JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME IS REKINDLING HIS FIGHTING SPIRIT
April 7, 2011
Jean-Claude Van Damme says he is sticking with boxing after ruining his career through drink and being “blacklisted” within the film world.
Jean-Claude Van Damme, dubbed The Muscles From Brussels, claims that he was forced into early retirement during the Nineties after he snubbed a major film deal in a bid to negotiate the same pay as Jim Carrey, only for industry bosses to turn their backs on him. But the 50-year-old admits that being lost in a haze of alcohol meant that he had no idea he had effectively committed career suicide.
Appearing on UK television show Jean-Claude Van Damme: Behind Closed Doors, he recalls: “After the movie Timecop, I received a huge offer for a three-picture deal and it was ?7million per picture. That’s ?21million.
“I was wasted. I said: ‘I want ?12million like Jim Carrey’ and they hung up on me. I was not myself. I was completely f***ed up and I made a bad mistake and I was on the blacklist in Hollywood for years.”
But now he says he is turning down film work to train to win his first fight in 29 years against Thai Olympic gold medallist boxer Somluck Kamsing in November. He reportedly snubbed an offer to reunite with fellow stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis last year in Sylvester Stallone’s big budget movie The Expendables.
Van Damme, who has been married five times and has three children, says: “Slowly they want me back for making those theatrical movies but now I’ve decided to fight. If I win that fight, which will be exceptional, it will bring me another 10 years of health. It’s like a repair. So I’m very happy today where I am.”
Jean-Claude Van Damme