In his latest stunt-filled movie, “The Spy Next Door,” Jackie Chan adds a new element to his usual bag of tricks: a love interest. In the film, Chan stars as a retired spy trying to woo a single mother and win over her three young children when his old job comes back to haunt him. Chan talked to Metro about working with kids, dealing with new technology and why you won’t see him doing a nude scene anytime soon.
How was working with kids?
Difficult. On the set sometimes, I’d want to take a rest for 20 minutes, but then it’s, “Jackie, I want to learn some karate.” “Jackie, I want to do this.” “Show me magic.” I prepare all these tricks to entertain them.
How important is it to vary the types of films you make?
I think for the last 10 years, you can see there are different Jackie Chans. In Japan, I made a very heavy drama called “Shinjuku Incident” — not for children. I wanted to let the audiences see what I can do. After that, I made “The Spy Next Door,” then a black comedy, then the “Karate Kid.” I want the audience to know I’m a true actor who can fight, not a fighter who can act. Just like Robert De Niro. I want to be an actor. An actor can work forever. An action star’s life is very short.
Do advances in special effects make your job easier?
I want to learn some things about special effects. Last year or two years ago ... I visited James Cameron’s set for “Avatar.” I’ve been making movies for 47 years. After I looked at his set, I was just like a kid in kindergarten.