As you can probably tell from the title, my eminent person this year is going to be…JACKIE CHAN!
(The next couple of paragraphs are basically Chan’s life story, I may have been a little carried away)
Jackie Chan was born on the 7th of April, 1954 in Hong Kong. “Jackie Chan” is his nickname, his Chinese name is 成龙 (Chéng Lóng in Mandarin). The name “Jackie” was originally given to him from a fellow construction worker, and it has stuck ever since. He is an actor, martial artist, director, producer, screenwriter, action choreographer, singer, stunt director, and stunt performer. Quite the impressive resume. Chan has appeared in over 150 films and usually performs all his own stunts, resulting in so many injuries he had trouble finding an insurance company.
When he was 17, Jackie Chan worked as a stuntman for the Bruce Lee films: “Fist of Fury” and “Enter the Dragon”, Chan had his first major breakthrough in 1978 with the film “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow”, which established the comedic kung fu genre, something Chan would be famous for in the future. A close friend of Jackie Chan, Willie Chan helped him in launching his international career. Chan’s first Hollywood was “The Big Brawl” in 1980, followed by “The Cannonball Run” the next year. He returned to Hong Kong films after the commercial failure of “The protector” in 1985, reaching a larger audience in East Asia. His film “The Young Master” beat previous box office records set by Bruce Lee, and established Chan as Hong Kong’s biggest cinema star. The next couple of years marked when Jackie Chan started experimenting with more elaborate and dangerous stunts.
Jackie Chan’s Hollywood breakthrough came in the 1990’s. He refused offers to play villains in these films to avoid being typecast in future roles. Chan’s first blockbuster success came when he co-starred with Chris Tucker in the 1998 action comedy “Rush Hour”, making him into a Hollywood star. A sequel to the film was released in 2001, grossing $347 million, more than double of the first film. “Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights” released in 2000 and 2003 respectively, continued his Hollywood success. Due to the limited range of roles and lack of control over the film making process resulted in Jackie Chan starting his own film production comapny, JCE Movies Limited (Jackie Chan Emperor Movies Limited) in association with Emperor Multimedia Group. The successful films “New Police Story”, “The Myth”, “Rob-B-Hood”, and “Rush Hour 3” were all made by him.
Recently, Jackie Chan collaborated with Jet Li (another well known actor in my house), a fellow Chinese actor and martial artist, in “The Forbidden Kingdom”, released in 2008. Chan also voiced Master Monkey in “Kung Fu Panda” and its sequels. In 2010, he starred with Jaden Smith in the modern remake: “The Karate Kid”, popularizing him with kids, as he won the Favorite Buttkicker award at the Nickelodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards in 2011. Jackie Chan announced that he would be performing fewer of his own stunts and would take care of his body more at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Chan is a huge football fan and supports the Hong Kong national football team, the England National Football Team, and Manchester City. He also holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Stunts by a Living Actor”.
I chose to do Jackie Chan for my eminent person because I admire what he does in his line of work. I first heard of him from watching his movies. He is extremely popular among Asians, so many of his movies have made it onto my TV at home. I always thought it was super cool how he did all his stunts without effects and green screens. My favorite movies of his have to be the “Rush Hour” series, and “The Forbidden Kingdom”. Many of his movies I watched when I was little, so I didn’t understand the plot lines of most of them. Now that I am older, I’m planning on re watching some of his best movies. I recently finished Rush Hour (1), I nearly died laughing, the action and dialogue was so creative and funny. I can totally see why it was his breakthrough film in Hollywood.
My and Jackie Chan have a few similarities: we both do taekwondo, which is one of many martial arts Chan has learned over his life. We also are both asian (obviously), and I share his love of stunting/martial arts, though I’m not brave or skilled enough to pull out the stunts that he does. I hope though studying him I can find out his inspiration and maybe even take away from his work ethic to improve mine. I also want to better manage my time so I will get stressed less than last year.