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Chan putting the fun in Hollywood fighting with 'Rush Hour'

Web posted on: Friday, September 18, 1998 3:02:55 PM

From Correspondent Sherri Sylvester

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Making a Jackie Chan movie used to be as easy as one-two-three. One: Get Chan to produce, direct, write and star. Two: Watch him do stunts that would kill anybody else. Three: Keep the budget low.

So why is Chan on an American set, with an American director (Brett Ratner) making a $45 million American feature called "Rush Hour"? Judging by brisk video sales, e-mail from U.S. moviegoers and a North American fan club, Chan thinks Americans are finally ready for his style of movie -- though that's not always been the case.

"Fifteen years ago, I really give up American market," Chan recalls of his original efforts to break into Hollywood, which included an appearance as a racecar driver in "Cannonball Run." "At that time I don't think the audience really accept me, this kind of fighting, this kind of comedy, so I went back to Asia making my Asian films."

Chan and co-star Chris Tucker put on the moves

Video clip: 1.6Mb QuickTime

'We gonna do a fight scene'

With "Rush Hour," he takes a new shot at the American dream. Released nationwide on Friday, the cop comedy co-stars Chris Tucker, providing plenty of laughs, and plenty of well-choreographed stunts and fight scenes.

Tucker says working with Chan was an adventure, and recalls one particular crash course in fighting.

"Jackie come to me and says, 'We gonna do a fight scene.' I said 'What?' He says 'We got to do a fight scene in the next scene. I have to teach you.' I say 'How you gonna teach me in three seconds?'" Tucker says. "What we did, we did the fight scene with our arms connected."

Chan goes over an action step by step with the other actors

'If I get hurt'

Chan had one problem with his made-in-the-U.S.A. project. The insurance guys hate for him to do his dangerous stunts.

"They waste two hours to check all the things" to make sure the stunt is safe, Chan says.

"If I get hurt, the company really scared I'm suing it," he jokes.

But Chan says his stunts make the movie more realistic for an American audience that is keen at picking out stunt doubles and special effects.

If moviegoers come along for Chan's latest ride, expect Jackie Chan to become a permanent fixture in Hollywood.

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