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Jean-Claude Van Damme is not finished

Amazon launches an action comedy where the actor interprets himself

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Jean-Claude Van Damme is not finished

"My name is Jean-Claude Van Damme. I used to be super famous. " What sounds like rapy session is presentation of new series by Jean-Claude Van Damme. The muscles of Brussels have returned, this time willing to distribute equally laughter and blows. Because blows gives, of course, Van Damme in his new series, Jean-Claude van Johnson, that Amazon Prime Video debuts today. It gives in bad films that it resides in fiction who is presented in this parody of its own reality like an actor of withdrawn action to which, at its 57 years, long ago it does not call anyone and that it lives alone and depressed , surrounded by memories of his years of Glory, when he starred in successes like Timecop or Universal soldier, but also or films of dubious quality. And deal blows, too, as his alter ego, secret Agent Van Johnson, true identity of a van Damme who during his career was served as cover of action to fight drug traffickers and or criminals.

With this premise, anything is possible. As Van Damme, anxious to return to action — a nod to reality — to reconnect with his true love and companion of Missions, Vanessa (Kat Foster), agree to shoot an absurd film, an unsustainable version in action mode of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The film serves as a cover for a secret mission that ends up mixing with filming, creating hilarious scenes that allow him to re-launch his famous kicks. Although of course, already more mature, is not for as much pirouette as it used to, and that is motive of new gags in a series plagued of winks to films of actor.

Who has had a good day doing six chapters of this series is obvious. During his world presentation in Paris, an exultant Van Damme did not stop celebrating what he considered his masterpiece. "As an actor, I think I can tell people it's my best job until today," he says in an interview with country. "It was fate."

A destination that wanted producer Scott Free, by Ridley Scott, to listen to a Van Damme who was spending low hours and proposed to participate in a project centered on an action hero aged like him. There was interest and wanted fate again to think of screenwriter Dave Callaham (Godzilla, Wonder Woman 2), unconditional Van Damme. "My mor, China, is a black judo belt," says Callahan. "My grandmor was a great teacher of Tai, I practice jiu-jitsu and I grew up watching martial arts films in United States in 1980s, that is, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Van Damme... which for me was most physically capable. Writing a screenplay is pinnacle of my career. "

Jean-Claude van Johnson can be lifeline of a van Damme that takes almost a decade without a blunt premiere. The Belgian knows and recognizes that nerves accompanied him throughout filming. "Until today, before each scene I feel butterflies in my gut, incredible, right? I'm always afraid of not being real enough, "he admits in a moment of honesty like those who plague this fiction as well. For your fellow shooters, you don't have to worry. "It's very honest, comedy comes from that honesty," says director Peter Atencio. "I wouldn't have been interested in this project if I hadn't discovered that J.C. is a great actor," coincides veteran actress Phylicia Rashad ( hour of Bill Cosby, Empire), who embodies Jane, Van Damme's artistic agent and Van Johnson's chief of mission. "He parodies himself, parodies his career as an action hero. But it is also a journey of self-discovery. And it's fun. "

A hero with weaknesses

The only thing that worried Jean-Claude Van Damme of series with which it hopes to relaunch its timid career was that with fans of films of action that threw it to fame it did not make m funny to see weaknesses of a hero. But doubts lasted him little. "People love to identify with me because I empathize with m. I show my fears, my insecurities, because y are part of life, but for an action actor it is difficult to show those feelings, because you fear that fans will not like, "says Van Damme. And for those who don't like to see ir defeated hero? There will always be "males like Sly [Sylvester Stallone] or Steven Seagal," jokes Belgian.

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