Jean-Claude Van Damme

updated 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/03/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Jean-Claude Van Damme, 32, looks the way he fights: a mix of fluid lines, penetrating eyes and power points that hit you into next week. He also talks the way he fights—right in your face. "When you have something to say, you have to speak up—even scream," he explains. "Sometimes you scream when you make love, right?" So now hear this: Last summer the onetime kickboxing champion from Belgium kicked box office as a Universal Soldier, though one with a very swank rear end. (The trick to keeping it in shape, he has confided, is to clench it repeatedly for 20 seconds each time. And you thought stardom was easy.) He has also added some tension to his romantic life. He split from female bodybuilder Gladys Portugues, his wife of nearly seven years, and took up with Darcy LaPier, ex of Hawaiian Tropic founder Ron Rice. "Looks are very important for women," is his current philosophy, "but men don't have to be too good-looking." This from a guy who spends hours a day pumping up? Well, he does admit that as a kid he "dreamed of being a guy who could change into other guys." Is he ready to change into the next megastar with an accent? Could be, Arnold—so start clenching.

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