Jackie Chan’s Son: A Tragic Tale

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Tragic Tale of Jackie Chan’s Son’ by SunnyV2

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Jackie Chan’s son, J.C. Chan, had an unsuccessful film career, spent time in prison, but is now pursuing his own projects.

Key Insights

  • Jackie Chan's son, J.C. Chan, has faced difficulties in his life, including an unsuccessful film career and time spent in prison.
  • J.C. had a luxurious upbringing, with his father being busy with acting and spending only two weeks per year with him.
  • J.C.'s mother spoiled him with luxuries, which Jackie Chan regretted later, believing no one should have such a good life from birth.
  • In contrast, Jackie Chan grew up in poor conditions and developed discipline, appreciating scarcity.
  • J.C. lacked drive and dropped out of college, wanting to pursue a music career against his parents' wishes.
  • J.C.'s music albums and films were commercial failures, receiving negative reviews and low ratings.
  • J.C. faced a profound scandal when arrested for drug possession, which was particularly damaging as he was China's anti-drug ambassador.
  • Jackie Chan disowned his son and refused to use connections to lessen his sentence, while the Chinese government televised the trial as an anti-drug example.
  • J.C. was sentenced to six months in prison and paid a fine, expressing remorse and vowing not to repeat his actions.
  • J.C.'s parents did not attend the trial, and he faced struggles in prison, writing letters to his mother about his experiences and fame-related pressure.
  • J.C. expressed his support for being an anti-drug ambassador and announced his plans to donate his entire net worth to charity, not passing it on to his son.
  • After the scandal, J.C.'s earning capacity significantly decreased, losing endorsements and opportunities as an actor.
  • J.C. moved back to the US and reconciled with his father, but wants to differentiate himself and no longer wants to be in his father's shadow.
  • J.C. has directed a film and has more projects in the works since moving back to the US.

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Transcript

Jackie Chan’s only son hasn’t had the easiest life. Between an unsuccessful film career and the time he spent in prison, J.C. Chan has been unable to live up to the high standards set by his father, and it all began with J.C.’s luxury upbringing after his birth in 1982.

At this point in time, Jackie Chan was permanently busy with acting, and would therefore spend only two weeks per year with his son, which was quote contained in the household as they were too famous to go outside. His father’s busy schedule meant that J.C. was raised almost entirely by his mother, who began to spoil him with luxuries afforded by Jackie Chan’s fame and fortune.

Jackie wrote in his memoir, “When he was little, J.C. never had to worry about having enough food, how to pay his school fees, or if he needed to be driven anywhere. I would arrange it all. I regretted that later. No one should have such a good life from their birth.” Jackie Chan clearly believed this as his upbringing was almost the opposite.

Brought up in dirt poor conditions by refugee parents who couldn’t even afford to pay for his birth, Jackie Chan was forced to develop discipline, as well as an appreciation for scarcity. In addition to this, Jackie Chan’s youth consisted of drama training all day long, from 5am to 11pm with breaks for lunch and dinner. When he misbehaved, he was beaten with canes. When he fell ill, he was told to suck it up, which Jackie Chan has since highlighted as beneficial, in comparison to his son’s upbringing.

“I really thank you, my teacher, for torturing me. Really, we never dropped one rice on the table. Whenever I go back to my home, I see my son’s shoes, one like this, one like this. One socks, another socks. No discipline!” JC’s cushy childhood led Jackie Chan to write in his book, “When he was a teenager, I definitely didn’t think JC was pushing himself hard enough. I’d work all day, go jogging at night, then get back and see that he’d gone to bed, even though it was only nine-something. I’d grumble, he’s asleep already. I’d storm out in a bad mood and go jogging again, thinking, when I was his age, I wished he could follow me around all day to see how much I did.”

Sometimes I’ll have eight meetings in a row, right up until midnight, then I’ll go home, do some exercise and read scripts. JC’s clear lack of drive and ambition in comparison to his father, led JC to drop out of college at the end of his first year, stating, “I wanted to be a musician. All you can see in Virginia is sheep,” although other sources state that he was expelled from the school as a result of excessive drinking, unclean living conditions and two semesters worth of unwarranted absences.

JC’s desire to become a musician was against the will of Jackie, who had not wished to see their son in show business. He wanted JC to be a lawyer, an engineer or a doctor, as JC’s mother had, quote, “already lost her husband to this profession.”

Despite the wishes of his parents, JC moved from Los Angeles to Hong Kong in 2004, where he planned on cultivating his own successful story in music, stating, “It is my hope to become famous based on my own abilities, rather than rely on my image.” JC was so confident in moving to China, that he gave up his American nationality in exchange for Chinese nationality, however, it’s possible that this choice came into question after he’d released his first album.

