The Best Story Ever: Jackie Chan gets beat up by Bruce Lee

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I might be a little slow on the mark with this one. But for those of you, like me, who were misfortunate to not know this interview exists in the world … well, I had to share this here.

About two years ago now, The Best Story Ever segment on Canadian talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight featured Jackie Chan. And the story Jackie had to share would certainly be one of the best anyone would ever have the privilege to tell. Ever.

Before Jackie became a household name, he was working as a young stuntman and would-be martial arts performer in an assortment of martial arts films championed by the Hong Kong film industry. Some of the most notable films that saw his stuntman credit would be those starring Bruce Lee, including Fist of Fury (where in one scene, Jackie was the stunt double for the bad guy Suzuki when he was thrown through a paper door) and in Enter the Dragon (where he plays one of the unlucky henchman who runs into Bruce’s flurry of lightning-fast punches and kicks).

You could say Jackie received the short end of the stick by only landing film parts that would see him get beat up by one of the greatest martial artists in the world. But before this interview, not many knew it would take a fateful encounter with an actual stick to make one incredible story with his idol.

During his spot on the show, Jackie shares a literal blow-by-blow account of his memorable scene with Bruce on Enter the Dragon. For those who are unable to view the video, or for those who enjoy a running commentary, you can read Jackie’s interview below.

“When I was young and doing Enter the Dragon, fighting Bruce Lee … and I was behind the camera, waiting waiting,” Jackie said.

“I just see Bruce Lee – Pa-pow! Pa-Pow! Pa-Pow! Pa-Pow!

“And I just ran up and just ‘aarghh!’, then boom-pow!” Jackie recreates Bruce Lee’s move where he whips a wooden staff over his shoulder and cracks one of his enemies from behind across the face.

“Suddenly, my eyes all black because his one stick [hit] right on my head – Pow! He missed it.

“But I just … I do nothing. I just, ‘Argh! Pow!’ Jackie said, continuing to punctuate his wonderfully-appreciated sound effects with his fight moves.

“And I just felt –y’know – a little dizzy. But it’s okay.

“I look at Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee doesn’t do anything. He look at everybody and keep acting, turned around, back … until the director said ‘Cut!’

“Then he just throw the two sticks, just turned around … ‘Oh my god!!’

“He run to me and lift me up … ‘I’m sorry! I’m sorry!’

“And actually, I’m not [in] pain anymore because [a] young guy – me – very tough!

“But suddenly, I don’t know why, I just pretend [it’s] very painful…

Jackie grabs his head dramatically.

“‘Ohh! Ughh!’ – I just want Bruce Lee [to] hold me [the] longest he can. I’d say ‘Ohh! Ughh!’

“During the whole day, every time he look at me [Jackie would replicate Bruce silently pointing and saluting apologetically] … I said ‘Ohh, [I’m] okay!

“And I think that’s the best moment, and somehow he run to me. He said ‘What’s your name?’, I said ‘My name [is] Jackie’

“‘What style you learning?’, I said ‘Shaolin style’.

“‘Okay!’ And then he would talk to me … [points and nods knowingly] ‘Jackie, eh? Jackieee …. Okay!’

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