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Thread: Van Damme!!!

  1. #61
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    The MOST EPIC Epic Split! 160 Ton BelAZ Dump Trucks

    Gene Ching
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  2. #62
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    We are going to kill Van Damme

    This reminds me of Sense8.

    'Van Damme' wins SABC's 'Song of the Year'
    MUSIC NEWS / 4 January 2017, 6:13pm
    ANA Reporter


    MROZA FAKUDE

    Johannesburg – KwaZulu-Natal Maskandi artist, Mroza Fakude, on Wednesday walked away with a R150 000 cash prize and a brand new Kia Picanto after his hit song "Van Damme" was voted as SABC's Song of the year for 2016.

    In the figures of "SABC Summer Song of the Year 2016" released by the SABC and which were audited by the firm Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo, the breakdown of votes for artists nominated for the campaign showed that Mroza won a tight race against his rivals by a mere five percent. Fakude's hit song "Sobulala uVan Damme", literally meaning "We are going to kill Van Damme", but figuratively meaning one can overcome any obstacles with determination, garnered 176 452 votes or 20 percent of the total eligible votes cast across a total of eight SABC radio stations.



    This was while his nearest rival, King Monada's "Ska Bhora Moreki" received 132,616 votes or 15 percent, and the favourite Babes Wodumo's "Wololo" could only garner 125 863 votes, or 14.3 percent, both featuring across 15 radio stations.

    SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the public broadcaster was very pleased with how the competition, now in its second year, rolled out.

    "We want to encourage the public to vote for their favourite song or musician when the competition returns toward the end of this year, as it is only through their votes that an artist wins," Kganyago said.

    "As a public service broadcaster we look forward to the competition growing in leaps and bounds in the years to come."

    There would be an official handover of the prize money and car to Mroza on January 26 at Emperors Palace.

    Other artists whose song also featured in the top 10 of the competition would also be awarded a monetary prize of R30 000.

    Two lucky listeners also won a car each for voting for their favourite song of the year and for producing their paid up TV Licence number when voting for the SABC Summer Song of the Year 2016.
    Van Damme is popular in SA again

    09 January 2017, 11:33
    Jean-Claude Van Damme is a name compared to the likes of Jackie Chan, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jet Li. Different people prefer different superheroes. It is however more believable when superheroes are portrayed in a more realistic manner. This time Jean-Claude Van Damme has been popular in song rather than film!
    It is no secret that Chuck Norris has been portrayed as invincible. This is made even more evident by the millions of Check Norris jokes, my favorite being: “When Chuck Norris was born he drove his mom home from the hospital”. Jet Li’s impossible jumps and slow motion ducks and dives also potrays him as untouchable at times. Steven Seagal’s effortless defense and offense made people sick. The fact that he never got beat made things even worse for his character. The funniest and more realistic characters were Jean Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan. It comes as no surprise that the most popular song in South Africa for 2016 on Ukhozi FM was Mroza’s ‘Sobulal uVan Damme’ (We are going to kill Van Damme). Many listeners translated the song as meaning they would consume alcohol and not get drunk.
    I (as most) was particularly confused about this song at first, but it grew on me as it did on the rest of the nation. It is an easy to sing along Maskandi track and came at the right time to showcase rural talent. There have been many interesting memes about the song on Social Media. I am sure that Jean-Claude Van Damme would be proud if he saw many of these. I wonder if he knows just how popular he has been over the course of South Africa’s festive season?
    The song not only brought people from different walks of life together, but it also proved that rural music (so to state) is still well loved and appreciated. It gave hope to others that may have a different idea as to what music in our time should sound. The fact that it was the biggest on the Ukhozi FM charts shocked most as this spot has always to an upbeat Kwaito/House song. The same people with shock all agree that it is an awesome sing along and one to go into the history books.
    Van Damme live on in South Africa!
    Michael Mondli Hlophe
    Michaelhlope75@gmail.com
    BTW, I split Laidback Luke into this own indie thread off the Kung-Fu Music thread - see Laidback Luke - Kung Fu EDM DJ.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #63
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    Green Ranger vs. JCVD

    Jean-Claude Van Damme and Green Power Ranger Throw Down After Decades-Long Beef (VIDEO)
    The Blast staff
    November 5, 2017 at 11:18 am PST

    In a scene that sounds more like a movie plot than reality, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Green Power Ranger/MMA fighter Jason David Frank got into a heated altercation at Comic Con on Saturday.

