Jackie Chan, arguably the world’s most famous and talented martial artist actor, has announced his retirement from action films. Yes. You read that correctly. Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, Chan made it clear that after starring in 100 action and martial arts movies, he will no longer be kicking and punching. Instead, the actor says that he wants to focus on being a “true actor” and will focus his energies on character driven roles.
In talking about his upcoming Chinese Zodiac film, Jackie Chan made the following comments regarding his martial arts and action film career…
[Chinese Zodiac] is my last action film. I tell you, I’m not young any more. I’m really, really tired. And the world is too violent right now. It’s a dilemma – I like action but I don’t like violence.
I want the audience to know also I’m not only a comedian. I can act. Day by day, year by year, I’m going to show you the real Jackie Chan.
I don’t just want to be an action star, I want to be a true actor. I want to get rid of my image.
Pretty powerful language, there. Whenever an actor, especially one with the star power of Jackie Chan, talks about wanting to “get rid of” their image, that’s a bold statement. The big question, however, is if Hollywood is interested in featuring Mr. Chan in non-action driven films. While Chan certainly has proven his ability to excite audiences at the box office, he’s never really had the opportunity to carry a film solely on his acting ability. And while Jackie Chan has long spoke of wanting to become the “Asian Robert Di Niro”, him making the transition from martial arts star to respected actor will not be an easy feat. And, even if he does have the acting skills that he thinks he does, it would require a movie studio to take a risk on the actor, and risk isn’t something that Hollywood is big on right now.
In my opinion, Jackie Chan has earned the right to do whatever he damn well likes. Regardless if you’re a fan of his movies or not, you cannot deny his talent. And, yes, when speaking of his talent, I’m mostly referring to his martial arts skills. I’m not sure that his acting skills are as strong as his kicking, punching, and flipping skills, but I’d sure like to see him given the chance to prove it. Even if he has to take a few supporting roles, which is probably the route he’ll go at first, it would give him the opportunity to have a go at transitioning into dramatic or comedic roles, as opposed to the more violent ones that everyone associates him with.
What are your thoughts on Jacki Chan’s decision to retire from action films? Do you think he can succeed with his acting skills alone? Share your opinion in the comments below.
Filed Under: Film and Television