Most people, when initially finding fame, take it the wrong way and end up getting themselves into trouble and much controversy. Surprisingly enough, world-famous for being one of the kindest personalities there are, Jackie Chan was no exception to this.
However, that didn’t last long and he was saved before he could get himself into any serious trouble because of one single event. In fact, that event changed the Rush Hour star so tremendously that his life could never be the same ever again.
Jackie Chan Used To Be A ‘Wild, Wild Boy’
Although Jackie Chan is one of the nicest and kindest celebrities there are today, that wasn’t always the case. When he initially earned his fame and wealth, it didn’t take him long to naturally get influenced by the bad things in life. Sharing his life experience as an actor with SOH Talks & Ideas Archive, he said:
“When I was 20, I was a millionaire. Suddenly. Five dollars one day, one night; the second day, I have over a million. I [bought] seven diamond watches on the same day. Then, the next day, every night, I buy dinner with all the old stunt guys [to show off my diamond watches]. Because, in the old days, I would dream this. [And because of the stunt scenes without proper protection] we see people die [or become] paralyzed. So, we have money? Spend [it].”
He then compared his old self with his current self mentioning how now he doesn’t waste that money but instead uses it to buy protection equipment for his JC team, actors, and everyone. Continuing, Chan said:
“We just spent a lot of money [before]. And when you get famous, people ask you to do a charity. No! Daytime, we risk my life [because of lack of safety equipment]. At nighttime, we go for drinks at a nightclub. I [was] just a wild boy. A wild, wild [boy]. No education, nothing. Always, the people behind me always are ‘yes’ men. ‘Oh, good. yes’ or ‘Good? Yeah.’ You know, just wow.”
This encouragement that Jackie Chan got from all the people around him just increased his arrogance and motivated him to keep doing things that were to his liking and benefitted him instead of benefiting the people around him.
Jackie Chan’s Life Completely Changed After a Decision
Continuing in the interview with SOH Talks & Ideas Archive, Jackie Chan shared the event that truly changed him:
“One day, they asked me to do a charity. [I said] ‘No, I don’t have time.’ I just pretend I’m tired. They said, ‘No, please! We already got the presents, everything. You just go there to say hello.’ I said, ‘Okay, okay!’ I remember I [was wearing] thick glasses because I was drunk at night. And I was asleep in the car. [When] I [got] up, I [saw] all the children with some man going like this, ‘Oh, Jackie, Jackie. Oh, we love you.’ I [was] just standing there [and] suddenly [realized], ‘Wow.'”
The Tuxedo star had never been to that kind of hospital before nor had seen that many children in such severe conditions, thus, he was truly taken by amazement, guilt, and embarrassment over his foolish spending and way of living.
“I was just so embarrassed because I didn’t want to come and they prepared everything, but now everything’s Jackie. [Even in the news]. Then the children are on to me, [they’re like] ‘Will you come next Christmas?’ I looked at them [and said] ‘Yes, I’m coming. I’m coming next Christmas.'”
This whole event brought such a tremendous change in Chan that during the entire year following, he wasn’t happy. He was met with the sudden realization of how his environment had transformed him into something he wasn’t before because he had been following all the bad things. But now that good things were coming his way, he was more than determined to change himself.
The Karate Kid actor started by keeping safe all the presents he got throughout the year by dividing them into respective categories for kids and adults. The constant question of how he was supposed to face all those kids again because of his embarrassment had his mind running endlessly with thoughts of charity.
Just like that, Chan initiated one charity cause that turned into a massive thing for him as with each passing day, he was getting connected to more and more needy people and ending up helping them. Lastly, he closed his speech by saying,
“If I have power, I want to use my power to speak in my movies and songs and promote peace. Promote unity. Promote love [for] each other. I hope everybody gets the message. I hope the world — no more war.”
Today, Jackie Chan is regarded as one of the biggest humanitarian workers in the entertainment industry.
Source: SOH Talks & Ideas Archive