Van Damme Turned Down Roles in Rush Hour 3, New Street Fighter?

"Muscles from Brussels" possibly better at picking scripts than previously believed.

We've all had our share of fun at Jean-Claude Van Damme's expense over the years -- never in front of him, of course -- but perhaps the DVD-friendly action star has always been sharper than we gave him credit for being.

In a recently published interview with MTV Movies, Van Damme gave a refreshingly candid assessment of his life's work, reportedly "admitting he's only ever made a couple of decent films" and staring down what he figures to be the last 10 years of his acting career.

Don't feel too bad for Van Damme, though -- he recently filmed Mabrouk El Mechri's J.C.V.D., which the actor says will premiere at Cannes, and easily sounds like the most interesting project he's ever made:

[It's] about a guy who was arrested too many times in the U.S. Being drunk, my [character's] life was from success to failure. And this guy is now leaving the States to refresh himself, to go back to Brussels to see his parents. He's got no money and he's looking for any type of movie to pay his lawyers for child custody. And then he shows up in a post office where a heist is happening, and people think I'm part of it. And then it becomes very "Dog Day Afternoon." I think it's the best film I've done in my career. I didn't take any salary for it. I've got to respect my fanbase, the people who made me famous, but I'm trying to bring them something different. With me playing me, it was a very shocking experience. When I saw the movie a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't able to function for a few days. After 37 movies, I said, "I will never do another movie I would not like." What Mabrouk did to me, it's like Scorsese did to De Niro years ago. It's a very different picture for Jean-Claude Van Damme.

That doesn't mean Van Damme is done with his more traditional fare -- he's promoting a new picture, titled The Shepherd: Border Patrol, in which he plays a border patrol agent who discovers that "the new drug lords are controlled by ex-Navy Seals" -- but he does seem to have turned over a new leaf. He tells MTV that his next order of business is financing and directing a picture called Full Love ("I know it's not a Van Damme title, but it's a strong story"), and he also opened up about turning down two sizeable paydays. Asked about rumors that Brett Ratner wanted Van Damme to appear in Rush Hour 3, the star responds:

Yeah, I was approached. But if I do an action movie today I cannot walk through the streets and do karate moves. I would not believe it anymore. It's hard for me to say that. I cannot go and do three somersaults. I would feel like a monkey. So "Rush Hour," even though I would have been well paid, would have been difficult for me to accept.

The follow-up question, naturally, is how Van Damme feels about the upcoming Street Fighter reboot -- and wouldn't you know it, he was offered a role in that, too:

In fact they called me for that movie, to do the sequel. Again, I would have been well paid but I didn't want to do it. I've made enough money. I don't want to make a movie and then come home and be unhappy about it. Life is short. I'm 47 years old. I've got 10 years to go where I can be the best I can be. I want those 10 years to be precious, not like before, cranking two or three movies a year. I've made a ton of movies in my life, but so what? It's time for me to do things I like so I will be happy, my wife will be happy, my friends will be happy. I just want to do something I'm proud of. It's time for me to change. I could sign with a company for 10 movies and I'm the king of video and so what?

So what, indeed. To read more about Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest, follow the link below!

Source: MTV Movies

Comments

xenogears

J'rome Holmes II

I actually just rented his latest movie. I'm glad he doesn't want to do crap anymore and isn't doing the Steven Segal thing. I didn't realize he is 47.

Mar 5 - 05:39 AM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Guess all those blows to the head over the years finally knocked his brain into proper working order.

Mar 5 - 05:46 AM

Don't Tase Me Bro

Don't Tase Me Bro

I call this the Stallone-effect.

Mar 5 - 05:50 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol. "the Stallone-effect". I like it. But man, I've been pissed off at Van Damme since Double Team. True what Xeno said though, at least he hasn't gone *sigh* the Steven Segal route.

Mar 5 - 06:21 AM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

lol. "the Stallone-effect". I like it. But man, I've been pissed off at Van Damme since Double Team. True what Xeno said though, at least he hasn't gone *sigh* the Steven Segal route.

Mar 5 - 06:21 AM

dahluzz

joe shmo

"The Shepherd: Boarder Patrol" eh? reminds me of a movie concept me and some kids created for a college project. ours was just called "Boarder Patrol." So Hollywood insiders, get ready to steal an idea because this one's free:

"Boarder Patrol" stars Will Smith as a jive-talking goof-officer at the mexican boarder. Edward Norton plays an uptight high-ranking government agent who screws up on the job and is sent to Smith's boarder outpost as punishment. and guess what, now Smith is Norton's superior. uh oh...

The villain is played by Benecio Del Toro (with long hair), a mexican drug runner trying to get a mole inside the boarder patrol to aid in his smuggling operations. He makes his daughter, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, get close to Will Smith by flirting with him and stuff.

Eventually, the daughter realizes her dad is evil and winds up helping Smith and Norton stop Del Toro in a climactic boarder showdown. It's an adrenaline-fueled, laugh-a-minute thrill ride that's rated pg-13 so everyone can enjoy it.

There's even a contest online where fans vote on the movie's tagline and whoever wins sees it on posters and stuff. anyways, the article just reminded me of that and clearly i don't have much to do at work.

Mar 5 - 07:29 AM

TombstoneLawDog

Daniel Klein

'gotta admit this sounds not only candid but well-reasoned and humble. I'd love to take it at face value but if you read interviews with Sharon Stone about 'Basic Instinct 2' she almost sounds down-to-earth and logical, speaking about that. I'm not directly comparing them and I'm not saying that Van Damme doesn't mean what he says but this will all be resolved when the movie comes out.

