ction star Jackie Chan couldn't be more on the go. He recently spent some time shooting his latest film, The Tuxedo, in Toronto and he told Tribute all about his adventures wearing the formal suit with the magic powers. Chan also talks about his other upcoming movie adventures, Highbinders and Shanghai Knights, and the possibility of starring in Rush Hour 3.

So how did you enjoy your time in Toronto?
J.C. When I first came here to scout out the location, it was beautiful. Then, after about a month, we started shooting. The weather can change so drastically. Sometimes it is warm during the day, and at night it's freezing. I was filming a scene where the wind was 35 mph and there was a very cold rain; I got soaked. I was raised up about 150 feet in a silo doing stunts and I can tell you, I felt like I didn't want to do it. I'm standing there shaking asking, "when is it going to be lunchtime?"

How does that affect you when you do stunts and the weather is just so freezing?
J.C. It's just not good really, but I have to keep going. I remember when I broke my ankle in Vancouver, doing Rumble in The Bronx. Same thing, it was January to mid-February. You just want to warm up. You have to set up the camera. So you just sit there and shiver and then it's like, let's do it. Boom! So to keep warm I just keep bouncing around on the set and to try and keep myself ready.

Turning to your latest film, The Tuxedo - set up your character for me. Who do you play in this film?
J.C. My character is named Jimmy Tong and I play a taxi driver who makes his way around the United States. I have a lot of tickets, and I run from state to state so I don't have to pay them. I'm a good driver and I've had no accidents. Then, somehow, I become a chauffeur for this guy. I don't know what he does; he is just very rich and elegant. I think that he is just some rich guy, that's all. Then later on I find out he is a spy.

Sounds mysterious.
J.C. It turns out that the guy who I work for gets hurt and has to go to the hospital. I go to his home to get him a few things and I find this tuxedo. I try it on and I become another person when I am wearing it. I can speak perfect English, I walk like a gentleman, and every girl who looks at me likes me. It's a fun movie. For me, it's the first time I've used special effects and I find it interesting.

This is also the first film that you are doing for DreamWorks. Did Steven Spielberg give you a call and say, "Hey Jackie, I've got a great movie for you".
J.C. Well, at first my manager told me about this DreamWorks movie by Steven Spielberg and said, he wants to meet you. So I said, O.K. When I came to Hollywood, there were two people I wanted to meet. One was Steven Spielberg and the second was George Lucas. I just think that the two of them are geniuses. When I met Spielberg I was so excited, but he was just like a normal person. But what made me so happy was the first time that he saw me, he held out his hand and said, "Jackie, hi, can you give me your autograph because my son just loves you."

That must have surprised you?
J.C. It was like, wow, he asked ME for my autograph. I was so happy, but I didn't know what to say. So I turned around and asked him, "How can you make dinosaurs and people walk together on screen? It's amazing." He says, "Jackie, that's easy, I press a lot of buttons." Then he asked me, how I jump from one building's roof to another roof. I told him that I just roll and jump. Camera rolls, director says action, I jump and then it's cut. That's all!

So now all you need to do is make a Star Wars movie and your life will be complete.
J.C. (Makes a motion like he has a light saber) Yes, that would be great.

How is The Tuxedo different than all of the other films we have seen you in?
J.C. In all my other films that you see, I am a policeman: CIA, FBI, or an undercover cop. This one deals with normal people.

You are known around the world for your films and stunts. How do you handle it when you are out in public and people recognize you?
J.C. I really like to be by myself and if I do go out to look around, I dress in jeans. My secretary is constantly telling me to dress up, shave and look your best because people know you. That bothers me. I just want to be natural. Sometimes, though when I go out, people look at me with a puzzled expression on their faces thinking, "You're Jackie Chan?" When people stare at me, it makes me uncomfortable. More and more I find that I just stay in my hotel when I am working.

That's a drag.
J.C. In the last ten years, I have been all around the world. I'm either on location, scouting or working, so I don't really want to go out too much. I'm very simple, most of the time I spend training or going to meetings, that's all.

Your co-star in The Tuxedo is Jennifer Love Hewitt. How has it been working with her?
J.C. She is so sweet. She has really helped me a lot. Working on this film has made me more nervous because of the dialogue. She always comes to practice with me. When there are times that I can't pronounce something, she helps me. Also, she is a little bit crazy! She is always smiling, even when I am playing very serious, I look at her and she is just giggling. I just love her.

Does anything frighten you?
J.C. Nothing, except for things that I don't know frighten me. Mostly, when I am making a film, I know what to do in front of a camera. What frightens me are the scenes with dialogue. Sometime they really want me to speak perfectly and I don't like that. When I try to speak perfectly then I am not Jackie Chan anymore. Some words sound like I am trying too hard. The whole thing is not me. No matter how much more I practice, even ten years from now, my English will never be perfect. I mean, if it is really terrible, I'll correct it, but otherwise, I do it my Jackie Chan way.

You've got a number of films coming out in addition to The Tuxedo. Let's start with Highbinders.
J.C. In Highbinders, I'm a policeman again. I end up helping people who escape from China on a boat. It's the first movie where I die! At the beginning of the movie, I die already! It's hard to explain, but it also has some special effects in it. Somehow, I become like a ghost-policeman; like an angel policeman.

Plus, you and Owen Wilson are reuniting for Shanghai Knights.
J.C. We'll be starting that one very soon, and I am sure we'll be even crazier than we were in the first movie.

We can't forget Rush Hour 3; is that confirmed?
J.C. Not yet, I'll be talking with the director soon. You know, for the next two years, I am fully booked. But I believe that if we do Rush Hour 3, we won't be able to start shooting until 2003.
(Since this interview, it has been confirmed that Jackie will be doing Rush Hour 3 with Chris Tucker.)

I was checking out your website and I noticed that you have not stopped working since 1970. That is just amazing! Do you ever take time out to relax?
J.C. Right now, doing this interview for me is relaxing. When we take a lunch break on the set, that for me is time to relax. I travel all around the world and it's like a holiday. Besides, working pays my bills. I get lots of money and my hotels are paid for when I'm working. The projects just keep coming and, believe me, if someone doesn't come to me with a project, I have my own. Right now, I'm writing a script with a scriptwriter. I actually have two on the go at the moment.

Is it true that you are going to remake the Jerry Lewis film, The Bellboy?
J.C. Yes, I'll be shooting that one - looks like in September in Las Vegas. After that I'll be working with Roberto Benigni, there are just so many things going on. I am just used to it. It keeps me young, what can I say! I love that the fans still like this kind of action and as long as they want me I'll continue to do it.

- Bonnie Laufer-Krebs