No more cheating death for Jackie Chan: 'Enough is enough'
MANILA, Philippines -- At 58, Jackie Chan has had more than a few brushes with death -- most recently, during the filming of what is billed as his "last big action movie."
|International superstar Jackie Chan in a scene from the upcoming movie, "Chinese Zodiac"
On the set of "Chinese Zodiac," the Asian superstar was nearly pinned down by a huge painting. Had its entire weight fallen on his back, Chan said he could have been "in a wheelchair all my life."
With a career spanning five decades, the Hong Kong actor is no stranger to near-death situations, having done all of his stunts in some 150 action films.
Nearing the age of 60, however, Chan feels he may be running out of luck.
"I got hurt, really hurt," Chan told ABS-CBN News' Ginger Conejero in an exclusive interview, recalling his near-accident on the set of "Chinese Zodiac."
"I walked around the corner, and I talked to myself. 'Jackie, am I, everytime, just that lucky? What happened one second ago if...? I might stay in a wheelchair [for the rest of] my life.' So enough is enough," he said.
Also known as an action choreographer and a trained martial artist, Chan's near-death experiences doing stunt work have nonetheless left glaring reminders. Over the years, the actor has fractured his skull, dislocated his pelvis, broke his neck, nose, cheekbones, fingers, ribs, hips and ankles.
"When you're young, you just forget. I can break my hand in the morning, and go back on set in the afternoon. But now, it just takes time -- a week, a month to recover," he said.
"I tell myself, 'You are really not young anymore.' Even though I don't believe myself as old, the age is here," he added.
Although it is said to be his final action movie, "Chinese Zodiac" will offer no shortage of stunts, according to Chan.
Shot in eight countries, the high-budget action-comedy recently made headlines when it became the all-time highest grossing film China, after earning $34.6 million in just four days.
Set to be released in the Philippines by Star Cinema on January 30, the film tells the story a treasure hunter, JC (Chan), who travels the world to search for and retrieve all the stolen bronze heads of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac.
Aside from topbilling the film and co-starring with Hollywood and renowned Asian actors, Chan also directed the adventure flick.
"I like being the director. You can control the whole thing. I can do whatever I like to do. It's the most fun part," he said.
"It's almost like a small kingdom. I'm the president. I control. I want everything with a rule. When's dinner, when's lunch, when's sleeping," he added in jest.
Chan's being "in control" extends to handling his career. For the action star, retiring from doing stuntwork should be done with a "boom."
"When I do this movie, I believe, I should take it and announce it as my last, then -- boom! -- retire. I think it's pretty good timing," he said.
"[My supporters] should get ready. One day, I am going to retire. I'm not young anymore. You've got a find a point when you tell your audience, that's the last one. Now I should stop," he said.