It’s hard to map out all of the injuries that Jackie Chan has sustained over the years because, like fellow pain fanatic Mick Foley, getting hurt is part of the gig. There’s almost no part of Jackie’s body that hasn’t been damaged in some way, as he’s fallen, dropped, jumped, slashed, hacked, broken, stabbed, snapped, and smashed his body in just about every single frame he’s ever shot. It’s what makes him a legend.
In reverence of one of the greatest cinematic marvels in history — and because it’s his 61st (!) birthday — here’s Jackie Chan’s guide to breaking your everything:
Step 1: Fall Off Really High Stuff
Jackie loves jumping, swinging, and generally falling from really tall walls, bridges, and clock towers. You name it, and he’s jumped from it. The worst injury he had from a fall is when he jumped off a wall and onto a tree in 1986’s Armour of God. He fractured his friggin’ skull in that stunt, but he also damn near broke his spine in the fall from a clock tower in Project A (see video above) and sustained rib and chest plate damage dropping from a chain in Armour of God II (see below video).
Stop making films called Armour of God, Jackie.
Films: Armour of God I & II, Project A, Police Story
Step 2: Take A “Leap Of Faith”
You’d think that this insane stunt would cause Jackie to dislocate something, but it was actually the stunt above — he jumps onto a hovercraft from a bridge — that caused him to break his ankle. Being the otherworldly wizard of pain that he is, Chan painted his cast to resemble a shoe and kept filming on a broken ankle because Jackie ain’t got time for that.
Films: Who Am I?, Rumble in the Bronx, Thunderbolt, City Hunter
Step 3: Get Hit With Stuff, Throw Stuff And Toss People
One of Jackie’s more recent injuries occurred on the set of Forbidden Kingdom when he tried to throw a guy and aggravated an already damaged back from years of crazy stunt work. But, in the realm of Jackie’s injuries, this was nothing. Jackie’s face has been slashed, his head has been busted open (see above video), and he’s broken his fingers multiple times. You just can’t keep a good Jackie down.
Films: Young Master, Project A, Miracles, Mr. Nice Guy, Drunken Master, Police Story 2, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Police Story 4: First Strike, Dragon Lord, Police Story 3: Super Cop, The Medallion, Forbidden Kingdom
Here’s a list of Jackie’s major injuries:
- Broken eyebrow bone
- Broken Nose
- Knocked out tooth
- Lip laceration
- Lower chin injury
- Dislocated cheek bone
- Eye injury
- Broken ankle
- Bruised throat
- Broken hip
- Multiple concussions
- Dislocated shoulder (I’ve had this happen to both shoulders and it hurts really, really bad)
- Dislocated sternum/broken breast bone
- Multiple broken fingers
- Spinal trauma
- Broken tailbone
- Discloacted pelvis
- Broken tailbone
- Skull fracture
- Back damage
- Patella damage