Jackie Chan’s parents could not afford to feed him when he was a baby. They considered selling him for US$26 to the English obstetrician who delivered him. At the tender age of 7, Jackie was apprenticed at the infamous Academy of Chinese Opera. For more than 10 years from 5am to midnight, seven days a week, he endured a brutal program of music, dance and traditional martial arts training.
The training he received was particularly harsh and cruel. The students were beaten and starved for not performing up to par. Later he appeared in some early Hong Kong films as a stunt man and worked his way up to stunt coordinator, then to a director.
When Bruce Lee died, Jackie, along with many others were picked to fill the vacuum. Jackie failed miserably.
“Very hard, very hard,” he said, “So instead of trying to be Bruce Lee, I decided to be myself.”
Jackie was born to be “Steve” who was later changed to Jack Chan. Later, Raymond Chow, a director changed it to “Jackie Chan”. His first big break came in 1978 with the movie “Snake In Eagle’s Shadow”.
Today, Jackie is indisputably Hong Kong’s biggest movie star and is currently making big in the US too. Jackie’s fees are up to US$50 million a year!