Back this month in Rush Hour 2, the sequel to his 1998 hit, Chan once again plays a Chinese police inspector forced to buddy up with an LAPD detective played by Chris Tucker. But while the original was set in America, Rush Hour 2 unfurls on Chan's home turf.
Chan had already starred in more than 100 films in Asia before exploding onto the scene in the U.S. with 1996's Rumble in the Bronx, followed by Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Jackie Chan's First Strike. Today, he has his own comic book series, Saturday morning cartoon, and Sony PlayStation game. It's been a long climb to stardom for the son of parents who worked as cook and housekeeper for the French ambassador to Hong Kong. His parents enrolled him, at 7, in the Beijing Opera Academy, where he trained from 5 a.m. to midnight daily in the martial and performing arts. In 1971, he became a stuntman in Bruce Lee's Fists of Fury. Like Lee, Chan performs all his own stunts, which, he claims, has resulted in breaking practically every bone in his bionic body. "Everything from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet," he has said. One thing has remained unbroken: his abiding love for his hometown, where a life-size cardboard Jackie Chan welcomes travelers at the airport. Here's a weekend with the action hero in Hong Kong.
"The Hotel Inter-Continental and The Peninsula are both big hotels. But sometimes I recommend that my friends not spend so much, and instead save money for shopping by staying at the Marco Polo. From there, you're just two minutes from the main shopping center, one minute from every type of food, one minute from the ferry. The hotel is linked to a shopping mall, theater, everything."