The Truth About Jet Li Revealed
After breaking into worldwide superstardom with Lethal Weapon 4, Jet Li became one of cinema's most renowned martial arts stars. From sham marriages to global disasters to the rumors around his health, here's the untold truth of Jet Li.
In 1973, the legendary actor and director Bruce Lee passed away under mysterious circumstances, leaving China, America, and the rest of the movie-loving world in shock. The following year, the 11-year old Jet Li was performing a kung fu demonstration in Hong Kong when he was approached by a movie producer and asked how he felt about becoming the next Bruce Lee. Speaking to TalkAsia in 2003, Li recalled the encounter. He said:
"When [the] movie studio producer [talked] to me, [he said] 'Hi, little kid, when you grow up, [do] you want to become [an] action star? I [said], 'Okay, why not!' So since then, every year the producer came to me to look at me. [He would say], 'Okay, you are still a little boy, [you] can't make [movies]. I want to wait [for] you.'"
Although he had greatly admired Bruce Lee, as a young boy Jet Li couldn't imagine that his name would ever be mentioned in the same breath as the martial arts star. Li added:
"I remember I found him very talented, a very talented actor and martial artist. But I [didn't] know how to make [movies] [...] I was just 11."
Jet Li had turned 17 by the time the producer decided he was ready to make his debut feature film. He was cast in Shaolin Temple, the first in a series of movies that established him as a star in China.
Watch the video for more about the truth about Jet Li revealed!
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Early days | 0:16
A visit to America | 1:32
Being watched | 2:28
Li and Aaliyah | 3:37
Blue pill | 4:42
Out of America | 5:59
In poor health? | 7:18
The 2004 tsunami | 8:43
A new outlook | 10:04