He has movies such as 'Bloodsport' (1988), 'Kickboxer' (1989), 'Timecop' (1994) and the movie inspired by his own life, 'JCVD' (2008) to his credit. Now Jean-Claude Van Damme will be seen in an action packed movie, 'The Expendables 2'.
Playing the bad guy opposite action icons such as Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris and Arnold Schwarzenegger, JCVD is thrilled. Our ‘Muscles from Brussels’ admits to have made a fortune in the last decade thanks to straight-to-DVD movies with titles like 'Wake of Death' and 'Until Death', but he’s not very proud of any of it and is back in the big league thanks to Stallone.
The movie that was made on a budget of $100 million, released in Canada last week and received decent reviews. 'The Expendables 2' is expected to do better than the first version. A fan of the movie 'Gladiator', JCVD, tells us about his action 'The Expendables 2'.
Did you choose to be the bad guy in the movie?
A villain can be so special, original. I said to Stallone, ‘How do you want me as a villain? Do you want me, like, an extravagant villain, or do you want a guy who’s serious and believes in what he’s doing and why he’s doing that?’ Then I said, ‘By the way, why am I doing that,’ and he said, ‘Because you love money’. I said, ‘Fine’. So, I became that type of villain. When I was locking ith that type of character, being that very truthful villain, I felt good. It’s fun to be bad.
Tell us about the sets of 'The Expendables 2', with some of the biggest action stars in the industry?
It was a great experience. I love Stallone as an actor. I look at Sly and I tell myself, ‘Oh I don’t like that piece of sh*t.’ But it’s just an expression. At the end we shake hands, but…we need that distance. I love Stallone as an actor. When I grew up, I saw all of them in different movies. They’re my heroes from the past. Rambo, Rocky, Terminator, Conan, Lone Wolf - I grew up with those movies so I was able to talk to all of them. But then, I became the villain of the affair.
At 50 plus, were any of the action sequences challenging?
I’ve got many, many injuries because I’ve done a lot of stunts myself. I’m past 50, so I could have done a lot of fighting close-ups and used a double, but forget it. I said, ‘Guys, let’s do it with me and the wide angle so the fans can see the fighting’. Everyone was very impressed with my kicking.
Can we expect your signature roundhouse kick in the movie?
Because of my age and everything, they told me, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to cover you well. You’re going to jump and we’ll do a cut.’ And I told them, ‘But guys, let me do the full kick’. So yeah, the kick is there in the movie.
Tell us about your body building routine these days.
I like to go to the gym at least four times a week. I’ve trained for so many years that I know how to train better. So one day, I do my chest and only my chest. I do abs another day.
There are reports about your personal life. Are you domesticated, like your co-stars?
I returned to my original wife in 1999, after I made a few boo boos in my life. Coming back to her was good for me, good for her and good for the children (three). She’s very nice, straightforward and lovely. That means so much in life.