Described in reviews as being a horrid absolute waste of money, the album simply titled JC was a commercial failure. The reason for this, as described by JC himself, was because Hong Kong is different from other places. “You need to do music and movies,” leading JC to appear in his first film titled The Twins Effect 2, which received an IMDb rating of less than 5 out of 10 stars.

And while it’d be ridiculous to expect an Avengers level performance from JC’s first on-screen appearance, the movies which followed weren’t that much better. He’d appear alongside his father for Jackie Chan’s 100th movie titled 1911 Revolution, yet the collaboration resulted in Jackie Chan’s least financially successful and least positively received picture to date, grossing only $127,000, before receiving a score of 8% on Rotten Tomatoes.

One year later, JC would play the main character in a movie called Double Trouble, which also entered media headlines after grossing an even more pitiful $9,000 during its first two weeks, making it one of the biggest box office flops in history. To add insult to injury, JC would then play the main role in a movie called Whoever, which despite a government mandate forcing it to be played in half of the country’s cinemas, failed to crack the Chinese top 10, and has received only 15 ratings on IMDb since its release in 2012.

The only positive news for JC seemed to have been coming from his music career, as his second studio album would top Taiwanese charts in 2010, although it seems the album hasn’t achieved much long-term success, as there’s not even a single online review for the music, and it took about 30 minutes of digging just to find the tracklist.

The performance of the album was unimportant anyway because on the 14th of August 2014, JC would find himself in a profound new media scandal, making every prior controversy seem insignificant. Police would upload footage of JC Chan being arrested at his parents’ $10 million luxury Beijing apartment, during which he’d admit to having approximately 100 grams of weed in his cupboard.

This was extra bad for the Chan family’s reputation as JC had been China’s official anti-drug ambassador since 2009. For this reason, JC would take to social media to apologize, writing, “For my son JC to get into such trouble, I’m very angry and astonished. As a public figure, I’m ashamed. As a father, I’m heartbroken. I can’t begin to describe his mother’s pain. I failed to be a good father and I deserve the blame. I will take the responsibility and apologize to the public on behalf of JC.” In the process, Jackie practically disowned his son, stating that he hadn’t and didn’t plan on using any of his connections to lessen JC’s sentence. “I have not visited him even till now. I did not even use any connections to call anyone. If JC only went to jail for one week or 10 days, how would the public look at us? We are public figures and all the more we have to abide by the laws,” which was accompanied by Jackie Chan somewhat hilariously telling JC’s lawyer to slap him twice for me.

While Jackie Chan wanted absolutely nothing to do with JC, the Chinese government took the opposite approach, making a public anti-drug example out of JC by televising the trial, which would happen approximately four months after his arrest. JC was sentenced to six months in prison and was ordered to pay a $320 fine for possession as well as the crime of sheltering others to take drugs. JC took this sentence humbly, stating, “I have broken the law and should be punished. When I return to society, I will not repeat this because I have let my family and friends down yet again,” although this wasn’t enough to satisfy his parents, who didn’t even attend the trial.

Whilst in prison, JC would send letters to his mother in which he explained that he experimented with drugs because of the bad crowd he was mixing with, and started relying on drugs to soothe himself whenever he felt upset. JC also wrote about the struggles he faced growing up in a famous family and revealed that the expectations of fame placed a lot of pressure on him. He then expressed his unhappiness with JC for not showing him enough concern. However, his father wasn’t rushing to offer any kind of sympathy.

JC would state in an interview, “I hope to be an anti-drug ambassador for life. I even hope that after JC is out, he can be an anti-drug ambassador, too, telling everyone to stay away from drugs,” which was followed by JC stating publicly that he supports the death penalty for certain serious offenses. Additionally, JC would announce that he would donate the entirety of his reported $350 million net worth to charity and not pass it on to his son JC, adding, “If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money.”

The problem is JC’s earning capacity has been stifled pretty severely as a result of the public sentencing. For example, in the three years prior to his arrest, JC acted in 10 different movies. However, since his imprisonment almost 10 years ago, he’s appeared in only three films, one of which he wasn’t even credited for as a result of the scandal. JC also lost endorsements from Adidas, Nivea, Yishun, Johnson & Johnson contact lenses, Stridegum, KFC, and Chevrolet, with this rock bottom causing him to return to America, even though he was no longer a citizen there.

The father and son still share a residence in Hong Kong, though they don’t spend much time together. As an actor, a businessman, and his city’s unofficial goodwill ambassador at large, Jackie Chan has

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘The Tragic Tale of Jackie Chan’s Son’ by SunnyV2