Jackie Chan is one of the most well-recognized actors in Hollywood. His work in projects like the Rush Hour franchise, The Karate Kid franchise, Police Story, and Shanghai Noon, has completely reshaped what action movies look like today, having had a type of influence on the genre that very few are able to. On top of this, the actor has also received an Academy Honorary Award for his extraordinary achievements in the film industry.
Though everyone in the world knows the actor’s name, it is quite interesting to find out, that his real name is not, in fact, Jackie Chan, and the actor changed it because of construction workers he worked with in Australia.
Jackie Chan’s Real Name Is Not Jackie Chan
It is quite common in show business for performers, be it actors, musicians, or dancers, to change their name when, or before they become famous. Jackie Chan is quite different in this case, with the actor being known through many different names over the many years of his career. Born Chan Kong-sang in Hong Kong, the actor moved to Australia at a very young age, only to go back to better perform in his school.
When he started working in the films, the actor worked alongside the legendary actor and martial artist, Bruce Lee, for two films, Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon, where he acted as a stunt man for Lee. This, however, changed after the death of Lee, as Chan was put forth in movies as ‘Cheng Long’, which means becoming the dragon and is a play on how Lee was known as ‘Little Dragon’. While this is what the Drunken Master actor is widely known as to his Chinese audiences, Lee had changed his name for his American audience as well.
Jackie Chan Got His Name Through Construction Workers
In his autobiography, I Am Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan revealed the story behind how he got the name that his American audiences recognize him. The actor mentioned that his first name was something that he had gotten while briefly working at a construction site in Australia in the early 1970s. He went on to explain that while working there, a fellow worker named Jack, took him under his wing.
The actor very quickly realized while working there that people there would have quite a lot of difficulty understanding and saying his name, which at the time was Chan Kong-sang. So, in honor of the man that helped him, the actor started going by Jack too. This started to cause some confusion as now there were two Jacks working in the same place, so to avoid this, many started to call the actor ‘Little Jack’, which eventually turned into ‘Jackie’