By Hilary Fox, AP
CANNES, France–Jackie Chan is landing his last punch as an action star, but says he is stepping into retirement having made one of the most important films of his career.
The Hong Kong actor told the AP on Friday that his latest film “Chinese Zodiac” will be his last action movie.
Chan, launching the movie at the Cannes Film Festival with co-stars Kwone Sang Woo, Yao Xingtong and Liao Fan, said that people don’t believe him when he says he is going to retire.
“They say ‘no, you’re still young, you can still do it,’ but I have to stop one day.”
The 58-year-old says he is bowing out with “Chinese Zodiac” — in which he plays a fortune hunter, traveling the world trying to track down missing astrological antiques — because it is one of the “most important” films in his career.
Chan says he spent seven years working on the movie — writing, producing, directing and coordinating fight scenes.
“For the last 10 years I’ve been choosing the director to direct me. This one I direct myself.” he said. “I hope this movie, 20 years later, people still remember it. For me, for the audience, for my future, for my history — it’s very important.”
Chan says “Chinese Zodiac,” and the many films before it, have taken their toll on his body.
“It hurts, it really hurts,” he says, flinching. “The shoulder, the ankle, it really hurts. You don’t know because I still look healthy.”
Not that he plans on putting his feet up — Chan shrugs off suggestions of taking up gardening, cooking or bowling in his spare time. He wants to work on his acting muscles instead.
“When I look at Hollywood, at Robert De Niro, he can do anything — comedy, drama,” he says.
“Clint Eastwood — 60-70 years old, he can still move. I said yes, that’s my goal. Because action stars’ life is so short. Actor’s life is very long. I want to show audiences I can act.”