    The two stars have had an ongoing beef since Van Damme and Frank exchanged words back in 1995 at the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie” premiere. Frank tried to settle their score by publicly challenging JC to a fight in 2010, but nothing ever happened … until yesterday.

    Here’s what went down:

    Frank tells The Blast he was asked to share his green room with JC and his 20-person entourage at La Mole Comic Con in Mexico City. Despite their checkered past, Frank agreed.

    Frank says he grew suspicious when Van Damme’s handler approached him and asked him to take a photo with Van Damme.

    Thinking Van Damme might just want to bury the hatchet, Frank went to meet up with him in the green room.

    That’s when the Power Ranger says he realized it was “all a setup.” Frank tells us JC approached him with cameras rolling and demanded Frank apologize for calling him out in 2010 and said if he wanted a fight, “Let’s throw down.”

    You can see the aggression in the video as the two stars beef up on each other, waiting for someone to throw the first punch. Frank even name drops his buddy Chuck Zito, who legendarily KO’d Van Damme at a topless bar in the 90s.

    Van Damme and Frank both agreed to an MMA-style brawl and the Power Ranger grabbed the action star and put him in a headlock against the wall.

    It was over before it even started — Frank says Van Damme froze up, seemingly surprised Frank was actually trying to fight him.

    We’re told they argued back and forth for a few more minutes and, eventually, security stepped in and broke it up.

    It’s unclear if Van Damme plans on releasing his footage of the altercation.


    No respect. JCVD is 14 years older than Jason David Frank. And no one remembers Frank except us. Follow the link for a vid.
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  4. #64
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    Wonder if JCVD will bother to comment

    Jason David Frank Speaks Out On His Fight With Jean Claude Van Damme
    by Matthew Mueller | November 7, 2017

    Jason David Frank had a run-in with one of his idols over the weekend, but it did not go like he hoped, and resulted in an impromptu fight. Now he's setting the record straight on what happened.

    Frank was appearing at a comic con event in Mexico, an event that Jean Claude Van Damme was also appearing at. The two weren't best of friends before, and as Frank details what happened in their crazy altercation, the two won't be hanging out anytime soon.

    "The promoter contacted me and asked if Jean Claude Van Damme could borrow my green room and share the room," Frank told FloCombat. "The first thing in my head was yeah, he's a big star, he doesn't need to ask. I don't hold a grudge. So I said yeah, I'll share it no big deal."

    Frank actually challenged Van Damme to a fight years ago, but Van Damme never responded. "I never expected us to talk about old times or anything because it was so long ago and there was no response [about the fight]," Frank said. "I didn't even think he knew about it. So they asked me to use the room and no big deal."

    Those old issues though would resurface after Frank returned from his Comic Con duties. After spending several hours sighing autographs and taking pictures, he returned to his room to find it blocked off completely, despite it being his room. The promoter for the event got Frank a different room until Van Damme and his entourage left, but right after things went downhill.

    Someone from Van Damme's group asked if Frank could come and take a picture with him before they left. Frank had no issue with doing so, but once he got in the room things changed.

    "All of his crew comes out and everybody has their cameras out and he has this professional camera, I'm not sure if he's shooting a reality show or what, but all the cameras are on and he comes out of the room and straight up to me and he goes 'hey you like writing articles about people, you want to beat my ass?" Frank said recounting the altercation. "You gonna apologize for that?' and I said nope. He goes 'you think you can still beat my ass?' and I said yeah."

    The Fight



    According to Frank, Van Damme pushed for a fight. "He said 'OK let's do it right now'. I mean I thought it was all a joke but his security was all filming this and I heard them talking in the back and it was clear that he was trying to punk me. Either make me look bad or throw a punch first," Frank said.

    Frank obliged and clinched him up. "I clinched him up and pushed him back, not in a violent way, in a respectful way that if you want to do this, let's do this," Frank said. "The whole time everybody is filming me and no security people are coming but everybody in his entourage is filming. So I clinched up with him and put him against the wall and he's talking and he froze up and I raised my knee and said 'do you want to this?' and he doesn't do anything so I let go."

