Very few Asian celebrities can boast of a career that is as prolific as Jackie Chan.
Born on April 7, 1954 to refugee parents who fled the chaos of mainland China for British Hong Kong, Chan’s full name is actually Chan Kong-Sang. While his parents worked for the French ambassador’s office in Hong Kong, he was sent to a Peking opera-style school called China Drama Academy, where he excelled in martial arts and acrobatics.
Entering the Hong Kong film industry at such a young age, Chan began his upward trajectory in the film business – becoming one of Asia’s greatest contributions to the entertainment industry.
Here are some of the most interesting facts that even Jackie Chan’s most dedicated fans probably did not know:
10. An Australian gave him the name Jackie
Chan was in his early twenties when he left Hong Kong to join his parents who at that time had already emigrated to Canberra, Australia. While working there as a construction worker, he was taken in by a fellow builder who was much older than him. The name of the builder was Jack. After some time, he came to be called “Little Jack” or “Jackie” by his colleagues. Needless to say, the name stuck to him up to this very day.
9. He has appeared in a soft-pornographic film
Sex comedies were quite popular in Hong Kong in the mid seventies. Chan, who was still a struggling actor at that time, agreed to do a sex comedy where he engaged in a simulated sex act with an adult actress. The name of this film is All in the Family and had a limited run in Hong Kong cinemas in 1975.
8. He is an accomplished singer
Long before there was K Pop, Hong Kong had its own ubiquitous homegrown music called Cantonese Pop or Canto Pop for short. Canto Pop produced the biggest names in Hong Kong’s recording industry such as – Jackie Cheung, Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, and yes – Jackie Chan, whose albums and singles have earned gold and multi-platinum status in Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and other Asian countries.
7. He loves to teach
Jackie Chan is currently a faculty member of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He also currently serves as the Dean of the Jackie Chan Film and Television Academy – a position he has held since 2015.
6. He is multi-lingual
Jackie Chan speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, English, German, and even the American Sign Language! He also knows some Spanish, Thai, Japanese, and Korean.
5. He refuses to play villains
Chan’s film portrayals have hewed closely with the genre which he seemed to have invented – the action-comedic genre.
4. He has been blackmailed by the Hong Kong Triads
When Jackie’s mentor and friend Willie Chan transferred to Golden Harvest Films and left the Lo Wei Motion Picture Company, Jackie was determined to follow suit. This prompted Lo Wei to resort to desperate measures to keep his lead star from departing from the filming of Fearless Hyena Part II, which was then being shot. Lo Wei used his connections with the Hong Triad to harass, intimidate, and blackmail Jackie Chan and keep him from transferring to Golden Harvest. Chan finished the film – then tried, unsuccessfully, to block its release.
3. He has no insurance whenever he is in America
Chan is known to make all his stunts himself. He does not believe in getting a double or another stuntman for the more perilous action sequences. Because of this, no American insurance company has ever agreed nor offered him any life insurance.
2. He is scared of needles and public speaking
His mastery in the martial arts and his willingness to do death-defying action sequences would prove no match when you expose him to needles or make him speak before a large audience. He will surely get goosebumps.
1. He does not like the Rush Hour movie series
Chan has always expressed his aversion to this popular Hollywood action film series which starred him and comedian Chris Tucker. His aversion stems from the fact that he does not like American humor and that he does not get the taste of the American movie audience.