Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Van Dammage: To Be or Be To

"I knew I was going to succeed, and I have got a trick in life. If you can say thank you in advance for something, if you really believe in something then you've got to accept it's done...Be To Have - I am an actor, becoming an actor is just a work, and two: it's already gone, I'm on my way there so Be To Have, we have to think we are that person before becoming successful and saying thank you, in advance, to the Gods of life. So when I came to America and Hong Kong I knew I was an actor and a movie star, even if no one knew me. But I put this in myself and I was acting like I was the biggest star I knew and by doing that you present yourself to people with conviction and slowly it will happen to you."
Jean-Claude Van Damme

And there you have it, the philosophy, along with an extremely hard work ethic and the ability to do the splits, that lead The Real JC...VD to becoming a household name.  Mr. Van Damme celebrated his 54th birthday this past Saturday, October 18th.  I felt a little funny not throwing an office party for the guy as I have done for the last three years complete with champagne, appetizers and a ten-foot Double Impact banner.  Alas, times change.  Today, JCVD is in Turkey to attend a soccer match between Galatasaray and Borussia Dortmund...yeah I have no clue about soccer or futbol but that's cool. 

While 2011's reality series, Behind Closed Doors just started airing in the United States, it's been a little quiet on the JCVD news front.  Action thriller Pound of Flesh is in the can, the tale of a man who attempts to help a woman in trouble and for his efforts wakes up the next day missing a kidney.  Car chases, kicks to the face and shootouts ensue, I'll bet.  Van Damme looked a little thin on the set to which he countered that a real actor would know what a man would look like after losing a kidney.  6 Bullets and Assassination Games Ernie Barbarash directs what looks like a cool action thriller shot on the streets of Hong Kong.  I hope he teams up with a mainstream Asian star in the future a la Jackie Chan, Jet Li or Donnie Yen.  Over the summer, former UFC welterweight champion and Van Damme fan Georges St. Pierre challenged his idol to take the Ice Bucket Challenge to support ALS.  Van Damme obliged, dumping a bucket of ice water on himself in the shower then challenging his three kids.

Long gestating passion project Full Love resurfaced at the Shanghai International Film Festival where JCVD rubbed elbows with the likes of JC Jackie Chan before the gala premiere.  Strangely, reviews and word of mouth from the screening are scarce.  Van Damme has been reediting the movie for years now and added some intense action scenes recently after initial reviews found the film a little too out there for a drama-thriller starring the Muscles From Brussels.  Still no release date on the film though.  In the meantime you can play with your own miniature version of Wham Bam Van Damme in the form of an Enterbay Real Masterpiece statue/action figure complete with 30 points of articulation to recreate his famous split.

Happy birthday, shidoshi!

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