Jean-Claude Van Damme Has Big Plans
4 March, 2008
Celebrity interviews can turn awkward pretty quickly, as any journalist who regularly attends press junkets know. You ask one question and get one stony response, and all of a sudden the interview is completely thrown off. That’s why I feel bad for Josh Horowitz at MTV News, who asked Jean-Claude van Damme what seemed to be an innocent, jokey question, but got a whole spiel about insecurity and turning your career around.
No, really. When Van Damme mentioned that he had been traveling with his parents, Horowitz asked, “Do Mom and Dad call you "the muscles from Brussels"? Van Damme responded with a long, guaranteed-awkward pause, then finally spoke. “Don't make fun of me. My mother calls me Siska; it's Belgian slang for something you want to kiss. Sometimes my father calls me Jean-Claude, and I hate it. I want him to call me Siska like when I was 16 years old. I want to be that kid.”
As Marty McFly would say, that’s heavy. Horowitz smartly changed the topic to van Damme’s newest project, the straight-to-DVD The Shepherd: Border Patrol. But van Damme still had plenty to say beyond the usual promote-the-movie boilerplate. “I just want to do something I'm proud of. It's time for me to change. I could sign with a company for 10 movies and I'm the king of video and so what?”
Way to go, Jean Claude Van Damme! The guy could have been the next Arnold Schwarzenegger back in the early-90s, but just because he’s a little more obscure now doesn’t mean there’s no room for the Muscles from Brussels, a.k.a. Siska, in the world. After all, Bruce Willis has proven he can play the aging action star with aplomb, so why not van Damme? Give the man a chance, Hollywood—the up-and-coming action stars are no great shakes, so let the pros show you how it’s done.
Jean-Claude Van Damme