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Jackie Chan is putting his funnyman act aside for his latest role as Quan Ngoc Minh in the action thriller The Foreigner, directed by Casino Royale‘s Martin Campbell. In the film, Chan’s character is seeking to avenge the murder of his daughter, who died in a London IRA bombing. The single father ruthlessly pursues the bombers and battles ex-member of the IRA and Irish Deputy Minister Liam Hennessy, played by 007’s Pierce Brosnan, whom he believes can identify the terrorists.
In a career that spans more than five decades, Chan has thoroughly mastered the art of comedy with comedic Chinese action films and American movies like Rush Hour, The Spy Next Door, and Shanghai Noon. At 63, he’s eager to expand his repertoire and even visualizes himself in romance flicks. “Doing comedy for so many years, I just want to do something different,” he told People Chica, noting that The Foreigner is a big departure from past work. “When I look at other American movies like Taken, it’s like ‘Wow, those kinds of movies are suitable for me,’ as well as some others like La La Land. I can dance, I can sing. If Pierce could do it, I think I could do Mamma Mia! too.”
Chan urges Hollywood to give him a wider range of possibilities to demonstrate his acting chops: “I want to prove I’m a real actor. I’m not [just] an action star. If a director hires me to do a slow-motion [movie], singing a song, I’d like it!”
The Chinese actor became a household name in the U.S. in 1998 with the success of Rush Hour, which became a blockbuster franchise.
The Foreigner arrives in theaters today.