You watch the trailer for JCVD and you think, wow, it’s cool that Van Damme’s so self aware and has such a great sense of humor that he can make fun of himself like that. But perhaps there’s another possibility. What if he’s not acting at all? What if he actually is that guy in the movie? Take this exchange with a Newsweek reporter in Thailand for example:
There’s a monologue in the film about being a washed-up action star. Did you improvise that?
I like structure—like driving: go past the school on the street, stay on the right side, no hitting the car, go in right, you’ll see a big church, stop and take a left, and you’ll have it. By doing this I’m giving a structure of life, a path of light, and showing what happens between me and me, which is something very beautiful.
I really opened myself up in “JCVD.” I peeled back the skin of the fruit [hehe -Ed.], cut the pulp and then took that very hard seed. In this film I cut that hard seed, and inside that seed was a kind of liquid cream substance of the man I am, or the woman you are.
It was like being naked—I would love to be naked in front of you.
Well, I —
Not being naked being naked. I say such things in Hong Kong and they thought I was being a crazy Frenchman. Being naked of protection.
So you’ve no regrets at all?
Believe me—I’ve done very good stuff and very crazy stuff, and I don’t regret the crazy stuff. So are you in New York?
Yes, I am.
And are you 27, or 32?
Oh, f–––. That is very young. Will you come to the premiere?
I don’t know. When is it?
I don’t know. You will wear all black, a black dress and high heels?
You can come find me, I will be the one with the very broad shoulders, dark hair and a simple suit. We can have some champagne, you and me.
“Uh”? Who’s this reporter trying to kid? You know she f-cked him. It’s Van Damme. Not even a nun could resist smooth lines like those. I use that kinda shit all the time. “So… Are you 25 or 43?” “Um, I’m 12.” “Ahh, that is very young. Here, wear these shoulder pads.”