Jackie Chan: Stuntman details ‘stress’ behind having to FIGHT legendary martial artist

Jackie Chan has wowed audiences for years with his unbelievable stunts and beautiful action choreography. While a number of his films stand out above the rest, almost all of them venture into the deep action scene territory.

Stunt coordinator Jude Poyer was involved in one of these films, and was lucky – or unlucky – enough to be involved in some scenes with Chan.

Now, the star behind the hit Sky Atlantic show Gangs of London has now spoken out about working with the legendary actor.

Jude Poyer has been working in film as a stuntman and indeed a stunt coordinator for years.

His latest venture, Gangs of London, has seen critical acclaim in the past few months, as viewers trapped in lockdown flocked to their TV screens to see every episode of the show.

As the man who ensures every stunt and fight scene works well, Poyer explained it wasn’t always easy.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Poyer said: “What is important to me is no two actions sequences should feel the same.

“Because I think for an audience it can be very boring. So we tried to give each sequence its own story or character.”

Going on to give some details about this methodology, he continued: “So, Elliot had three fight sequences in the first three episodes, and we wanted each of the fights to feel different, and tell us something different about Elliot.

“There’s only so many ways, or so many combinations of punches and kicks, or only so many throws, or only so many ways you can shoot a gun. But the ways you can present it have a lot more potential and possibilities for variations.”

Of course, this isn’t Jude’s first exploration of action choreography – far from – as he has even crossed fists with Jackie Chan himself.

Specifically, Poyer worked with Chan on 2003’s The Medallion, which saw the star of the show with supernatural powers after saving a young boy.

Speaking about The Medallion, Poyer said: “I don’t think the medallion was a good movie but working on it was a career highlight.

“As someone who is a martial artist and someone who grew up on Hong Kong films – and someone who is and was a Jackie Chan fan – and now a coordinator of action, I’m still a fan.”

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It wasn’t all easy working with Chan, however, as Poyer detailed how nerve-wracking it was attempting to punch the legendary star.

“I was like a stunt henchman, like a stunt actor. I had a couple of scenes where I was involved in fighting Jackie – not one-on-one [fight] scenes.

“In one sequence he got to kick me a few times and I tell you what… that’s a heck of a lot less stressful than when you have to kick him!

“In one of the scenes we bad guys were trying o kidnap this kid… and Jackie tried to reach out and grab the kid to stop him being pulled away.

“And I’m meant to kick Jackie’s arm to make him let go!

“And I’m looking at the cameras, and I know that I’ve got to make contact with that kick. We can’t reshoot it!

“That’s more stress than: ‘Oh Jackie is going to kick you’. I’d rather get kicked by Jackie Chan than get kicked by him.”

Gangs of London is available on NOW TV, while The Medallion is available on Amazon Prime Video.

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