Van Damme in Brazil for World Premiere
May 7, 2001
Van Damme arrived in Brazil on Saturday 5 May to promote his latest film Replicant, which celebrated its world premiere there on Friday 11 May.
He obligingly gave several interviews with press and later appeared on The Legal Sunday show (Domingo Legal), the most watched TV program on a Sunday.
He spent an hour on the show and was interviewed by the host, Gugu Liberato. The Brazilians were so delighted to see Van Damme in their country that the show broke audience viewing records.
On the show, Jean-Claude talked about his project The Monk and explained why he had become a vegetarian. He talked about his problems with drugs and added that he is now in the best shape of his life.
He went on to say that he believes Replicant is the best movie he has ever made and was proud to say that the critics consider it to be his first A-class movie and were comparing him to Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson.
Later on he made jokes and imitated his Hollywood rivals Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steven Seagal, following that with an impression of himself as Frank Dux in Bloodsport.
Besides that he gave autographs, took photos with his fans and danced to the funk and samba with the sexy Brazilian singer Gretchen. Soon all the newspapers reported what everyone had already seen: Van Damme was excited by her and he couldn't hide it. The scene was later shown on every TV channel.
He also talked about Brazil and its people, working with director Ringo Lam, completing his latest project The Order and then demonstrated his karate with a volunteer.
However, the most astonishing part was when he cried because of a little paralysed boy. The boy had two dreams in life: to be able to walk, and to meet Jean-Claude Van Damme. When he heard the boy's story, he cried.
He said to the boy that everything he wanted, including being able to walk, he could do if he had faith. Then he hugged and played with him. Crying he finished by saying, "Everything you want, you can do. That's why I'm back in shape." Although the boy was very shy, he hugged him at the end.
Sourced from Van Damme Fan