I woke up to the irritating chime of the small battery-powered alarm clock I had bought before I left Toronto. I wanted to make sure that I’d never be late because I overslept – something I did one too many times in high school! I was just as excited as I had been the day before. Everything was still so new to me. This bed wasn’t mine, this room wasn’t mine, heck this COUNTRY wasn’t mine! The only thing that was mine were my clothes! I followed the same routine that I’d be following for the next month: shower, shave, get dressed in clothes that said “I’m a Jackie Chan Stunt Team member” – which were usually cargoes and a t-shirt of some sort (quite often the JC stuntmen team shirts Jackie gave me!), sat on the couch and waited for Brad to come out of his room., took the elevator down to the van where Diana and everyone else except for Paul and Exy were waiting for us (those two were never on time!), and headed to set.
We were back in the hills again filming more exterior shots utilizing Ireland’s rich green landscape. It wasn’t until this experience that I truly appreciated the choice of landscapes and backgrounds that were used in movies. Normally I would just watch a movie for the actors and action not really paying much attention to the beautiful backdrops that the director had chosen to use specifically.
As we drove through the city I was still getting used to being on the wrong side of the road! I was also getting used to the roundabouts they had here – we didn’t have them in North America. I wondered why we didn’t. The more I thought about it the more efficient they seemed. With a traffic light there is always one direction that has to sit and wait, but with a roundabout there was a continual flow of traffic – pretty smart! Anyhow, after another half hour to forty-five minutes of driving, we finally arrived at base camp where there was already a line up for breakfast. We all joined the line. When it was my turn I took healthy portions of scrambled eggs, ham, sausages, and hash browns! This was such a treat! I couldn’t believe that people in movies were fed so well! It was like eating out at a restaurant EVERY DAY!
After we finished eating we had some more shooting to do downtown like we did yesterday – I guess there weren’t any “stunts” they needed us for so Brad, Paul and myself just sat there for the next hour or two talking. Exy and Diana hung around with us too. I was starting to get antsy, I mean here I was working on a movie with JACKIE CHAN and all I was doing was sitting around. I felt like I should be doing SOMETHING. I was about to say something when one of the AD’s came and called us over. Brad and Paul instantly jumped up as did I and followed their lead. Exy got up slowly and took his time getting over to us. We went over to Jackie’s trailer and grabbed the stunt bags – I still thought this was the COOLEST THING! Grabbing stunt bags! Anyhow we hopped into a transport vehicle that took us to set. I held on tight to the “pad bag” I was in charge of.
Set today was on a different road than yesterday, but the action was still the same. More dialogue with Jackie and Claire on a motorcycle. Right away I went to get the same pads that Claire had yesterday out of the bag. I asked Paul if I should go and give them to her.
“Couldn’t hurt to ask, go ahead.” Paul nodded in her direction.
“Uh…no problem!” Still a little star struck and nervous about approaching THE Claire Forlani, I took a deep breath and walked over there with purpose. “Ummm…Claire? Would like these?”
“Oh thank you Alex, you’re a sweetheart,” she said with a smile.
“Wow…you’re soooo beautiful…” I thought in my head. I barely even heard her say my name wrong. “No problem, I…I should get back now, bye.” I didn’t even wait for her to respond and turned around and walked back.
As I approached Paul, Brad, and Exy I could see them half smiling at me. “Smooth,” said Paul.
“Nicely done,” Brad said with a smirk to Paul.
“Who’s Alex?” Exy asked innocently. Brad and Paul erupted in laughter. This was one of the few times I ever saw Brad smile. They were enjoying making fun of how nervous I was around Claire. My face was red from embarrassment. All I could muster was a modest,
(These are the AWESOME shirts that were given to me that first day in Jackie’s condo when we arrived in Ireland. My Chinese wasn’t too great so I asked Dorothy what the characters meant. The first character at the top on the front was “Wu” and was the same the Wu as Wushu – which in Chinese is 2 separate words, and meant “Martial Art”. The second character was also “Wu” but a different word in Chinese which meant “Dance”. Together this was Jackie’s philosophy: Martial Art Dance. I thought that was the COOLEST THING I’VE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!!! The character in the circle right in the middle of the shirt and on the back is the Chinese word “Long” which means “Dragon” – Jackie’s Chinese name. I have worn them proudly ever since. Each time I put them on they remind me of the level of greatness that I aspire to achieve one day!)
(click on pictures for larger image!)