    That did not deter Van Damme from still talking. "I backed away and he starts saying 'well be careful what you say, you never know what I'm gonna do'. So that's when it escalated and his security guy came in and broke it up," Frank said.

    Frank is positive that the whole ordeal was staged to make him look bad, and according to Frank Van Damme got aggressive again after security got in the room.

    "Security came and broke it up and that's when he starts saying 'f*** you' and I told him come on. Why don't you come in the cage or the ring? Why are you doing this at Comic Con?" Frank said. "And then his security is trying to get my phone to take away the footage."

    There were plenty of cameras around, so there is footage of the altercation. "My point is if he has all the footage and it's gonna make him look really bad. It doesn't belong at Comic Con," Frank said. "It belongs in a ring or a cage. I'm not bitter but he's acting childish."

    Hit the next slide for more details!

    The Aftermath


    (Photo: Power Morphicon)

    Frank was not looking for a fight that day, but he also is not about to back down from one.

    "I was on edge thinking he's going to fight right now. He was trying to punk me so I got ready," Frank said. "I wasn't the aggressor but he showed no response. If somebody grabbed me behind the neck, I'd knock them out. I did that and he didn't do anything. Security didn't break it up. He's got his whole entourage around us and they looked hungry. But when I threw that knee that didn't even touch him and he cowered up."

    Frank says the setup was to bully him, and that isn't something he will let happen. "When I let him go, he starts popping off and then when security got all around him he starts popping off even more," Frank said. "I just told him don't punk me. He was trying to punk me and bully me and I don't do that. I'm not going to get punked like that and I think he was shocked that I stood up to him," Frank said. "I was never bitter and I'm still not bitter but I'm a fighter."

    Who knows, maybe this will lead to an actual Jason David Frank vs Jean Claude Van Damme MMA match down the line.
    More on JCVD vs.
    Jason David Frank
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  5. #65
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    It's kinda weird that JCVD still travels around with an entourage. Because TBH, he hasn't been a 'big star' for over 20 years. And if Jason David Frank's account is true, then JCVD does need to grow up. JCVD is 57 freaking years old.

    I remember hearing about how JCVD would intentionally abuse stuntmen on his films, and that he even blinded (or partially blinded) one stuntman on Cyborg(?). Former karate champion Timothy D. Baker had plenty of bad things to say about JCVD after working a fight scene with him in No Retrat No Surrender (JCVD's first American movie appearance). It seems that JCVD can still be an insecure bully at times.

  6. #66
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    Shocking video: Jean-Claude Van Damme almost KO Cody Garbrandt during sparring

    Gene Ching
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    To be honest, it looked like Van Damme's kick was a light, grazing slap with the ball of his foot, not a 'heel kick to the teeth'. It certainly wasn't 'almost a KO'. Now I'm no fan of Van Damme, but I seriously doubt he meant to make contact in this instance. I've taken 'accidental' hits in training that were harder than that.

    Even though I'm not a Van Damme fan, I say that anyone with eyes should see that, at 57, he is in better shape and has better, faster, sharper, more fluid kicks than most MA guys (and fighters) 30-40 years younger than he is. Whether he could have beaten them in a fight (or MMA match) is beside the point. How many MAists and ex-fighters will be in as good a shape when they're in their 50s? Answer: Very, very few, if any. And IIRC, Van Damme even had a cocaine habit for a time.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 01-20-2018 at 12:14 PM.

  8. #68
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    Jean-Claude Van Damme Debuts on Top Actors Social Media Ranking, George Takei Leads
    6:45 AM 8/25/2018 by Kevin Rutherford
    The chart ranks the most popular actors based on data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus.


    AP Images/Invision

    George Takei spends a third straight week atop The Hollywood Reporter’s Top Actors chart, ruling the Aug. 29-dated ranking ahead of Priyanka Chopra.

    The Top Actors chart is a ranking of the most popular actors on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus, with global data provided by social media analytics company MVPindex. The chart's methodology blends social engagement on the platforms along with weekly additions of followers/subscribers. The latest tracking week ended Aug. 21.

    Beyond Takei and Chopra, Jean-Claude Van Damme debuts at No. 3, with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Will Smith rounding out the top five.

    Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr. and Jim Carrey join Van Damme as actors moving into Top Actors’ top 10, ranking at Nos. 6 and 8, respectively.

    See the top 10 below, and for more charts on The Hollywood Reporter, check out the Top Comedians and Top TV Personalities charts.

    10. Ricky Gervais

    Gary Gershoff/WireImage
    Last week: 5


    9. Ryan Reynolds

    Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
    Last week: 4


    8. Jim Carrey

    Christopher Polk/Getty Images
    Last week: -



    7. Zendaya

    Karwai Tang/WireImage
    Last week: 10

    “Y’all have too much **** time on your hands,” Zendaya tweeted with a crying-face emoji after sharing a fan’s entrant into the Zoom Challenge that featured a clip of the actress and Hugh Jackman from The Greatest Showman. The challenge is soundtracked to Offset and Lil Baby’s “Mickey,” featuring Lil Yachty. The post was one of many that helped Zendaya to an 81 percent bump in Twitter likes and a 116 percent boost in retweets.


    6. Robert Downey Jr.

    Christopher Polk/Getty Images
    Last week: -


    5. Will Smith

    Kevin Winter/Getty Images
    Last week: 2



    4. Lin-Manuel Miranda

    Taylor Hill/FilmMagic
    Last week: 3


    3. Jean-Claude Van Damme

    Kristy Sparow/Getty
    Last week: -

    Van Damme’s multiple Facebook Live videos from the Aug. 20 Paris premiere of The Bouncer, in which Van Damme stars, helps him to debut on Top Actors at No. 3 with 338,000 Facebook post likes and 101,000 comments.


    2. Priyanka Chopra

    Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images
    Last week: 18

    A pair of photos on Instagram of Chopra with beau Nick Jonas were the top two posts by an actor on the service in the Aug. 15-21 tracking week, gleaning 162,000 comments and 8.7 million likes between the two of them. Jonas and Chopra were celebrating their engagement while in Mumbai. The same posts were also the most-engaged-with by an actor on Facebook.


    1. George Takei

    Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
    Last week: 1
    I forgot about The Bouncer.
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  9. #69
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    Would the Predator have done the splits?

    Random Predator & JCVD news:

    MARCH 01, 2019 2:29pm PT by Pete Keeley
    Why Did Jean-Claude Van Damme Get Replaced in 'Predator'?


    Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

    Carl Weathers, with prosthetic arm stump, and Jean-Claude Van Damme, with prosthetic "original" Predator arm, on the set of 1987's 'Predator.'

    In an update to a 2017 Hollywood Reporter oral history, the action star finally shares his side of the much-debated story, as other voices weigh in: "I think we're gonna have a problem."
    One of the more interesting threads to emerge from The Hollywood Reporter's 2017 oral history of Predator was the differing accounts from cast and crew as to how and why, exactly, Jean-Claude Van Damme — who was originally hired to play the alien trophy hunter — left the project.

    While the six (!!) conflicting accounts of JCVD's ouster shared some critical elements — the actor being unhappy with his ungainly costume, clashes with notoriously dyspeptic producer Joel Silver — a few were, literally, mutually exclusive. Actor Bill Duke, who played Mac; second unit director/stunt coordinator Craig Baxley; and visual effects supervisor Joel Hynek each provided his own non-overlapping eyewitness account of the supposed moment Silver sent Van Damme home.

    At the time, THR reached out repeatedly to Van Damme's reps to try and get his version of events but were told he was busy shooting overseas. However, a few weeks ago the man himself visited THR's offices to film an episode of Heat Vision Breakdown, and host Patrick Shanley managed to squeeze in a question about the…whole situation.

    A bit of background: When Van Damme was cast in Predator, which hit theaters in June 1987, he was still a virtual unknown. His only major credit was as the Russian villain — a sort-of Ivan Drago, but with roundhouse kicking — in the 1986 martial arts film No Retreat, No Surrender.

    A bit more: As originally conceived, the Predator was not the imposing, now-iconic mandibled weirdo that appeared in the finished film (designed by four-time Oscar winner Stan Winston and played by seven-foot-three actor Kevin Peter Hall). The initial design was more in line with the Xenomorph from the Alien films — an upright digitigrade with a wiry exoskeleton — but with the head of an insect. It was supposed to be agile and stealthy, stalking Arnold Schwarzenegger et al from its perch in the jungle canopy, and casting director Jackie Burch thought she had just the guy.

