Jean-Claude Van Damme chats to Ahlan!
When it comes to martial arts films, it doesn’t get much bigger than Jean-Claude Van Damme. From the classics Bloodsport, Street Fighter and Kickboxer to the more recent The Expendables, the legendary actor and martial artist has been a household name for almost three decades. Now the Muscles from Brussels is back on the big screen in new action flick Pound of Flesh. Ahlan! caught up with him in Hong Kong.
In the movie you donate a kidney. Would you ever do that in real life? And for who?
Absolutely. My children, of course. Also my father.
What made you agree to do Pound of Flesh?
Because this movie will not hurt me. It was made in 19 or 20 days on a very low budget, but the character I portray I could go all the way. It felt good to be in a dying against the clock situation. The movie has something cool about it.
Who would you still like to work with on a movie?
I’ve made about 60 movies, but I’ve never worked with really great actors. It doesn’t really matter to me. But of course if you have someone like a [Jack] Nicolson or [Robert] De Niro in front of you, you have something to work with, like a nice tennis match.
We didn’t know you live in Hong Kong these days!
Yes, it’s true. I’m high in the sky. You don’t hear the traffic up in the sky. I live on the 75th floor of a big apartment in Hong Kong. It’s very luxurious, but I’ve worked all my life for this. Hong Kong is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Bloodsport and Kickboxer was filmed here, so because of those two movies I discovered the magic of Asia.
When can we expect a visit to the UAE?
Dubai is a great place. I’ve got lots of good friends there. The only problem is when you train everyday your sweat glands work fast. So when you wear a suit in Dubai it can be a problem (laughs). But I really love the Middle East, and I hope my Arabic brothers love the new movie.