untrue, clarifying,”Of course I’m scared; I’m not Superman.” Chan admitted that because the stunts posed so much danger, this naturally created a sense of fear. In turn, this fear worked for large sequences because the sheer size and huge risk made the stunts more impressive. Jackie Chan was highly aware of the dangers each stunt presented if anything were to go wrong.
Further, this humble attitude given off by Jackie Chan is a way of showing respect. Jackie Chan stated that being lucidly conscious of his stunt work was a way of honoring his trainer and mentor. That man was Three Dragons trainer Yu Jim-yuen, who saw Jackie rise up in popular kung fu films by mentoring the future superstar in the 1980s. Namely, this is the reason why Jackie Chan did all of his stunts. It is not that Jackie wasn’t scared to keep performing these feats. In a way, this makes his stunts actually mean more. To show no fear in the face of mortal danger is respectable in his own right. Jackie backed this up by reiterating,”Nothing makes me more determined to succeed than someone telling me something’s impossibleNow that the truth is revealed that he was just as worried, the book has made Jackie Chan’s most dangerous stunts even cooler. To audiences, Jackie Chan is just as fearless as he looks.
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