In 1976 legendary actor Jackie Chan created The Jackie Chan Stunt Team. Working closely with Chan over the course of 40 years, the team grew, changed members, and always adhered to a strict code of brotherhood and respect.
In 2016, 40 years later, not only was Jackie honored with his first ever Oscar Award, but he also received a tear jerking surprise reunion with the surviving members of the original Jackie Chan Stunt Team.
The current Jackie Chan Stunt Team stood by Chan’s side as they watched former members onscreen remember what it was like working with Jackie early on. Some memories were less pleasant than others, but each one clearly had an impact on Jackie Chan as he held back tears the entire time.
“I had a girlfriend then. She said, ‘Every time you leave for work, you might just come back to me as a lifeless body.’ So we broke up.”
“We all have this spirit. If the stunt doesn’t kill us, we carry on.”
“I hope he lives a hundred years, that way he can take care of all the brothers a hundred years.”
“It doesn’t matter how good you are, if you are not benevolent towards your brothers, Jackie would not let you join the team.”
“I recall the time before he was famous, I was his stunt coordinator along with this guy named Peng Gang. The two of us followed Jackie. At that time his salary was merely a few thousand HKD. Coordinating only fetched 12,000 HKD. He wanted to split it equally. He took four thousand himself, Peng Gang and I four thousand each.”
As the video played, Chan’s current team ducked behind a row of people from his original stunt team, then waited quietly behind him as he spoke.
“For 40 years, we’ve been through thick and thin. Fractured bones, broken limbs, sent to the hospital at 5 or 6 in the morning. No one sees that at the theater.
The JC stunt team has grown for seven generations. And you see each of us getting old. I too am getting old. You see each class grown and learn. You see them rising up,”
Then Chan turned around, and a roomful of chefs began to peel onions or something because it all got a little hard to see at that point.
Two more people spoke after Chan, and summed up pretty well what he means to Chinese culture, actors and artists, and basically the world.
“Most of you seated in the house are young. I feel that today joining us for this programme should allow you to learn much. Brother here is a year older than me. He is among all Chinese actors, in this world today, the most well-known actor, well-known artist.”
“When you’re an artist, there’s a role model who influences you. Brother Jackie is our role model.”