When India’s most daring actor Kamal Haasan met Hong Kong’s stunt hero and martial artist Jackie Chan, an instant rapport emerged. The common ground between them? ‘Broken bones’.
Hassan who has multiple fractures, after a fall from his office balcony at Eldams Road in Chennai, laughs and says, “When I met Chan, he asked in that cute Chinese accent, ‘How many broken bones?’ I told him I had 33 .
“Oh, you are getting there,” Chan laughed and that’s how we got connected.
“When Chan decided to crack the Hollywood code, he could have been anyone. He could have become another Steve McQueen. Instead, Chan chose to copy none of the big US stars. He chose to be himself. He did not change his accent when he went to the West. We Asian actors do this. But to this day, Chan speaks in the same endearing sing-song tone that we heard when he first started,” Hassan adds, in full admiration for the actor-cum-producer.
Praising Chan’s tenacity and sturdiness, Haasan continues, “Just look at Chan’s childlike enthusiasm at 62. He still performs his own stunts. And he is unbeatable while at action. Though he started his career as a Bruce Lee clone, Chan knew that if he continued on that path, he would be compared to Lee for all his life. So he chose to be none other than himself. It takes guts to sell the Orient to the West without shifting gears, just to have a sense of belonging in the West. Jackie Chan is unique. There is no one like him.”