JACKIE'S ACHES AND PAINS

"IT ONLY HURTS WHEN I'M NOT LAUGHING":

Anyone who's a fan of my movies knows that if you watch my films to the very end, you'll get a sort of ghoulish treat: a selection of my "no-goods," outtakes from stunts and fight sequences that just didn't work out right. A lot of times the result is an injury, and sometimes a bad one. My very worst injury ever, the one that almost killed me, actually occurred on a very routine stunt. I was shooting Armour of God in Yugoslavia, and was still recovering from the jet lag of flying twenty hours to get there. The stunt was simple-just jumping down from a castle wall to a tree below. The first time I tried it, the stunt went perfectly, but I wasn't satisfied with the take. I tried it again, and the second time, I somehow missed the branch I was trying to grab. Whish! I fell past the tree and onto the ground below. Actually, there was a cameraman down there trying to capture a low angle, and if he hadn't scrambled out of the way, I would have probably landed on him. We would both have been hurt, but not badly. Instead, I hit the rocky ground head first. A piece of my skull cracked and shot up into my brain, and blood poured from my ears. The production team quickly got on the phones to try to find the nearest hospital that could do emergency brain surgery, and eight hours later, I was going under the knife. The operation was successful, and I recovered quickly-even though there's a permanent hole in my head now, with a plastic plug there to keep my brains in.

Here are some of my other serious injuries (though none of them were as serious as that one):

HEAD:
Other than the brain hemorrhage I suffered on Armour of God,  I've hit my head and injured it many times. I was actually knocked completely unconscious while working as a stuntman on Hand of Death.

EARS:
The Armour of God fall also left me hard-of-hearing in one ear.

EYE:
On Drunken Master, my brow ridge was injured, and I nearly lost an eye.

NOSE:
You'd think that someone Up There had it in for me and my nose! It's bad enough that it's so big to begin with, but I've actually broken it at least three times--on The Young Master, Project A, and, most recently, Mr. Nice Guy. 

CHEEK:
While making Supercop, I dislocated a cheekbone. I didn't even know you could do that.

TEETH:
Hwang Jang Lee is a tremendous kicker ... as I found out when he kicked out one of my teeth (accidentally) while we were making Snake in the Eagle's Shadow. 

CHIN:
I injured my chin on Dragon Lord.  It was painful even talking for a while. Which made it hard to direct, not to mention act.

THROAT:
During The Young Master, I was almost suffocated when I injured my throat.

NECK:
I've hurt my neck a lot, but my worst neck injuries happened during the clock-tower fall in Project A, and after I messed up a flip during Mr. Nice Guy. 

SHOULDER:
I dislocated my shoulder while making City Hunter. 

HAND:
During The Protector, I hurt my hand and finger bones-adding injury to insult.

ARM:
While I was shooting a fight scene in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, my arm was accidentally slashed by a sword that should have had a blunted edge. Blood went everywhere, and I fell down screaming ... and the camera kept rolling! That's real pain you see in the movie!

CHEST:
On Armour of God II: Operation Condor, I dislocated my sternum after falling from a hanging chain. That's another bone I didn't know you could dislocate, but somehow I managed to do it.

BACK:
I've had a lot of back injuries doing my movies, but the pole-slide scene in Police Story almost paralyzed me when I nearly broke the seventh and eighth vertebrae in my spine.

PELVIS:
Also during the pole-slide stunt, I dislocated my pelvis. I guess you're wondering just how many weird bones a person can dislocate. Sometimes it seems like I've dislocated them all.

LEGS:
I crushed my legs while shooting Crime Story, after getting caught between two cars.

KNEE:
I've hurt my knees so often that I wonder whether there's even any cartilege left in them. (If you think I run a little funny, that's part of the reason why.) It makes any stunt in which I have to jump harder, but I do my best anyway. Would you expect anything less? One of my worst injuries occurred during City Hunter, while I was shooting a skateboard chase.

FOOT:
I broke my ankle while jumping onto a hovercraft in Rumble in the Bronx.  After the bone was set and a cast was put on, I was told to stay off my feet until it healed. But I had a movie to finish! I went back to the set and put a sock on my broken foot, painted to look like a sneaker.


Use of this excerpt from I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action may be made only for purposes of promoting the book, with no changes, editing or additions whatsoever and must be accompanied by the following copyright notice: copyright ©1998 by the Ballantine Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved.