Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
HE GETS A KICK OUT OF POP
In 43 action movies, including last summer's U.S. release Supercop, Hong Kong's charismatic Jackie Chan pummels bad guys with lethal fists and flying feet. Offscreen, however, Chan, 42, has been known to knock out fans with another weapon—his velvet croon. During an 18-year recording career, he has released more than 10 albums in Asia, mostly in Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese dialects, and his recent ballad "How Could It Be?" is getting heavy video play on MTV Mandarin. Before launching his movie career at age 17, Chan studied at Hong Kong's Chinese Opera Institute. Despite the classical training, the longtime fan of American pop is modest about his gentler talents. "I'm not a great singer," he says, "but I'm okay."
What's your favorite musical style?
I like slow songs. Slow songs help me improve my English. When I watch television, the words go by too fast. But I can listen to songs again and again. So when I talk to a girl, I can say, "You are always on my mind."
Are you planning a concert tour?
No. When you do a concert, you spend three months practicing and rehearsing, and then you are only seen in Hong Kong or Taiwan. When I spend six months making a movie, everyone around the world can see it. I don't worry about different languages. There's just one in movies—body language.
Are Asian and U.S. audiences alike?
In Hong Kong, young fans don't concentrate on the singing. They concentrate on your face. They don't listen; they watch. When singers hit a flat note, the audience doesn't care. We are very polite. In America, no matter how ugly or pretty you are, you have to have talent. If you are not good, they boo.