Action star’s new tell-all memoir admits to many mistakes, but not everything
Jackie Chan: an icon to many, a bothersome blight to many more. Now, a fresh figure has come forward to pour gasoline on Jackie’s smoldering legacy: Jackie Chan.
His new tell-all memoir, Never Grow Up, appears to set out its stall in the title. The book essentially admits to all the accusations previously thrown at the kung fu star (bully, bad father, bad actor, cheat, dick, hypocrite, a hustler who has lent his image to numerous toxic or hoax products…) and adds some extra, just for you.
Chan, is, of course, also a beloved figure, known for his roles in over than 150 films, a director, producer, and singer, with his own production companies, line of clothing, theme park in Beijing, and charity foundation. Remember those famous blooper reels, which often rolled over the credits of his classic movies?
The new book was originally released in Chinese 2015, under the title Jackie Chan: Growing Old Before Growing Up, in collaboration with Chan’s close friend Zhu Mo. The English edition, with the more defiant Never Grow Up tagline, came out on December 4.
The Chinese foreword stated:
“People will find an ordinary Jackie Chan, who has regrets and weaknesses, and who loves his family deeply. This Jackie is not the action star on the screen, nor the one in news reports. This is the real Jackie that I want people to know.”
In the book, Chan tells many stories of his troubled past that includes over-drinking, overspending, adultery, brothel visits, and domestic violence. Although those are the sections of the book that got the most spotlight by their Daily Mail exclusive, the book also present several “Origin” chapters of Chan’s life, such as his destitute childhood years, his journey from being a bad student to stunt actor, the creative process behind his classic movies, and his love and hate towards Hollywood.
Chan also included many detailed anecdotes about the important people of his life, his parents, his wife Joan Lin and son Jaycee Chan, and his brief courtship of singer Teresa Teng; he even saved a section for his cats and dogs. Other names are dropped, including Chan’s ex-schoolmate Sammo Hung, Leehom Wang , Will Smith, Bruce Lee, and Jack Ma.
This self-conducted exposé, though, apparently didn’t extend to Chan’s affair with actress Elaine Ng. While Chan has admitted to the affair (calling it a “serious mistake”), he has never acknowledged his illegitimate daughter Etta Ng, who was left out of the book.
Here are some other choice excerpts from the book:
- The time I made that serious mistake 直到我犯了那次严重的错误
“You don’t need to explain. you don’t have to hurt them, and don’t let them hurt us. Now and anytime when you need me, need our son to stand up for you, we will stand up right away. I know you are under a lot of stress now. Don’t mind me, I am fine, go handle your matter first.”
Before she talked halfway, my tears were already flowed. I didn’t say a single word and hung up the phone. After I hung up, I saw a second Jackie Chan standing in front of me, telling me, you are a real bastard. You push away her, yet after so many years, she is still true to you.
Right in that moment, my feelings toward her turned 180 degrees.
- Getting Along With My Son 与儿子相处
When Jaycee was very young, I beat him once; I picked him up and threw him on the sofa. That moment terrified him and his mother. I also regretted it, I could’ve beaten him to death; how could I have done this?
- If there is wine today, then today is the day to get drunk 今朝有酒今朝醉
Maybe you might wonder, stuntmen make so little money, how could you bear to spend it? Why not save it? Actually the reason is very simple. Every day in our line of work, we are risking our lives, although no way will say it out loud; every single one of us knows, perhaps after the next risky stunt, we won’t get to see the sun rise tomorrow.
- Miss “Number 9” “九号”小姐
I remember going the first time I went, the girl that I met was called Number 9, very pretty and gentle. When I went for the second time, and many time afterwards, I asked directly “Is Number 9 here?” As if it was a commitment; I didn’t want to change girls at all. Eventually everyone made fun of us; every time they saw me, they would say, Number 9, your boyfriend is here.