The son of a Chinese spy who suffered a hundred injuries on set: 5 facts about Jackie Chan

By SSPDaily editionJan 9, 2024 15:49 PMShowbiz
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5 interesting facts about Jackie Chan
5 interesting facts about Jackie Chan. Source: koimoi.com

Jackie Chan, the iconic Hong Kong actor, director, martial artist and stuntman, has captivated audiences around the world with his unique combination of ridiculous acrobatic fighting, comic timing and daring stunts. Although Jackie Chan's on-screen image is well known, SSPDaily told about 5 surprising facts about this versatile personality.

Interesting family secrets

Jackie Chan was born on April 7, 1954 in British Hong Kong to Charles and Lee-lee Chan. His father was involved in the film industry, so the future star was often invited to auditions for his directorial projects.

However, a shocking truth came to light after his mother's death in 2001: Jackie's father was a secret spy for the Chinese Nationalist Revolutionary Army, working under the name Fang Daolang.

In addition, the love story of the celebrity's parents began when his father arrested his mother for smuggling opium into China. This discovery led Jackie Chan to change his Chinese name to Fang Shilong, honoring his father's original surname.

The evolution of his name

Initially, his parents named him Chan Kong-sang, but for his boundless energy, the future star received the childhood nickname "Pao-pao" (meaning "cannonball"). In 1960, he entered the Chinese Drama Academy, a Beijing opera school under the direction of master Yu Jim-yuen. His intensive training led him to the Seven Little Fortunes, a group consisting of the school's best students. He adopted the stage name Yuen Lo as a tribute to his teacher.

Moving to Australia in 1976 to join his parents, he worked as a construction worker, where he was mentored by a fellow worker named Jack, which gave him the nickname "Little Jack", later shortened to the iconic "Jackie".

Creation of the kung fu comedy genre

Jackie Chan is considered to be the pioneer of the kung fu comedy genre, popularizing it through his numerous blockbusters. Before his arrival, kung fu films were known for their hard-hitting storylines and intense violence, often trying to emulate Bruce Lee's style.

However, after the untimely death of this actor, the genre suffered from bad imitations and low-budget knockoffs. Jackie Chan's innovative comedic kung fu style provided a fresh perspective, allowing audiences to enjoy action movies without constant comparisons to Bruce Lee and giving new stars the opportunity to step out of his big shadow.

The high price of stunts

Long before he became a famous movie star, Jackie Chan began his career as a stuntman, and his dedication to performing his own stunts caused approximately 100 injuries on set. The amazing resilience of the artist brought the star a victory in the Guinness Book of Records in the nomination "The largest number of stunts performed by a living actor."

Some of them were life-threatening, such as the terrifying fall from a building during the filming of Fist of Fury, which set the record for the highest fall in Chinese cinema. It is noteworthy that he even got a hole in his skull from a stunt in Armor of God and narrowly escaped drowning on the set of Vanguard.

Hidden vocal talent

While most people know Jackie Chan for his incredible martial arts skills, he is also a classically trained vocalist. Starting in the 1980s, the actor began producing records professionally and has released 20 albums in various languages, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, Taiwanese, and English.

Jackie often sings the soundtracks to his films, starting with "Kung Fu Fighting Man" for The Young Master in the 1980s. His music resonates with audiences, and his main theme in Cantonese, "Story of a Hero," was even used in a 1994 Royal Hong Kong Police Force recruitment advertisement.

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