Jackie Chan is one of the most recognizable names in the world of martial arts cinema, known for his acrobatic fight scenes, comedic timing, and signature moves. Chan’s career took off in the 1980s with films such as Project A, Police Story, Armor of God, and others. He became popular for performing his own stunts, often risking his life for the sake of the scene. Chan made himself different from other action heroes and soon became a well-known star. But despite all this, Jackie Chan revealed in his autobiography how initially he failed miserably when filmmakers asked him to copy Bruce Lee’s fighting style.
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Jackie Chan Was Forced To Imitate Bruce Lee’s Fighting Style
After the sudden death of Bruce Lee in 1973, the Hong Kong film industry began its hunt for a new star to take his place. The Police Story star was identified as a perfect candidate to replace Lee and continue the legacy of martial arts film. In his autobiography, Never Grow Up, Chan revealed that filmmakers instructed him to emulate Lee’s movements and fighting style.
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Jackie Chan Failed Miserably In Copying The Legendary Bruce Lee
Though Jackie Chan was being forced to imitate Bruce Lee, one thing he knew from the very beginning was that he would never be able to copy Lee perfectly, admitting that no one could surpass Lee. Chan and Lee have certain common things in martial arts which include their common background in Wing Chun. Both also employed a diverse approach to fighting, incorporating multiple martial arts styles. However, their fighting styles were ultimately different with different areas of focus.
The futile effort to mimic the Fist of Fury star resulted in several box office failures in Chan’s life, which included Shaolin Wooden Men, To Kill with Intrigue, amongst others. The Rush Hour star realized that copying Lee would only result in failure and thus he decided to confront the director of the film, Snake in The Eagle’s Shadow, to let him fight in his fighting style. In response to his independence, Chan was able to impress audiences not only with his different fighting style but also with his real self and comic timing. As a result, after several box office disappointments, Snake in The Eagle’s Shadow emerged as a successful film.
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Even today’s well-known action star, Jackie Chan struggled in his early career to present his approach of fighting style to the audiences. It can be said that this particular experience surely helped the Police Story star to understand his uniqueness much better.
Source: Screen Rant