Jackie Chan wants to leave his action star status behind and become a “true actor” like Robert De Niro.
The Rush Hour star is known for his action-packed comedy films, but he recently switched gears to show his dramatic talents in new revenge thriller The Foreigner, featuring opposite Pierce Brosnan.
Jackie recently attended a premiere for the movie and marveled at how differently the audience reacted to the project, compared to the laughs he usually receives at such screenings.
“I’ve been doing comedy (for) so long. I remember, when I watched the premiere (for The Foreigner), the whole theatre was quiet,” he recalled on Today. “Mostly, they (fans) watch my movies, they (laugh)… It’s so quiet (when they watch The Foreigner), even the action is really tough.”
It’s the kind of movie Jackie had been waiting for to display a different style of acting onscreen.
“I wanna change, I want to let the audience know I’m an actor, not an action star,” he said. “(An) action star’s life is so short. I want to be an actor, (a) true actor, like Robert De Niro; they live forever.”
Jackie, 63, admits working on drama sets will take some getting used to, because everything is so serious, but it’s that same vibe on set which has helped him perfect his ability to cry on cue.
“The crying, the tears are real (in The Foreigner); it’s not eye drops,” he told Today. “By the time I’m coming (to cry), the dialogue really touched my heart: ‘Where’s your family?’ ‘I’ve not got family (sic),’ and a tear comes down (his cheek).”
Despite his desire to focus more on dramatic films, there is one action comedy franchise Jackie is not quite ready to let go of – buddy cop hit Rush Hour.
Both he and co-star Chris Tucker have previously expressed an interest in making a follow-up to 2007’s Rush Hour 3, but if the American funnyman has a change of heart, Jackie has no qualms about moving the story in a different direction.
“I said (to Tucker), ‘Hurry up (and agree to a sequel), before you get old!’,” he laughed. “If you’re not gonna do it, at the beginning of the movie, funeral – he (Tucker’s character) died! His son take over (sic)!”
Jackie made the joke just days after revealing he was aiming to get production started on Rush Hour 4 next year (18).