Jackie Chan reveals why he ‘gave up on American showbiz’

Jackie Chan reveals why he ‘gave up on American showbiz’

No one cared about whether my action sequences and scenes were good. They only praised me when I got my lines right!” he shared

December 21, 2022
Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan revealed why he “gave up on American showbiz” in a recent episode of the reality TV show “Memories Beyond Horizon.”
The martial artist and acting legend, who appeared as a mentor for the show’s young Hong Kong and Chinese actors, shared his experiences and struggles in the U.S. film industry.
“When I went to America to film, my English was terrible… I had to spend a month just to memorize a single line — even when I was sleeping, I would read the line in my dreams,” Chan, 68, recalled, according to Asia One. “Many words that I wanted to say, I couldn’t. It was very frustrating.”
Chan said he struggled with intonations and sounding natural while speaking in English. He also noted that he would only receive praise when he got his English lines down. 
“No one cared about whether my action sequences and scenes were good. They only praised me when I got my lines right!” he shared. “After that, I had to immediately return to my car to practice with my English teacher, and as I was practicing, I told myself, ‘I cannot continue like this.’ So I gave up on American showbiz.”
Chan began his career as a stuntman in the 1980s before he became a superstar in both Chinese cinema and Hollywood. 
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“Truthfully, I’ve already crossed many difficult bridges and made it easier for you to live out your lives [as actors], so you can avoid taking these harder routes and head in the right direction,” Chan told the young actors on the show, adding that they should make protecting themselves a priority as “not everyone on set will look out for you.”
In a 1996 interview on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” Chan also spoke about the challenges he faced during his early days in America.
He explained how language barriers affected his day-to-day life, saying, “I think it [English] is the most difficult language… first time when I come to United States, I just, ‘Hello, my name is Jackie Chan.’ I even, I don’t know how to order food.”
Despite doing his own stunts, he struggled in Hollywood due to his English delivery, leaving him with limited roles. 
“To me, action scenes are so easy, but dialogue scenes drive me crazy. The directors and producers want me to speak everything perfectly. I want to ask them, ‘Can I speak Jackie Chan English?’” Chan said, according to Essentially Sports.

Before you go:
      Michelle De Pacina

      Michelle De Pacina is a New York-based Reporter for NextShark




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