Jean-Claude Van Damme was a huge action icon in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Time Cop, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, and Bloodsport are some of his greatest flicks. But we need more of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Hollywood needs to bring him back.
He Was Only 18 When He Got His Black Belt In Karate
Jean-Claude was sent to the Shotokan Karate School by his father. He was merely 10 years old. It is said the minimum time required to completely master any martial arts technique is 10,000 hours.
For almost a decade, JCVD was trained in the grueling techniques of Karate. By the time he was 18, he earned his black belt along with mastery of many other close combat techniques. He is a true combat genius.
As Graceful As He’s Deadly – JCVD’s A Trained Ballet Dancer
Training since the age of 10 to hone his body into a weapon is one thing, but JCVD learning dancing? How does that factor into his routine? Jean-Claude Van Damme enrolled into ballet training classes for two reasons. One – he wanted to incorporate gracefulness into his fighting stances. And secondly, ballet dancing and martial arts are closer to each other than many realize.
Close Friends With Chuck Norris
When Van Damme first got into show business, he caught the attention of Chuck Norris. Norris hired him as one of his bouncers. JCVD would then become Norris’ sparring partner and even become part of the stunt team for the Chuck Norris Movie – Missing in Action. The two then shared a friendly rivalry together after Jean-Claude became an action sensation.
Co-Starred With Another Forgotten Hollywood Gem Six Times
Jean-Claude Van Damme is not the only forgotten European action star from the late ’80s and early ’90s we want Hollywood to bring back. Dolph Lundgren of Rocky fame is another star JCVD has frequently collaborated with. The two first starred in the 1992 sci-fi action thriller Universal Soldier. Then the duo starred in two other Universal Soldier movies, and the Expendables 2. They will be again seen in Minions: The Rise Of Gru.
Belgium & Azerbaijan Have A Statue In His Honor
The country of Belgium honored the action superstar with a life size statue in his honor. The statue was unveiled in 2012 in Anderlecht. Another Jean-Claude Van Damme statue came up in the unexpected location in Azerbaijan. JCVD has been very vocal about doing whatever it takes to achieve your dream, something he mentioned in the final words for his address in Belgium Statue’s unveiling.
Mortal Kombat’s Johnny Cage Is Based On Him
The original plan was for JCVD to be in the Mortal Kombat video game. The character Johnny Cage was actually closely based on Van Damme since the actor refused to have his name associated with an in-game character. When a Mortal Kombat movie was in the works, the studio asked JCVD to star as Cage. He refused, instead starring as Guile in the rival video game movie – Street Fighter.
Diagnosed as Bipolar & He Doesn’t Let It Affect His Training
The actor has been taking medication since 1998. He has only recently admitted that his extreme substance abuse in the past might have escalated the situation. But he has never let his mental ailments affect his training and regimen. That’s a warrior for you!!
Only Ever Lost One Single Kickboxing Match In His Career
19 matches he appeared. 18 of them were knock outs. He has only ever lost 1 match. Most actors switch from competitive sports to acting. It’s either one of the two. Jean-Claude Van Damme juggled both. he was an action icon on sets and an unstoppable force in the ring.
He Idolizes Charlie Chaplin
Since he is an action star, many would mistake his idols to be john Wayne or Clint Eastwood. But Jean-Claude Van Damme’s acting idol is the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin. JCVD has stated it’s Chaplin’s perfect blend of drama and comedy into scenes that inspire him. You could see Chaplin’s influence in the JCVD movies.
Was Homeless Before He Became A Star
Unlike the other entitled stars of Hollywood, Jean-Claude Van Damme began with nothing. For a time, he was homeless. But he needed to maintain his physique for the sake of his career so he hustled and scavenged wherever and whenever he could, His hard work certainly paid off.
Can Play Parody Roles Despite Being A Star
JCVD played as himself in Amazon Prime‘s Jean-Claude Van Johnson. He was an actor by day and super spy by night. And he was not that good a spy, always ending up screwing things even more. JCVD is perfect for reinvigorating the parody movie genre, a revolution that has waned since Scary Movie.
He Is Extremely Skilled
He is multi-talented. Jean-Claude Van Damme can speak three languages fluently. he can act, dance, and is a master martial artist well-versed in many close quarter combat techniques. All of this makes him the closest equivalent Hollywood has to Batman. The guy is extremely skilled.