    "Jean-Claude Van Damme was someone who used to constantly come into my office, jumping up in the air, showing me his moves, begging me for work," she told THR in 2017. "So finally I said to Joel, 'He'd be great as the Predator because no one moves like him.' I mean he really is quite amazing."

    In his new interview, Van Damme recalls coming to Fox to meet with director John McTiernan.

    "They made me run around the studio and I jumped like a dancer," Van Damme says. "[They said], 'This guy can jump very high.' (Laughs.) 'Yes. He's in.'"

    That, it appears, was the high point for JCVD in his Predator ordeal.

    Van Damme left the meeting with the impression that, for his upcoming role opposite the biggest action star in the world, the costume and makeup requirements would be minimal.

    "They said I would be in a tight leotard with half-[human], half-animal makeup on my face," Van Damme told Starlog magazine in 1989.

    So he was surprised when he showed up at the offices of Boss Film to have his full body cast for the thick rubber suit the effects house would be shipping down to the film set in Puerto Vallarta.

    "I like to breathe — and they're gonna do my head and everything," Van Damme recalls. "They put in my mouth like a tube [to breathe through]. I was covered in that cast for at least 20 minutes. It was boiling hot. My friend told me, 'If you cannot breathe, just [wiggle] your finger and I'll pull that stuff away from you.' And I did it. I started to panic. And they go, 'No! Five more minutes!'"

    Van Damme managed to get the casting done without incident, but he confirms that he — like pretty much everyone else in the cast and crew, and Fox once McTiernan sent them the first footage — thought the original Predator design looked dumb as hell. But for Van Damme it was also a pain in the ass to wear.

    "My head was in the neck. My hands were in the forearms, and there were cables [attached to my fingers to move the creature's head and jaws]. My feet were in his calves, so I was on [stilts]. It was a disgusting outfit," he says.

    And because his vision and breathing were constricted, it was pretty much impossible for him to do the thing that got him hired in the first place: move like Jean-Claude Van Damme.
    continued next post
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    Continued from previous post

    It was also a safety issue. He was being asked to move around — in a fashion that would convince audiences that the Predator possessed superhuman levels of agility and stealth — on stilts, on uneven terrain, in a jungle. Also the suit was rubber and it was 100 degrees and humid. In a jungle.

    It was these not-ideal conditions which, according to Van Damme, ultimately led to his dismissal. At one point, he says, Silver asked him to make a jump that he thought was too dangerous: "When Joel asked me to jump, I knew it was gonna be a bad one. I said, 'This is impossible, Joel. I think we're gonna have a problem.'"

    Van Damme refused, and, according to him, "the guy who did my stunt, something bad happened to him. Crack [makes snapping motion]. And then they stopped the film, and they did a new, more safe, outfit."

    But like the others THR spoke with for the oral history, Van Damme's memories might have partly succumbed to the erosive effects of decades and, also, maybe contemporaneous untreated heat stroke?

    When asked about any on-set stuntman injuries, second unit director/stunt coordinator Baxley insists in a new interview with THR that "nobody was ever hurt." Beau Marks, first assistant director on the film, is more blunt: "Nobody broke their ****ing leg."

    Marks, one of the few people who didn't weigh in on JCVD in the oral history, goes on to back up the accounts of Richard Chaves (Poncho), producer John Davis, and previous comments by McTiernan — who has maintained it was ultimately a studio decision to scrap the original design, and JCVD was, in a very mundanely Hollywood way, collateral damage.

    "We shot some [footage with the original suit], sent it back to the studio, and the decision came back that we were to shoot everything we could without the creature in the suit, and we were to go back and redesign [the creature]," Marks tells THR. "And when we went back to redesign it, we went to Stan Winston. And Stan decided that the way to do the suit is to start with the tallest, biggest guy he could find, not someone who was the agile mover that Van Damme was."

    He also offered up a fourth, mutually exclusive, eyewitness account of the firing itself, because at this point why not?

