Here’s a simple lesson for all of us celebrity interviewers out there: if you’re going to interview action film legend Jean-Claude Van Damme, you best come with the thunder. The ‘80s icon has been trying to bounce back in recent years, proving that a 55-year-old can still kick ass with the best of today’s young punks, and his roles in films like The Expendables 2 and Kickboxer: Vengeance have reminded us that he can still be a lot of fun when he’s not taking himself too seriously. However, he would at least like the international media to still take him seriously, as he proved in this interview from Australia’s Sunrise on Thursday.
The folks at Sunrise are opportunistically calling Van Damme’s appearance a “meltdown,” because the actor cut his interview short after he grew tired of the same boring questions that he always hears. “Sorry, guys. I can’t do this anymore,” the actor says to someone off screen, before explaining, “You are talking to someone who is very rough” and asking the hosts to let him talk and tell his side. He says that the press has been asking him the “same questions for the last 25 years,” including what it was like working with Kylie Minogue on Street Fighter, and you have to assume that of all of his duds and bombs, Street Fighter is the one that Van Damme wants to hear about the least.
So, is this actually a meltdown? Not really. You can understand that the people at Sunrise want to spin this as a negative against Van Damme, but you can’t blame the guy for being bored with repetition. At least mix it up and ask him what’s going on with The Expendables 4. We simply have to know if he’s playing his character’s twin brother or not.