There is nothing Americans love more than a good comeback story. The latest recipient of this largesse is the Muscles from Brussels himself—Jean-Claude van Damme. He’s among the action stars wreaking havoc in The Expendables 2 later this summer. And in Dragon Eyes, now on DVD, he takes on the wise-mentor role to a younger hero.
“Playing a mentor reminded me of when I was giving karate lessons to children, which I started at the age of 17,” he told EW.com. “So I understood training people, because I’ve done that before, and before I came toAmerica I owned a gym.”
Van Damme praised the action chops of his Dragon Eyes costar, Vietnamese-American MMA fighter Cung Le. “He’s a fighter who’s using his legs a lot, so I was attracted to his style of fighting,” he says.
And despite the age difference and varying training techniques, Van Damme said they easily found common ground. “When two warriors, ex-fighters, talk together, it’s the same spirit,” he observes.
Director Simon West called upon him to play a villain in Expendables 2. “I’m good as a villain! I don’t play many of them, but I play good villains,” he says. “Plus, it’s a big movie and it’s good for me to from [direct-to-DVD] back to the big screen.”
He’ll play another villain for Peter Hyams, his Timecop director, in next year’s Enemies Closer. In the meantime, Van Damme also revealed to EW.com a few secrets to winning hand-to-hand combat as you get older (spoiler: the element of surprise is your friend).
The Expendables 2 is currently set for release August 17. Dragon Eyes was released on DVD and Blu-ray in April.
CLICK HERE for the full article at the EW.com “Inside Movies” blog.