    "When I was trying to explain what had happened [with the studio] and why we were not going to need him, he kept saying 'But I am the Predator!' I said, 'Well, let's go talk to Joel.' Joel has a philosophy: Beg to begin with, and then you kill the person," says Marks. "Well, he got through begging real quickly. He started off as nice as anybody could possibly start off, and then he just ended where he told Claude that he wanted to take his ****ing head, go out there, put it on the concrete and have one of those big ****ing trucks run over his head 50-****ing-thousand times. That's how it ended." Cool.

    Regardless of which, if any, eyewitness account of JCVD's final day in Mexico is the account, shortly after returning to the States, Van Damme was cast in Bloodsport, the film that would turn him into an international superstar. It was released in February 1988, eight months after Predator, and his aborted role as an extraterrestrial ant ninja became a footnote. Also, evidently he wasn't the only one initially under the impression that his face would appear in Predator, as he told The A.V. Club in 2008: "It's a very funny story, because when I met [producer] Menahem Golan,…he heard about me playing the Predator, and he was very excited to sign me for Bloodsport.… He didn't know I was an alien. He ain't going to see my face and my body. He thought I was the type of alien with a human face and body, where people would be able to recognize me."

    See the section of the oral history concerning Van Damme below, or read the whole thing here.

    Here's where things start to get weird. Everyone agrees on the general facts that 1) Jean-Claude Van Damme was originally cast as the Predator; 2) He didn't like the red suit, either, and clashed with Silver. But when it comes to why, exactly, he got fired, nearly everyone THR spoke with had a different explanation — including three separate first-person accounts of the actual moment he was fired. What follows is every account THR received of JCVD's brief stay in Puerto Vallarta.

    Burch: Jean-Claude Van Damme was someone who used to constantly come into my office, jumping up in the air, showing me his moves, begging me for work. He was nobody. He didn't have any credits. So finally I said to Joel, "He'd be great as the Predator because no one moves like him." I mean he really is quite amazing. He even stored his furniture in my garage! And then (laughs) he wasn't there that long. And I heard he was complaining the whole time and they fired him. And he came back and got his stuff out of my garage. And then the next time I saw him he was getting $5 million a picture. [The "He complained too much" version.]

    Baxley: Joel and I were walking down the hallway of the hotel together and Jean-Claude was walking toward us with his assistant. And Jean-Claude walked up and said, "Are you Joel Silver?" And he said yeah. And Jean said, "Well look at this!" And he jumped up in the air, I swear to God, did the splits with his legs straight out and his crotch was at eye level — and I'm six feet tall. He was there to play the creature, and a company called Boss had designed a creature. It had the head of an ant. And they spent an absolute fortune on this. And so they brought Jean-Claude out and they put the head on Jean-Claude, and Jean-Claude stood up and freaked out, and took off this $20,000 head and threw it on the ground and it shattered. And Joel said, "What the f— are you doing!" And he told Jean-Claude, "You'll never work in Hollywood again! Get off my set!" So that was it. [The "He broke the creature head" version.]

    Davis: He was the original Predator until we realized the Predator couldn't be five-foot-six; he actually needed to be of greater stature. [The "He was too short" version. (Worth noting that the man who replaced him in the new suit, Kevin Peter Hall, was over seven feet tall.)]

    Chaves: I remember getting a phone call in my room from Joel because Jean-Claude, him and I hit it off right away, and I thought that he would've been incredible as [the Predator] but he wanted his face to be seen. And I remember [Joel saying], "You go down there and talk to him and convince him that he's the alien and he's gotta get into the suit!" And so I went down and I spent a couple of hours trying to convince him that, you know, he'd be in this costume, "But everybody's gonna know it's you, Jean-Claude, because nobody can move like [you]!" I tried my best to convince him but it didn't work. And then I guess something happened, and he capitulated, Jean-Claude, to get into this suit and give it a try. And when they sent some of the first dailies of Jean-Claude in this original suit, the people at Fox hated it, absolutely hated it, and thought it looked like a rat — and it did! As soon as Joel was told about that news, he let him go. [The "Fox hated the original creature and JCVD was collateral damage" version.]

