Jackie Chan: My Muscles Were Rotting While Filming

The superstar underwent surgery while working on Kung Fu Yoga – and resumed filming immediately

Photos: Courtesy of Golden Village

Ask any of his colleagues and they’ll tell you the same thing: Jackie Chan is a superhero. Every movie he appears in is accompanied by a story about the star sustaining injury, but gritting his teeth and resuming filming barely hours after getting patched up.

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Kung Fu Yoga was no different. The movie sees Chan and a pan-Asian cast – including Bollywood actress Disha Patani, Hong Kong actor Aarif Rahman and South Korean idol Lay Zhang – venturing from Dubai to Iceland for an epic historic adventure.

Along the way, Chan was admitted into hospital for surgery. Still, production proceeded on schedule, and the movie releases in cinemas here on 26 Jan.

Weekender takes some time with Chan during his visit to Singapore to find out more about his heroic hustle.

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Welcome back to Singapore! How do you feel about coming back here again?

Southeast Asia has always been our main base. I’d say I feel a special bond to Singapore. I like Singapore and this country treats me very well. I have old friends here, and I look forward to eating laksa.

Every time I travel to Australia, I always make a stop here. I just feel a very strong relationship with Singapore.

We heard you had to undergo surgery during this production. What happened?

[Points to director Stanley Tong] It was his fault. He told me it was an inflammation and gave me some medicine. So I continued filming and flew to London, but the pain had become unbearable.

In China, it doesn’t matter if you’re in pain. But in London, they get you checked immediately. The doctor made me stop filming and told me to get to the hospital. It turned out that my abdominal muscles were rotting and my intestines were misaligned.

But I insisted on continuing to film. I was back on set the next day – and we were filming in -10 deg Celsius water!

Why did you insist on carrying on instead of healing up first?

I could have taken some time off – maybe three to six months – to recuperate. But I thought about all the people who had already gathered to film; they would have to return and wait for another half a year just for me to get better. I may have even put on some weight then! I thought about it and decided to just soldier on.

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