JCVD: “The French have always been really nice to me, they like me a lot”

JCVD: "The French have always been really nice to me, they like me a lot"
Netflix

Jean-Claude Van Damme looks back on his career in Première, and he is not stingy with anecdotes!

While waiting to unveil his action comedy The Last Mercenary, on July 30, Netflix puts on line about fifteen films carried by Jean Claude Van Damme (the full list is here). An excellent excuse to dive back into the crazy filmography of this martial arts pro, who looks back with pleasure on his career in the new issue of Première. Extremely touching, the Belgian actor evokes, for example, his relationship with the French, who have largely contributed to making him a star, but who have also often made fun of him. Without hard feelings? Here is an excerpt from this long interview, to be found in full in n ° 520 (Fast & Furious 9 In front page).

The best of JCVD: Full Contact, Replicant, Expendables 2 …

First : Since JCVD in 2008, you still became the main subject of your filmo: Jean-Claude Van Johnson, Lukas, today The Last Mercenary, tomorrow Headlock

Jean Claude Van Damme : Ah Lukas ! Very good film, poorly distributed, but very good film, I’m proud of this one… The Americans loved it.

And so, all these films, they each comment in their own way the figure of Jean-Claude Van Damme …

Yeah, but it’s a good topic, isn’t it? (He bursts out laughing.)

These are mostly films made by fans …

Yes, the French have always been really nice to me, they love me a lot. They are the ones who made the success of Bloodsport while in Belgium he was shot by everyone! In Paris, the film was a hit! He was supposed to come out on video everywhere, but Samy Hadida [Samuel Hadida, le patron de Metropolitan Films], a great guy, had bought it for France and he wanted to release it in theaters. Big success, and bim, it launched my career!

They weren’t always so nice to you, the French …

Oh well, why are you saying that?

You know very well that you have been the object of mockery here, in particular during your “aware” period …

Yeah, well, pfff … (Return to English and start of a long monologue on his side self-taught and his early passion for science, advanced technologies, quantum physics and intelligences artificial, then suddenly return to French.) So: when I explain in 2001, on French TV shows, that we will soon all be watching films on our phones, well, they are making fun of me a little. No big deal… I was already laughed at when I was little because I wasn’t very handsome, uncomfortable… People said: ” The little Jean-Claude, he is myopic like a mole, with his hair on his tongue, no girl looks at him … ” Besides, it’s crazy this physical transformation, I still have trouble believing it. You would see me small, you would not recognize me. I’m going to send you some pictures, you will have a hard time recognizing me. (He kept his word and we forwarded some childhood photos days later: he was telling the truth.)

“Aware, this is great!” : JCVD ​​very fit at the premiere of the Jean-Claude Van Johnson series

When I was able to discover your films in original version, I was amazed to see at what point your stamp, a little cracked, a little melancholy, changed everything. Why have you never dubbed in French during your big years?

Ah ah! you are funny you: well I had no time, I made two and a half films a year! But I had very good French voice actors, didn’t I?

Their voice lacked a bit of personality, I think …

Ah thin… When I saw JCVD, dubbed in English by someone other than me, it had a funny effect on me… So there, when Netflix asked me to do my English voice for The Last Mercenary, I took a direct plane! But it’s true that my tone is charged with something particular, I know it, a kind of fatigue, weariness, which has always been there … Melancholy, as you say … It’s something that comes from far from that, melancholy …

Summary of Premiere n ° 520: Fast & Furious 9, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kelly Reichardt, Paul Verhoeven, Cannes 2021 …

The story of Last mercenary : Richard Brumère known as “La brume” a true legend of the secret services, disappeared for years, is back in France. The immunity he negotiated twenty-five years ago for his hidden son, Archibald, is strangely lifted. To save him from a mafia operation of which he is innocent but which could cost him his life, La Brume will have to reactivate his somewhat aging contacts, team up with a gang of more or less reckless young people, confront a zealous bureaucrat, manage the father-son relationship new to him, but above all finding the courage to reveal to Archibald that he is his father.

Trailer :

Jean-Claude Van Damme: “Lukas is not a Van Damme”

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