One of Asia's top action superstars, Jackie Chan is back in Malaysia to promote his upcoming action drama, "Police Story 2013". Here is the conversation we had at the press interview with the 'taiko' himself on 18 December at the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur regarding the fifth instalment of his popular "Police Story" franchise!
Cinema Online's interview with Jackie Chan conducted on 18 December 2013 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.
Q: Of all the "Police Story" movies you have made so far, which one is your favourite?
I think the first "Police Story" is still my favourite.
Q: In "Police Story 2013", you are generally focusing more on drama than action. What are your comments on this?
The action in "Police Story 2013" is not necessarily as big as "CZ12" (Chinese Zodiac). But I'm planning to make another big action movie after my two upcoming projects, "DragonBlade" and "Skiptrace". It will probably take me about 2 or 3 years later. Now, I'm writing the script.
Q: Will you be the director? (Referring to Jackie Chan's plan for the new big action movie)
Yes. And it will be a "CZ12" kind of action movie. A Jackie Chan movie, that only I can direct myself. If you ask a different director, they will be controlled by a producer. Like for "CZ12", I made in one and the half years. The sofa-fighting sequence alone took me three months. No production will let you do that. That is why I have to direct it myself. I am the producer, I am the investor... I want to do the right thing. Today's action movies are not very good, why? Because the director is controlled by the producer. When you ask for 6 million or 10 million, and then you ask for one more month, no, you only get 2 weeks. How can you make a good action movie? It's so difficult. So when it comes to big action sequences, I direct it myself. I take my time just like I did with "CZ12".
Q: You've mentioned that production times are now shorter and action movies rely a lot on CGI and special effects. But your brand of action is more physical and old school. Do you think that these kind of old-school action movies will be lesser?
Yes, because everybody nowadays concentrates on special effects and computer graphics. Sometimes when I look at a modern police movie, it's ridiculous. Jumping on the side (while mimicking two guns with his fingers)... What is the stunt coordinator thinking? What is the director thinking? If they continue doing this, action movies will be gone. Nobody will do action movie anymore. That's why as long as my kind of action movie is successful, there will always be a market for the audience. Sometimes with special effects, I wish I could be Spider-Man and fly around. Anybody can do that, but audiences don't like to see Jackie Chan flying around.
Q: You have previously come to Malaysia to shoot at the train station for "Police Story 3". Will there by any chance that you'll be coming back here for another "Police Story" shoot?
(Laughs) Ask Michelle Yeoh!
Q: What if she (Referring to Michelle Yeoh) says "yes"?
If she says yes, then it's a yes. She's my boss.
Q: Have you ever considered working with Johnnie To (director of "Drug War" and "Blind Detective")?
Ah! We've been talking about working together for so many years. I've asked him when, but he said it's so difficult for him to write a script for a Jackie Chan movie.
Q: You have done so many action movies. What is your most serious injury that you've ever encountered?
My skull. When I fell down from the tree in Yugoslavia in "Armour of God", I almost died.
Q: Do you feel tired doing all these martial arts action movies? Would you consider playing different types of roles?
Yes! This is why I want to do more acting. Love story! But nobody wants to hire me. I would also like to do a drama movie.
Q: Of all the sequels you have made, have you considered doing a "Project A: Part 3"?
"Project A" is a good movie, but my two... three captains (referring to the late Kwan Hoi-San, Lau Hak-Suen and Wong Wai) have already died. The difficult thing is that it's hard to come up with a script. In fact, I also wanted to try Yuen Woo-Ping (action choreographer of "The Matrix" trilogy), Stanley Tong (director of "Police Story 3: Super Cop" and "Police Story 4: First Strike) and Benny Chan (director of "New Police Story") to write "Drunken Master 3". But nobody can write it. Because if I act in "Drunken Master 3", I must become the old teacher, right? I cannot be the young student anymore.
Q: Last year, you said you wanted to do a musical. How is it progressing so far?
Right now two companies from US came to China and talked to me. They will invest in everything, including writing the script, staging a set design and so on. It takes time. And yes, it's going to happen.
Q: What about "Rush Hour 4"?
We just finished meeting last month in L.A. with Chris Tucker and two writers. The first draft, I don't really like it. It's just boring. Nothing is exciting anymore. I know Warner Bros. really wanted to do "Rush Hour 4". Both Chris Tucker and I agreed to do another one, but we need to see the script first. So far, it's Jackie goes to Hong Kong, no, Jackie goes to America... Chris Tucker goes to Hong Kong. Then we go to Paris. What's next? It's difficult.
Q: What do you think about the future generation of Hong Kong action stars right now?
Actually in China and Hong Kong, there are so many potential action stars. They are just not famous enough. That's why I want to help them grow and introduce them to the world. I'm planning to open a martial arts acting school one day. I want to teach them how to become an action star.
"Police Story 2013" opens in cinemas nationwide on 24 December.