Steven Seagal had admittedly one of the shortest-spanning careers in Hollywood for an action hero. Even though he served quite a few hits since his 1988 debut Above the Law, by the end of the ’90s his career had already taken a downturn.
Not only were his movies getting progressively worse, but his apparent attitude problem had successfully managed to alienate him from almost the entire industry.
From constant verbal disses to his co-stars and colleagues trying to establish himself as the tougher guy, and accusations of s**ual harassment piling up each day from the actresses who were in his vicinity, Seagal swiftly became one of the most hated artists of the industry.
However, the most common target of his disses at the time was none other than fellow action artist Jean-Claude Van Damme. The legendary artist went on to create one of the most iconic advertisements in the world according to fans, with nothing other than his tremendous martial artist skills and body control.
Steven Seagal compared Jean-Claude Van Damme to an ant
Steven Seagal has been known his entire career for saying the most outrageous things about his industry colleagues. Even if they happen to be groundbreaking legends like Chuck Norris, or Jean-Claude Van Damme who had various championship trophies to his name to boast of.
In an interview once, when asked about his opinion of people claiming Van Damme’s technique was quite detailed, he flat refuted it, saying,
“I mean, I’m not being catty or anything, I wish the guy all the best. But there are an awful lot of people who say that’s not true.”
Not only that, over the years he had rarely passed up any opportunity to discount Van Damme’s talents. Even in his reality show, Steven Seagal Lawman, the Under Siege star laughed at the notion of having a face-off with Jean-Claude Van Damme.
He noted, “It’d be like me squashing an ant. If he sees me he runs.” Interestingly, though, there is a running story in Hollywood with prominent witnesses to confirm it, that would suggest otherwise.
Steven Seagal ran away from fighting Jean-Claude Van Damme
So the story dates back to 1997 at a party hosted by one of the biggest and still one of the most sought-after action stars Hollywood has ever produced, Sylvester Stallone.
According to the people present, including the host himself, the Bloodsport star, exhausted by the constant jabs Seagal threw his way challenged him to a face-off in Sly’s backyard.
Now, you would think that someone who spent years dissing Van Damme and even comparing him to an ant would jump on the chance to sweep the floor with him. However, Steven Seagal apparently made excuses and beat his feet out of there real fast. In fact, Sylvester Stallone claimed,
“Van Damme, who was berserk, tracked him down at a nightclub and offered him out again. Again, Seagal pulled a Houdini.”
According to Stallone, Vann Damme was way too strong, and Segal did not want to face him. Well, this is not exactly a surprise, as Jean-Claude Van Damme happens to be the same person who created one of the most iconic ad campaigns to date just around 9 years back.
In the Volvo Trucks Live Tests advertisement, Van Damme was seen standing with his feet on two parallelly running trucks.
That is, until the trucks kept moving away from each other enabling Van Damme to create the iconic split suspended on air between two moving trucks with just the strength of his legs and core muscles to keep him up.
Along with the beautiful sunrise in the background and magical music, the one-take commercial still stuns the viewers.
As a result, it is no surprise why Jean-Claude Van Damme still maintains his relevance in the industry, while Steven Seagal is almost forgotten if not for his barrage of controversies.