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EXCLUSIVE Jean Claude Van Damme talks about his estranged son and his career

  January 7, 2012

Jean Claude Van Damme in UFO

THREE years ago Jean Claude Van Damme told The Sun he wanted to become a success again so he could win back his son.

Now in an exclusive interview he reveals he is talking to his formerly estranged youngest boy once more.

And it was his two other children, Bianca and Kristopher, who helped get the family back together via Facebook.

There is no doubt that Van Damme’s career is back on track, with him starring in several new films over the past couple of years.

The Belgian star has been in Kung Fu Panda 2, The Expendables 2 and Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.

Jean Claude Van Damme with son Nicholas
Reunited ... Jean Claude with Nicholas

And this week he makes a kick-ass appearance in a British sci-fi film called UFO.

One of the film’s leads is his beautiful daughter Bianca Bree.

Jean Claude, who currently lives in Hong Kong, said: “It is easy the family is getting back together and because of Bianca and Kristopher, they are able to put the family back together.

“They are good kids, they are keeping in touch via Facebook, without letting me know too much, because when I don’t have contact with my kids I go crazy.

“But what can I do, they live in Los Angeles.”

When I ask him if that means Jean Claude is also talking to Nicholas now, he replied “Yes.”

He had endured a very messy divorce from Nicholas’s mother Darcy LaPier.

Jean Claude Van Damme and daughter Bianca
Co-star ... Jean Claude with Bianca
For some time model and actress Darcy, who had been his third wife prevented him from seeing Nicholas.

Due to the complicated legal case the 52-year-old actor is wary about going into detail.

In typical Van Damme style he makes an odd joke about the family reunion instead.

When I asked the star, who re-married to Kristopher and Bianca’s mother Gladys Portugues in 1999, if he believed in UFOs he answered: “The UFO spaceship took away the mother and kids and now we are all safe.

“Now everything is back together.”

He then added “Belgium jokes,” and “I got ya” just in case I took it literally that his family had been kidnapped by aliens.

Jean Claude is a man who is worried about being misquoted or misunderstood by journalists.

He can be hard to understand because he loves to talk in riddles.

During a conversation about working with his daughter, he said: “You know if you are my neighbour and you cook well, to me I can always call you any time I want.

“But I like your meals so I can eat tomorrow, your meals.

“In Hong Kong when you are over from the UK I will make sure you stay with me one or two times a week so I can have your meals, the same with acting.”

He then quickly adds: “It’s a metaphor.” Here is a more easily digestible version of the point he was trying to make.

Jean Claude believes he could help Kristopher and Bianca further their movie careers more easily if they were living in Hong Kong.

Jean Claude Van Damme and son Kristopher
Father and son ... Jean Claude and Kristopher
Talking about Bianca, the actor, who was a kick-boxing and karate fighter before going to Hollywood and has appeared in Hong Kong films, said: “She was never into karate fight with me, she should have.

“My kids want to go into acting business their own way, which is fantastic.”

Then talking about how Bruce Lee’s son Brandon took the approach of sticking with his father’s martial arts style, he continued: “But Brandon Lee was very smart he followed his father steps in being good into action, but bad luck happened to him.

“But if my father was a martial arts star, I would do something like the son of Will Smith.

“Sometimes kids want to be very proud and to go their own way and they go like, ‘I should have listened.’”

But Bianca is getting roles, such as the mysterious Carrie character in UFO.

It was because she had signed on for the film, which also stars Sean Pertwee and Sean Brosnan, that Jean-Claude got involved.

He said: “You know, family helps.

“I am sure if my daughter is a big star she will help me, I guess, to get parts.”

UFO, which is about an alien invasion of the world, was mainly filmed in Derby.

It follows a group of friends as they attempt to survive the chaos caused by the hovering spaceships.

Jean Claude Van Damme in Expendables 2
Back in action ... Jean Claude in Expendables 2
Jean Claude says he received a warm welcome in the East Midlands city.

He said: “It was very nice, the people of Derby are very nice, down to earth people. “She was lucky to do this movie in Derby.”

In UFO Jean Claude, who plays a retired covert operations special forces soldier called George, and Bianca get into a fight with each other.

She appears to be pretty skilled with her feet and hands. But it was not dad who her how to box.

It was Amir Khan’s former trainer Freddie Roach. Jean Claude said: “She is good she did some training Freddie Roach, he trained Pacquiao for years.

“She did some boxing with him and some karate with me so she got more power.”

One of the other unusual Van Damme traits is he calls me “Sir” and is polite.

It is something he has passed on to his offspring.

Bianca, 21, who chose her middle name Bree as a stage name, told me: “dad always made sure we were polite and had manners.”

And there is no way she would give her dad a kick in real life.

She said: “The fight scene was fun because I got to choke him.

“I said ‘I wouldn’t ever get to do that in real life.” Bianca quickly adds that the “whole family doesn’t fight” and they are a “regular family.”

Even though Van Damme’s fame has been founded on action movies such as Timecop, Hard Target, Universal Soldier and Double Impact, he is not a violent man.

He thinks the human race is violent, but says: “I don’t think I am, I like people.

“But people are giving me kicking ass type of script.

“It is very difficult to get away from a bankable issue.”

Yet Jean Claude is planning get in the ring for a Muay Thai fight against gold medal winning boxer Somluck Kamsing.

The date for this bout is yet to be set.

Next year JCVD can be seen in a comedy for a change. The film, called Welcome to the Jungle, could help the Muscles from Brussels to get away from his tough guy image.

Both Kristopher and Bianca are in that film. He says Welcome to the Jungle is very different from the kill fest The Expendables 2.

That film’s cast was a who’s who of macho movie stars.

It included Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris and Bruce Willis.

Jean Claude commented: “Expendables is to show who has the biggest dot dot dot.

“Welcome to the Jungle, the more stupid you look like the better it is for you.

“So I believe in to being..comedy, no ego, no testosterone and just happy, happy on the set.”

He won’t be drawn, though, on who had the biggest ego in The Expendables 2.

The actor said: “Some people have more, some people have less, it’s egos and things like that.

“We were all getting on very well.

“I knew Chuck from years ago when I went to America.

“I knew Arnold from the gym, I knew Stallone from years ago.”

Soon Jean Claude has to go and our interview ends in typical fashion with him saying: “Have a nice life. Love you. Thank you so much.”

UFO is in cinemas and on DVD now.

Jean-Claude Van Damme

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