Van Damme gets fresh in Cape Town

November 11, 2003

Jean Claude van Damme has arrived in Cape Town and is ready to shoot yet another action thriller, Wake of Death. Van Damme said he would be playing a "toned down" part compared to the "karate/action hero" roles people knew him for. "I think I'm getting a bit too old for the types of movies I used to do. With this movie I've had to become the character and live the film, not act in it. "I've had to spend a few weeks familiarising myself with the emotions the character would feel."

At a press conference held at a hotel near the V&A Waterfront, Van Damme said he loved being in Cape Town and if he could describe South Africa in one word it would be "fresh". "I love waking up in this city with the sea around me and the fresh air. The people are young with fresh and warm personalities and are friendly and it's a country full of hope."

Yesterday the team completed a scene in Woodstock. "I enjoyed working in Woodstock. The people are friendly and there were a lot of fans hanging around. They really enjoyed watching us film."

The $20-million movie is an action thriller about an owner of a club in Los Angeles (Van Damme) who keeps his past from his wife, played by South African actress Lisa King. His wife brings home a Chinese refugee who she found on a boat, but little do they know she's the daughter of a powerful Chinese Mafia boss who has found out the family has the little girl, and is coming to get her.

Asked what he thought his best movie was so far, Van Damme said he didn't think he'd made a "really great movie so far". "I haven't made a movie that made people cry. Personally for my own career, I've done a movie like Bloodsport which became a cult (hit). "Sylvester Stallone did Rocky and no matter how much people make fun of the guy, he did a film that touched people's hearts. "But I haven't done it yet and I'm hoping in my lifetime to make at least one good movie," he said.

Wake of Death will be filmed in the city and around the harbour until the end of December.

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