A Tribute to Jackie

A Tribute to Jackie


Author: Cynthia Rothrock


Article source:  Inside Kung-Fu(May 97)

   When I first started taking kung-fu lessons it was with Shum Leung in New York City. After class each week, he would take us into Chinatown to eat dinner and watch a Chinese kung-fu movie. That's where I first came to know Jackie Chan. I would be mesmerized by watching this man do kung-fu. He was my inspiration for boosting my workouts in preparation for tournament competition.
   After watching Snake In the Eagle's Shadow, for example, I couldn't wait to get back to the school to work out. I wanted to be like Jackie Chan.
   At this time in my life, I was not thinking of being an actress or doing martial arts films. Now don't get me wrong: Of course, I would fantasize about doing a movie with Jackie, but my true goal was to maintain my status as the No. 1, undefeated forms competitor on the open sport karate circuit. If I could retire with this honor, I would be satisfied.
   After watching Jackie do his acrobatic moves, I would go back to my students and try his moves on them. Hence, we became Jackie Chan fans.
   In June, 1985 I went over to Hong Kong to do my first film. I wondered if I would ever meet Jackie Chan. Well I didn't meet him until after my first year there. It was after the premiere of my first film, Yes, Madam. He came up to me and shook my hand and told me how great I was. I thought I was going to die. I think I was so nervous I just smiled and said, "thanks." I remained in Hong Kong for three years. During this time I would go to the premieres of Jackie's films. I gradually became more friendly with him. Funny thing, though. His movies had the same effect on me as they did when I was competing in the United States. Only now, I would go back and want to fight more, use more energy and perform more dangerous stunts.
   One day three younger students of mine came to Hong Kong to visit. They wanted to meet Jackie. So I took them to the set of one of the movies he was filming. It was very exciting for them, and I was glad to give them this opportunity. They even got to see Jackie attempt one of his most dangerous stunts. His stuntwork probably impressed me more than anything. He was willing to do anything for the look of his film. He put 100 percent effort into whatever he was doing. The more dangerous the better. And he was tough. But also seemed like he would be a lot of fun to work with.
   Well, one day Golden Harvest asked me to play the villain in Jackie's next picture. I had never been so excited. But because of an unfortunate accident, the film was postponed. One day we were all together and Jackie suggested we sing an American song so I could sing with him. Well, he selects "Three Blind Mice". So here I am in Hong Kong, sitting next to Jackie Chan and singing "Three Blind Mice, Three Blind Mice. See how they run, see how they run".
   I couldn't help laughing to myself. Jackie was so into the song, you would think he was singing Pavarotti.
   Jackie Chan has always been my idol. He influenced my life both in and out of film. All the best to you Jackie. You deserve everything you're getting now. May your future be just as bright.