On the occasion of the star’s 60th birthday, focus on 9 things you may not have known about Jean-Claude Van Damme, such as that he had inspired … a video game character!
On the occasion of the star’s 60th birthday, focus on 9 things you may not have known about Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme!
HE INSPIRED A VIDEO GAME
The character of Frank Dux, whom Jean Claude Van Damme incarnates in Bloodsport, inspired that of Johnny Cage in the video game Mortal Kombat. So much so that special moves of the pixelated hero are straight out of the fight between Dux and Sumo in the 1988 film. JCVD also “appears” in adaptations of Universal Soldier (on Mega Drive), of Timecop (on Super Nintendo ) and Street Fighter – L’ultime combat (on arcade as well as on Playstation and Saturn consoles). We can finally also take ourselves for JCVD in the game Broforce, a character being inspired by his role in Universal Soldier.
HE FAILED TO PLAY THE PREDATOR
Jean Claude Van Damme almost played the cult character of Predator. Unknown at the time of the conception of the classic by John McTiernan, the Belgian actor slipped into the skin of the alien for a few tries (which were subsequently published) before being fired and replaced. by 2.20 meter giant Kevin Peter Hall. According to special effects veteran Steve Johnson, iInterviewed by Stan Winston School, JCVD had no idea what character he was playing. “He thought he could do martial arts, that he could fight Arnold Schwarzenegger … “, he says. “It was completely impossible! He hadn’t realized that he would be the equivalent of a stuntman.“
HE MADE A GREAT GAP FOR A TRUCK BRAND
Jean Claude Van Damme has appeared in numerous advertisements, notably for the beer brand Coors Light or the car manufacturer Volvo. For the latter, JCVD performed a large facial gap between two trucks, as you can see below.
He was homeless
After opening a fitness center in the early 1980s, Jean Claude Van Damme aspires to be an actor in Hollywood. He then left for the United States with barely 2000 dollars in his pocket. He multiplies odd jobs (carpet installer, pizza delivery man, nightclub bouncer …) but, unable to make ends meet, finds himself forced to sleep on the Hollywood benches once he has run castings all day. After having crossed paths with Chuck Norris and Lou Ferrigno, JCVD will obtain in 1986 his first important role, that of a Russian karateka in the action film Karate Tiger – The Red Tiger. Before, two years later, to achieve worldwide success with Bloodsport.
HE PLAYED IN THE FRIENDS SERIES
In 1996, Jean Claude Van Damme made a short appearance in the cult series Friends, well known for its many cameos. In episode 13 of season 2, the actor, in his own role, meets Monica and Rachel on the set of a movie in which Ross’s monkey Marcel plays. The two young women compete for the favors of the star and it is Rachel who will obtain them. Note that JCVD will have a much more substantial experience in the world of series with the main role of the Amazon show Jean-Claude Van Johnson, in which he plays his own role of Jean-Claude Van Damme who is in reality … the most formidable of spies!
HE DANCED FOR BOB SINCLAR
Jean Claude Van Damme recently made the buzz dancing in a parking lot in a clip by French band Aaron. But this is not the first time that the actor has moved his body on behalf of a French artist: in 2003, JCVD was thus seen in the music video for Kiss my eyes, a piece by Bob Sinclar.
HE DOUBLED A CHARACTER IN SAGA KUNG FU PANDA
Jean Claude Van Damme has to his credit only one experience in the dubbing of animated films, but not just any! The Belgian star has indeed lent his voice to the character of Master Croc in the Dreamworks productions Kung Fu Panda 2 and Kung Fu Panda 3.
HE GIVEN THE REPLICA TO MIKE TYSON
In 2017, Kickboxer: Legacy brought together two combat sports legends on screen: Jean Claude Van Damme and Mike Tyson. The feature film is the sequel to Kickboxer: Vengeance, the 1989 Kickboxer remake, one of the most significant works in JCVD filmography.
HE SHOWN IN FRENCH FILMS
Jean Claude Van Damme has distinguished itself in several French productions. In 2010, he appeared briefly in the comedy Beur sur la ville, where he played the character of Colonel Merot, then distinguished himself in the credits of JCVD and Lukas. The star has not said his last word in a French film, since he will soon be playing in the Netflix action comedy The Last Mercenary, in which he will play Alban Ivanov.
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