Biographies of celebrities always win readers, and in most cases they are little more than a quick cash-in.
But for Jackie Chan, a world famous actor who already has fame and money, an autobiography is just a way to record his life.
Although there have been many interviews with Jackie Chan over the years, his autobiography, published on April 1, is the first time he talks about life on his own terms.
Jackie Chan was born as Chen Gangsheng in a shabby and remote house near the rich mountaintop area of Victoria, Hong Kong.
The two different worlds influenced Chan’s short childhood. He often fought with foreign kids and was held back in primary school. Eventually, his parents resolved to send him to study martial arts.
That decade is the one Chan describes as his darkest. He was bullied by older students and punished by his teachers, he writes.
But it was also the decade that made him the man he is today.
Chan stepped into the film industry at the age of 17. In those days he was the first to arrive on set and the last to leave. He volunteered for all the most dangerous stunts, from fighting a live leopard to risking his life by leaping off a 70-meter-high building.
Chan said that he tried to break into Hollywood film but failed twice. It wasn’t until his third attempt, a little script he called Rumble in the Bronx, that a Hong Kong film came to top the American box office.
From the beginning of his career, Chan knew the only thing that could compete with Hollywood technology was real stunts.
While fans admired him for pulling off all kinds of dangerous maneuvers, Chan said he was always afraid. But his stubborn character pushed him to finish with perfection.
In the book, Chan shares many regrets for the first time. It’s also the first time he talks about his romantic history, which was for years the topic of Hong Kong tabloids.
As well as telling stories that happened behind the scenes, Chan responds to critics who say he is too old to fight and of his plans for the future and his son.