I occasionally indulge in acting and entertainment projects, and — a long and boring story told short — I was recently introduced to a professional stuntman, Wang Zhenwei 王振威, on the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, and began training with him at the newly created Jackie Chan Stuntman Training Center in Tianjin.
Jackie Chan, you’re thinking, needs stuntmen? It turns out…sometimes — the 65-year-old actor can’t go like he used to, and his JC Stunt Team lets him focus on the less physically demanding aspects of acting. But the team — which was actually formed in 1976 — comprises actors of various ages who can fill out a number of roles, not just ones for Chan. There are about 50 stuntmen / actors who count themselves as part of the team.
You might recognize Wang Zhenwei as the antagonist who gave Jaden Smith a beating in the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid, though he has a number of other credits to his name, including Operation Red Sea, Project X, and Animal World. I was lucky enough to sit down with him and talk about his career, how he got his start in the film business, and other fun stories from the job.