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“Bruce chair, Bruce table, everybody named Bruce”: Jackie Chan Was Forced to Leave His Stuntman Life and Went Back to School After Bruce Lee’s Tragic Death

"Bruce chair, Bruce table, everybody named Bruce": Jackie Chan Was Forced to Leave His Stuntman Life and Went Back to School After Bruce Lee's Tragic Death

Jackie Chan is widely regarded as one of the best exponents of martial arts in the world. With the legendary Bruce Lee as his idol, Chan began his career as a stuntman doing action-based films in Hong Kong before taking the big leap into Hollywood where he made his name as not just an action star, but an actor who had a flair for comedy as well. The Rush Hour franchise in which Chan co-starred with Chris Tucker, became cult classics and catapulted the star to the big leagues.

Jackie Chan
Action star Jackie Chan

However, the journey to create his unique niche for himself was not an easy one for Jackie Chan. The martial arts star spoke candidly about the struggles he faced as a prospective action exponent whose aim was to achieve the masterful heights of Bruce Lee. Chan also spoke about quitting the profession briefly after Lee’s death and pursuing education abroad as he was disillusioned by the quality of films being made.

Also Read: “I taught kids about drinking liquor”: Jackie Chan Had to Radically Change His $34M Movie to Become an Ideal Role Model After Gaining Cheap Success

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Jackie Chan’s Career Was Affected By Bruce Lee’s Death

Any aspiring action star who has a flair and skill for the martial arts would be an ardent followers of the greatest master in the field, Bruce Lee. Jackie Chan too took inspiration from Lee’s brilliance to nurture his dreams of becoming a huge action star. The journey to the top though, was marred by many obstacles. In an interview. the Rush Hour actor spoke about the impact of Bruce Lee’s death and how it affected the state of kung fu films. Elaborating on the unoriginality and mundaneness of action movies post Lee’s demise, Chan said,

“They make so many terrible action movies at that time so audience get tired. Every where it’s Bruce table, Bruce chair, Bruce this that everything” 

Jackie Chan
After Bruce Lee’s death, Jackie Chan quit his stuntman job to pursue an education

Unable to find inspiration through the scripts and narratives offered, Chan decided to quit the profession and pursue an education in Australia. The actor confessed that he endured many tough times including difficulty with language, racism, and other problems. But soon, Hollywood came calling and the rest is history.

Also Read: “I’m glad I didn’t get my jaw broken”: Marvel Star’s Demand to Fight Jackie Chan Almost Cost Him Heavily in $347M Movie After Action Legend Went Ruthless

Jackie Chan Initially thought doing Rush Hour Was A Mistake

Though Rush Hour went on to become a huge success, it was not always smooth sailing between Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, and the director Brett Ratner during the filming of the movie. According to sources, the Karate Kid star hated the sensibilities of the film along with struggling to find chemistry between himself and Chris Tucker. To add to his woes, language also was a barrier with the actor claiming that the American comedian’s signature fast style of speaking was completely lost on him.

Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker in Rush Hour

Despite opening to big numbers in America, Rush Hour failed to make an impact in the Asian market even with Jackie Chan’s name attached to it. With the film making just 12 million in Asia, the Vanguard actor was extremely disappointed at the result and said,

“Yeah! Only 12 million! My movie? I make a Hong Kong film, and it make 50 million! You see the difference? If Rush Hour not starring Jackie Chan, I think it only make half million in Hong Kong. That’s all!”

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker ultimately went on to share a great rapport, doing 2 more films in the franchise, but not before the Asian star almost decided to take a major decision about his career.

Also Read: “It’s not up to us”: Not Jackie Chan’s Refusal, ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Risked China Ban After Directors’ Hard Stance in $141M Michelle Yeoh Starrer

Source: YouTube


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Sharanya is a mom, bookworm, and cinephile. Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, writing is one of her passions. When she is not running behind her 11 and 9 year old, she spends her time watching and blogging about movies. She enjoys a range of genres from Indian mass entertainers to Hollywood and world cinema. Her interests also include analyzing pop culture in movies and music.