"The English, I’m not good. Chris Tucker’s English, I don’t understand."
Jackie Chan has said that he once thought Rush Hour was a “terrible movie”.
Rush Hour may be a fan favourite in the west – it’s certainly a favourite for Resonate – but it turns out that Jackie Chan himself wasn’t keen on it.
Speaking to Yahoo Entertainment, Chan reflected on how he broke into America’s film industry. After little success with films such as Big Brawl (1980), The Cannonball Run (1981), and The Protector (1985), the kung fu master was ready to throw in the towel.
“Nobody knew who this little Chinese guy was that spoke no English,” Chan said. “I was disappointed [and thought], ‘No more American market.’”
However, towards the end of the 90s, Chan’s manager told him to give it one last shot – Rush Hour. Although reluctant, Chan was persuaded by the fact that he didn’t have to speak perfect English as his character was from Hong Kong.
Once the film was completed, Chan told his manager that it would be his last American film.
“That’s a terrible movie,” Chan had thought. “They don’t allow me to do my own style [of action]. The English, I’m not good. Chris Tucker’s English, I don’t understand. Terrible movie!”
At the premiere, Chan was bewildered as to why the audience was in hysterics. “Why are they laughing, I just don’t understand,” he thought.
Now, Chan has began to understand western humour and American culture.
“Slowly, slowly, they’re [brought] me to Hollywood again,” Chan said. “Now slowly [I’ve been understanding] American culture. [I’ll] try to stay as long as possible.”