    Duke: They were going to, I think, superimpose all of the special effects on the body in postproduction. But in order to do that, the actor had to wear a felt suit that covered his whole body, and with 90 and 100 degree temperatures, [Jean-Claude] had passed out twice from dehydration. And Joel came over and said, "Jean, I know it's hot, but we're losing time, man. If you pass out one more time, we gotta fire you." So Jean says, "I'm not doing it on purpose!" Joel says, "Man, this is production. Don't take it personally." So two weeks went by, and he's flying on these wires in trees and everything and he passes out, and Joel comes and tells him, "You're fired." [The "He passed out too many times" version.]

    Hynek: I was in Joel Silver's trailer, and he had called for Jean-Claude to come see him. And he comes in the trailer and Joel starts saying, "You gotta stop kickboxing!" — because [Jean-Claude] wanted to kickbox — and he was telling him, "Look, the Predator is not a kickboxer." And Van Damme was like (Van Damme voice), "I must do that; that's how I see the Predator." And Joel said, "Well, you're fired. Get out of here." And Van Damme says, "Kiss my balls!" and walks out, and that was the end of that. [The "Creative differences" version.]
    There's a vid of the full interview behind the link.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  11. #71
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    Awkward

    Putin’s Hollywood pals – the stars who snuggled up to the Russian dictator

    Golden photo ops … clockwise from top left, Steven Seagal, Leonardo DiCaprio, Gérard Depardieu and Mickey Rourke. Composite: Getty, Reuters, AFP
    From Leonardo DiCaprio to Steven Seagal, Tinseltown’s biggest names were once happy to hang out with the invading president. Are they all now cringing? Not entirely
    Phil Hoad
    @phlode
    Mon 7 Mar 2022 03.00 EST

    It was one of those surreal moments when light entertainment mugs history. Vladimir Putin crooned the song Blueberry Hill at a children’s charity benefit in St Petersburg in 2010, as a crowd of celebrities – including Sharon Stone, Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, Goldie Hawn, Gérard Depardieu, Vincent Cassel and Monica Bellucci – clapped along like they were in kindergarten. When the politician reeled off the opening line – “I found my thrill” – thoughts of the Georgian invasion or the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko didn’t seem to be urgently popping into anyone’s head. Knowing what we know now, the spectacle plays more like Dr Evil’s rendition of Just the Two of Us – but far less funny. In 2022, after Putin’s ruthless assault on Ukraine, the guests present that day must feel very naive, perhaps even ashamed – but they are not the only western celebs who cosied up to Putin. In defence of this bunch, they had been booked to appear by Samuel Aroutiounian, a New Yorker who specialised in bringing Hollywood talent to Russia and later said that he had been unaware Putin would be appearing.



    Now, as big names from Angelina Jolie to Sean Penn and Mark Ruffalo issue their support for besieged Ukraine, Hollywood must be cringing at the days when a public appearance with Putin wasn’t beyond the pale. In the mid-00s, he had merely nibbled at a few former Soviet provinces and seen off the odd dissident – events that didn’t trouble most Entertainment Weekly readers. Russia was an important emerging film market, and firmly on the celebrity junket circuit. So Jean-Claude Van Damme, in 2007, could happily buff the president’s macho credentials at a St Petersburg MMA event, while Leonardo DiCaprio purred at his fellow feline lover during a big-cat conservation summit in 2010.

    His hegemony firmly established by then, Putin already had a domestic entertainment machine working hard in his favour. Channel One – descendant of the Soviet-era state TV station RTO – had produced Night Watch and Day Watch, two aspiring global blockbusters that put a manichaean gloss on the chaotic post-communist Russia that Putin had quelled in the early 21st century. “Dark means freedom and light means responsibility – and, in real life, Putin, for sure, is a light one,” said director Timur Bekmambetov at the time. “He is trying to fix everything, make everything organised. But it’s very bad for freedom.” Perhaps the succession of jingoistic military films the Russian cinema industry was also starting to churn out – which included 2005’s 9th Company, 2008’s Admiral and 2013’s Stalingrad – were a true bellwether of his actual allegiance.

    But Putin – lambasted for his aggressions in Chechnya and Georgia, and with suspicions swirling around state agencies after the killings of Litvinenko and Anna Politkovskaya – was sorely in need of international legitimacy. Photo ops with big stars and the implied entry into the VIP area of global mass entertainment helped normalise his rogue state in the eyes of the world.


