‘The Karate Kid’ Interview: Jackie Chan Aspires to Be an ‘Asian Robert De Niro’

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CHICAGO – When you think of Jackie Chan, you think of comedy blended with marital arts. Not any more, thanks to Will Smith and his new film “The Karate Kid,” which stars Jaden Smith.

The Karate Kid red carpet in Chicago with Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and Will Smith
“The Karate Kid” held its Chicago red-carpet premiere on May 26, 2010 at the downtown AMC River East
movie theater. Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith and Will Smith were in attendance.
Image credit: Adam Fendelman of HollywoodChicago.com

“I really thank Will Smith for giving me a chance to act in this film. For a long time, I’ve wanted to show audiences that I’m not a comedian and I’m not an action star. I’m a true actor. An actor can do everything – just like Robert De Niro. I want to be an Asian Robert De Niro,” Jackie Chan exclusively told HollywoodChicago.com on Wednesday’s red-carpet premiere for the film outside Chicago’s AMC River East movie theater.

Chan says Will Smith has finally brought that out in him: “For a long time, no one has wanted me acting in this kind of role. But Will Smith said: ‘Jackie, do it. Jackie Chan without action? Yes!’”

We spoke with Jaden Smith, on the other hand, about his climatic crane kick in the new film. While you’ve seen previous iterations of it in the past, you’ve never witnessed it like this before. We won’t spoil the fun for you, but Jaden Smith does reveal this much about the scene in our red-carpet interview with him: “We set the cameras up, let the cameras roll and then I did it. I actually did it.” He added: “I know 100 percent more karate now than I did before this film.”

“The Karate Kid” opens on June 11, 2010 everywhere. The film stars Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson and Tess Liu from director Harald Zwart and writers Christopher Murphey and Robert Mark Kamen. The film is produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith made a surprise appearance at the event and street festial, but he didn’t walk the red carpet or speak with reporters so as not to steal the thunder from his 11-year-old child star. Jaden Smith, who also starred in the 2006 hit film “The Pursuit of Happyness,” is the son of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, the brother of Willow Smith and the younger half-brother of Trey Smith.

StarSee our exclusive red-carpet “The Karate Kid” slideshow with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith.

HollywoodChicago.com editor-in-chief and publisher Adam Fendelman

By ADAM FENDELMAN
Editor-in-Chief/Publisher
HollywoodChicago.com
adam@hollywoodchicago.com

© 2010 Adam Fendelman, HollywoodChicago.com LLC

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