Jackie Chan on working with Will, Jada and Jaden Smith in The Karate Kid.
What was it like making The Karate Kid?
I really enjoyed working on this film because we’d great people involved, both in front of the camera and behind. Jaden (Smith, son of actor Will Smith) is a really talented young boy. Though he was just 11-years-old when we started filming, he was really professional and never complained once on the set. I was happy that the film was shot in China so that people all over the world could be introduced to the beauty and history my country has to offer.
What kind of pupil was Jaden?
Jaden is respectful, disciplined and hard working. I was really impressed by his work ethic. He trained for only a few months before we started filming, but he was doing better than many of the boys from China who have been training for many years. He is also a good dancer, so that allows him to pick up new choreography quickly. He’d to learn how to speak Mandarin... he quickly picked it up and spoke it like a native.
What were producers Will and Jada Smith like to work with?
I didn’t know Will and Jada very well until I started working on this film. We’d a few weeks of rehearsals in California before filming in Beijing. During that time, I had a chance to get to know them better. However, during filming was when I saw how hard they worked. Every day they came to set and worked tirelessly to make each scene perfect. I am sure it was not easy for them to be the producers and parents at the same time. I think they did a great job. I even told Will that I want him to work with me on all my future films.
Tell us about your character in the film, Mr Han.
Mr Han is a complex man. He appears to be just a meek maintenance man, but he’s really a skilled martial artist. He has been traumatised by the death of his family and has detached himself from society and life. When Jaden’s character, Dre, comes into his life, he is forced to feel again.