We took the scenic route back to the Four Seasons walking through Yorkville. I took them down the alley way of the Cumberland movie theatre towards Bloor. The only people there were two employees of the theatre taking out the garbage.
“Wow its Jackie Chan!” one of them exclaimed. Jackie went over and shook their hands and we continued on. I looked back and felt their excitement, barely able to believe that Jackie Chan had just shook their hands – the same overwhelming feeling I had only a day earlier when Jackie first shook my hand in the rigging studio! So much had happened since then it already seemed like an eternity ago. I still couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be hanging out in Jackie Chan’s private circle! I mean it could’ve very well been me on the street saying, “Oh my God it’s Jackie Chan!” and having my hand shaken briefly, but no! Here I was with Jackie Chan on my way to Ireland to work on a movie with him!!
As we were on our way back to the hotel, Jackie did something that I couldn’t believe. Something that was so outrageous, so unbelievable, so out there! Something that I never in a million years would have thought he would do. Something that made me look at him in a completely different light…
He bent over and picked up an empty pop can off the street! I quickly ran to him and took it from his hands to throw away in the garbage – I couldn’t believe that a star of his magnitude was picking garbage off the streets of Toronto! As we walked on he’d pick up every piece of litter that was there, and I would take it from him to throw out each time. That was the first time I realized what a truly incredible PERSON he was. He was not only an international martial arts icon for the big screen, but as a person he was a hard worker, down to earth, and humble.
Everyone who knows that I’ve worked with Jackie always asks, “What’s he like?” and I respond, “A role model in every sense of the word.” I respect Jackie not only as a martial arts icon who’s pioneered a whole new genre action film, but also as a person. You’ll never hear headings like, “Jackie Chan passed out drunk at night club,” or “Jackie Chan spent three million dollars on a suit made of diamonds,” or “Jackie Chan juggling babies to entertain the masses,” or anything remotely of that nature. Because he had such a strict upbringing at the Peking Opera school, and being an action star in Hong Kong first (who don’t make exorbitant amounts of money like stars in Hollywood do) he is grateful for all of his success and remains a humble person with very traditional values.
We finally got back to the hotel and Dorothy said I should go home to pack. I shook everyone’s hand goodbye, and when I got to Jackie he said, “See you tomorrow,” I still couldn’t believe I was shaking Jackie Chan’s hand!
“Uh…yeah, you too!”
I thought Jackie Chan was amazing through his movies, but after getting to know him over the last day and seeing what kind of person he was, I went home wanting to be more like him than ever!