Mar 5 - 07:30 AM

chazbow

Chuck O'Leary

Unlike Seagal, Van Damme has at least made some watchable direct-to-DVD movies where there's at least an effort to make a decent film.

Mar 5 - 09:28 AM

iggybumtastic

Alan Horne

I actually hope he gets a big film again, kind of like the guy, lol

talk movies at itsfilmtastic.co.uk

Mar 5 - 09:41 AM

ZiGyStRdUsT

Carlos Monino

Norton and Smith vs Del Toro... It's kinda uneven dontcha think, I think Jet Li should join Del Toro as a Triad drug lord trying to move his operation to the mexican border with the help of Del Toro, that way the race war is kinda complete. Maybe we could have some middle eastern conspiracy to take over the United States too!

Mar 5 - 09:53 AM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

i actually have a little respect for the guy, and its ironic he comes back up(since i haven't HEARD his name being said in years) because i just watched his cameo in Las Vegas(fav show). it takes alot of (SPOOOOOILER ALERT) balls to go on a tv show and play yourself...and die as yourself, in my opinion. i just don't see alot of action stars in the twighlight of their career willing to do that.

and i'm sorry mr. Van Damme but your best movie will always be Bloodsport. thats just a classic...

Mar 5 - 11:13 AM

rt_hire_me

Teague Bates

Vandamme, I'm not an action fan, but you rock. The man from Brussels, six foot four and full of muscles. And principles. I like underdogs and comebacks. I hope his new movie dazzles. "What Mabrouk did to me, it's like Scorsese did to De Niro years ago." As far-fetched as that sounds, wouldn't that be cool if it were true?

Mar 5 - 11:43 AM

Dark Knight jr.

Kae LaFond

... Wow. 47, huh? Pretty old... I have more respect for him now, though. Money truly isn't everything. Word up, Van Damme.

Mar 5 - 11:51 AM

chibixleon

Martin Ang

Van damme is just awesome. I hope his new movies are a success! I definitely have a new found respect for him after reading these articles. It seems like he's trying to self actualize at this point in his career and there's a lot to respect there! GOOD LUCK JEAN CLAUDE!

Mar 5 - 12:05 PM

Herberbaly

Greg White

Say what you will about the guy, but Bloodsport, Kickboxer, and Universal Soldier were all pretty badass in their day. He should really try to be in more comedies or play over-the-top villains in modern day action flicks (he and Jason Statham would be cheese glory). Either way, always loved the guy, even if he does come off as sort of creepy and pervish. Besides, he's got his name in the best tag line for a movie EVER: From Double Impact (that p.o.s. where he played twins): Wham! Bam! Twice the VAN DAMME!!

Mar 5 - 01:37 PM

Ryze

Thomas Kimes

I always liked Van Damme. I think Time Cop was probably his best movie. I also like Nowhere to Run even though it seems alot of people didnt.

Mar 5 - 02:02 PM

mberko1

Mark Berkowitz

Nowhere to run was definitely his worst movie. He didn't even know how to fight in that movie. Herberbaly is right, those were his best films. I use to watch those movies over and over as a kid. I'll always remember Van Damme as "the American ****head who makes chicks with bricks!"

Mar 5 - 03:53 PM

jtg185

Joseph Garland

Van Damme is by far, in my opinion, the greatest action star ever! Even though I haven't seen him in a movie that opened in a theater for years, he still makes some very entertaining direct to video fare. Its very refreshing to see that he has come to grips with the fact that he is getting older and only has a few years left in him. Personally I hope he has a good 20 left!

Mar 5 - 03:53 PM

Relapse

Doug Whitmore

I can't say anything bad about a man that wants to retire with dignity. I hope that he makes a movie he can truly be proud of.

Mar 5 - 03:56 PM

cuteview

Gabriel Antillon

This man was the S#IT in the 80's...a Classic Action Star...

In my book...Lionheart, Kickboxer and Bloodsport have been three of the best Van Damme movies...as a kid, Van Damme was THE MAN! I have been a fan for many years and have enjoyed some of his Direct-2-DVD movies.

I only wish him luck for a swift return to the Silver Screen.

Mar 5 - 05:24 PM

wallstreet_jony

Jonathan Estrada

Hey Van Damme,

I know your reading this b/c all actor sneak on hear to read these comments. I just have to say, I havent posted a comment on here in a while, but i was motivated to when I read your interview.

Just wanted to say that as a child, you were my hero. Watching your movies made me join karate and break a few vases around the house. Some of my favorite movies as a kid, right up there with Superman, were Bloodsport and Universal Soldier. Good luck and thanks for making movies that I enjoyed.

- Jonathan

Mar 5 - 05:41 PM

wallstreet_jony

Jonathan Estrada

Hey Van Damme,

I know your reading this b/c all actor sneak on hear to read these comments. I just have to say, I havent posted a comment on here in a while, but i was motivated to when I read your interview.

Just wanted to say that as a child, you were my hero. Watching your movies made me join karate and break a few vases around the house. Some of my favorite movies as a kid, right up there with Superman, were Bloodsport and Universal Soldier. Good luck and thanks for making movies that I enjoyed.

- Jonathan

Mar 5 - 05:41 PM

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