    Picks his moments to challenge the leader … Oliver Stone during the making of The Putin Interviews. Photograph: Komandir/Courtesy of Showtime
    Or so he assumed. By 2014, when Putin had annexed Crimea and by which time it was obvious he wasn’t going to surrender the leadership any time soon, Hollywood was starting to run shy. Talking to Time magazine, Blueberry Hill mastermind Aroutiounian said of the A-list: “They’re much more concerned about not killing their careers. [In the current political climate] they don’t know what will happen to them when they come back home. They will take a lot of heat.” With his inscrutable air, machiavellian geopolitical schemes and his critics’ habit of dying in outlandish assassinations, Putin was increasingly resembling a cartoonish arch-villain of the Blofeld ilk. His foreign military intelligence agency was even called GRU, like the Despicable Me baddie. But there remained a coterie of film-world refuseniks who were unbothered by his growing pariah status: not just Depardieu, but Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal and director Oliver Stone. In fact, this set of leathery iconoclasts and libertarians seemed to actively embrace it.

    Three of them fell into the useful-idiot camp. Depardieu took Russian citizenship, and its refreshing 13% flat tax rate, in 2013, after criticising the French government over its levying plans. On friendly terms with Putin, he called Russia “a great democracy” in an open letter. At a Latvian film festival in 2014, Depardieu was sufficiently high on great sentiments to declare Ukraine “part of Russia”. Cue tanks rolling across the border in 2022 and the sound of tarte à l’humble being scoffed: “I am against this fratricidal war,” he said. “I say, ‘Stop the weapons and negotiate.’”

    Rourke, meanwhile, was unfazed by Putin’s Crimea incursion and judged him “a real gentleman” while buying a T-shirt with the leader’s face on it at a Moscow department store in 2014. “I met him a couple of times and he was a very cool regular guy, looked me right in the eye,” he told Sky News. It’s easy to assume this was some kind of edgelord publicity stunt from the one-time hellraiser, but he offered up his Russian girlfriend as the real reason: “It’s all about family. I don’t give a **** about the politics. That’s not my department.”

    Seagal doesn’t even try to play that get-out-of-jail-free card. Granted Russian citizenship in 2016, he had already called Putin’s Crimea annexation “very reasonable” and lauded the president as “one of the world’s greatest living leaders”. With his old pal now trashing the rest of Ukraine, he’s only dialled down his support one notch: “I look at Russia and Ukraine as one family and really believe it is an outside entity spending huge sums of money on propaganda to provoke the two countries to be at odds with each other,” he told Fox News.


    Putin shakes hands with martial arts movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme as they watch a mixed fight event in St Petersburg in 2007. Photograph: Vladimir Rodionov/AFP/Getty Images
    You can see why – in a kind of Botoxed 21st-century version of the Hollywood Ten – three over-the-hill blowhard actors might identify and want to shack up with the Russian president. Stone’s case is more complicated. He had already made documentaries about Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, so with his past proclivity for revolutionary figureheads, Putin was a logical next candidate. The director’s four-hour 2017 series, The Putin Interviews, undoubtedly indulges the leader but in doing so it draws him out in all his bland cynicism. It also picks its moments to challenge him: on Chechnya, on Russian “democracy”, on election interference.

    It’s not hard to understand what Stone got out of discussing realpolitik with his country’s adversary. The bigger question is how Putin benefited from this arrangement. Could the series, in continually insisting on the equivalence between US and Russian expansionism, have been part of his broader disinformation strategy? To throw a tantalising bone to sympathetic liberal anti-imperialists to distract them from his real endeavour during the period: radicalising the US and Europe’s nativist right wing.

    At least Stone’s dalliance with Putin gave us an opportunity to sit and watch the surface of the man – even if it didn’t quite get at what lay beyond. In one remarkable vignette, the director gets the autocrat to sit for his first viewing of Dr Strangelove. As the climactic mushroom-cloud montage plays out, Putin seems faintly amused by this depiction of mutually assured destruction: “Nothing has changed.” Maybe that’s what the Moscow celebrity train has helped obscure all along – for Putin, it has always really been about a colder, harsher reality.
    Threads
    Seagal-is-at-it-again
    Van Damme!!!
    Ukraine
    Gene Ching
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  12. #72
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    Shocking video: Jean-Claude Van Damme almost KO Cody Garbrandt during sparring

    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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