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That's a Real Lion in Jackie Chan's 'Kung Fu Yoga'!

By Flora  /  21 Jan 2017 (Saturday)

Yes, you read that right. An actual ferocious lion sits at the back of Jackie Chan’s vehicle in his upcoming action-comedy flick ‘Kung Fu Yoga’. 

In the competitive filmmaking industry today, what does it take to up the ante and stand out amongst the rest of the movies? Perhaps, the answer for director Stanley Tong is to put the king of beasts -an actual lion- in close contact with his longtime buddy, Jackie Chan. 

“To hoax a lion up a vehicle is so tough, but to persuade Jackie Chan up the same vehicle (with the lion inside) is harder,” Tong joked at an interview session. 

Recently-minted Oscar winner of the Honorary Award, Jackie Chan, is no stranger to dangerous stunts and interacting with animals on set. In CZ12, also directed by Tong, sees Chan getting chased and bitten by a dog; but to film with an actual lion brings the meaning of ‘dangerous’ to a whole new level.


Photo Courtesy of: Golden Village Pictures

Chan recalled: “In CZ12, I was bitten by a dog, and now he asks for a lion! I told him to find a stand-in, I won’t film it. It was also because of a recent news article that I read, about a bear that ate up its owner; it left a traumatic impression on me. To act with a lion sounds exciting, but to be on set on the actual filming day is frightening! Just by looking at the way it moves in its cage is scary!” 

“We had trainers on set,” explained Tong. “I filmed the lion scenes about a week as the setup was very extensive. The lion has to be comfortable with its setting before we can ask big brother Jackie Chan to shoot with it.”

Tong, Chan, together with actresses Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur and Mu Qimiya were in Singapore yesterday to promote the movie which opens in Singapore on 27th January. 

Photo Courtesy of: Golden Village Pictures

At the press conference, Chan made a shocking revelation that he had actually undergone a five-hour operation in London due to an overwhelming pain in his abdominal area but continued to film the day after instead of recuperating in the hospital. 

His reason? “I had a responsibility to complete the scene,” the 62-year-old star said.

“I could have easily stopped the production for me to rest for half a year, but there was a large crew on set that was waiting and I didn’t want to drag the progress of the shoot,” he explained. 

It turns out that Chan’s skin and muscle had rotted, and his intestines were out of alignment. “During my operation, my assistants were crying! The doctor said that I could have gone just like that.” 

The following day, Chan was off to Iceland to shoot a scene in icy water. “I travelled all the way there to shoot the scenes, to use a stand-in, no way, I want to to it myself,” shared Chan. 

(Head to our gallery section for more photos of Jackie Chan and the cast members of 'Kung Fu Yoga'!)

Indeed, as what director Tong said, “There is only one Jackie Chan”.

'Kung Fu Yoga' opens InCinemas 27 Jan 2017!
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