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Actor Jackie Chan had no problem admitting he was far from perfect in his younger years. But although he tried to make strides to improve himself, there were those in the industry that took shots at the actor’s shortcomings. Jet Li once participated in a film that mocked Chan as a person.

But when Li saw Chan after doing the film, Li couldn’t help but bow his head in shame.

Jackie Chan has always wanted to work with Jet Li

Jackie Chan smiling alongside Jet Li.
Jackie Chan and Jet Li | Zhao Wei/Getty Images

It’s no secret that at one point The One star Jet Li and Jackie Chan were two of Hollywood’s most popular action stars. But aside from being contemporaries in Hollywood, they were also friends. Speaking to MTV News, Chan once shared that he’d spent two decades trying to get a movie made for both of them.

“We’ve known each other for more than 30 years, and 20 years ago we tried to work on a movie together,” Chan said. “I called him, and we sat and talked, and he agreed, and I wrote the script and he agreed to the script. I told my company to do it, then somehow it [didn’t come together]. I said ‘Why?’ and they said, ‘Because they want to own the rights.’ ‘Who owns the rights?’ ‘Golden Harvest wants to own the rights.’ ‘China Star wants to own the rights.’ ‘Who owns the DVD rights?’ ‘Who owns the video rights?’ I said, ‘No! Who cares? Just make the movie!’”

The two would finally get a chance to work together in 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom.

How Jackie Chan responded to a movie Jet Li made bashing him

1995’s High Risk was a Hong Kong action film directed by Wong Jing and starring Jet Li. According to SF Gate, Li plays a stuntman and bodyguard for a Hong Kong action hero that’s supposed to parody Chan. This Chan parody, played by Jackie Cheung, was portrayed as a drunk, a womanizer, a coward, and someone who was far past his prime. In a resurfaced 1996 interview, although Chan took offense to the portrayal, he chose not to lash out at Jing. He took solace in knowing that the film later bombed in theaters.

“Wong Jing always want to make quick money, everything quick. Of course I’m not happy, but what can I do? I cannot say, ‘Stop! Don’t do it.’ Naw, let them do it, let it be. People will know what happened. And later I found out I am right, nobody sees [the movie],” he once said according to IGN.

The Rush Hour star also disclosed that he believed both Li and Cheung were embarrassed being a part of the movie.

“I’m so happy. A lot of people ask Jet li and Jackie Cheung, ‘Why you doing this?’ I think they very embarrassed, even now they look at me they like this, [Jackie pretends to bow head in shame]. I’m so happy. Before they look at me, ‘Yes, yeah!’ But now they look at me like this [bows head again].” he said.

Jackie Chan once admitted he was a ‘real jerk’ earlier in his career


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There were a few things Jing’s parody might have had in common with a younger Chan. The risk-taking stuntman once disclosed in his book he felt like a jerk in his younger years. He experienced many issues using drugs and alcohol, so much so that he once totaled his car as a result.

“I drunk drove all the time. In the morning, I’d crash my Porsche, then in the evening, I’d total a Mercedes-Benz. All day long, I went around in a haze,” he wrote in his memoir Never Grow Up (via CNN).

In addition to grappling with substance abuse, he also had trouble staying faithful. The Rush Hour star at one point was married to Joan Lin. But he had an affair and fathered a child with beauty queen Elaine Ng.

One of the turning points came when Chan hurled his then two-year-old son in a fit of rage. This is one of the moments that inspired the actor to change.

“I picked him up with one hand and flung him across the room, and he crashed into the sofa. With the amount of force I used, if he’d hit the back or armrests, it could have been quite serious,” Chan wrote.

Afterward, Chan vowed to never strike his son.

“I take my promises seriously, and I’m a man of my word. I never threw him again or hit him,” he confided.