LOS ANGELES >> Jackie Chan wishes he could have used his iconic, on-screen martial arts skills to help those hurt at Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.
“A lot of young kids say ‘Jackie, you’re a superhero. You’re hero.’ I really want to be any superhero (so) I can fly around the world, save the people, beat up the bad people, put them in the jail. But sometimes I watch this, I’m just useless. Only thing I can do is pray, pray for them,” Chan said in an interview today.
The rampage by Stephen Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527 others at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
Chan does get the chance to battle terrorists in his new action-thriller “The Foreigner,” opening Oct. 13. The actor takes a dramatic turn as a grief-stricken father hunting a rogue IRA cell responsible for an explosion that killed his daughter.
“I hope through the movie (to) tell the people stop this kind of violent things,” Chan said. “It’s a good message to tell, stop these kind of terror things, stop the bombing, stop hurting innocent people.”
Other films canceled and scaled back promotion in the wake of the attack in Las Vegas — something Chan thought long and hard about.
“Yes, it is challenging,” he said of continuing the film’s promotional tour, which includes Thursday’s Los Angeles premiere. “Asked what should I do? Should we change? Should we cancel? And you know I’m really a foreigner in another country. I don’t know what to do. You know, what should I say? Anything I can (do to) help?”
At 63, the Hong Kong star is hoping to prove he can do more than martial arts.
“I want to be a true actor. I don’t want audiences to keep thinking I’m an action star. One day I’m getting old, I cannot fight anymore. I want to be a Robert De Niro. I want to be a Clint Eastwood,” he explained. “They are true actors, but they can fight!”
Chan says a romantic lead in a musical would be a dream gig.
“I’d love to do it! I want to be something special. I want to be in a musical action comedy movie. You know fighting with singing, dancing,” Chan said. “Of course if a director hire me to do some kind of ‘La La Land’ and ‘Sound of Music,’ I’d love to do it. I really do try everything, anything.”