The Truth About What Happened To Jean Claude Van Damme

The Truth About What Happened To Jean Claude Van Damme


In the 1980s and 1990s, the charismatic and
photogenic “Muscles from Brussels” became an international movie star — and then,
just as fast and unlikely as his rise, came the fall. Here’s how the man born Jean-Claude Camille
François Van Varenberg has occupied himself in recent years. Two of the biggest hits of Van Damme’s early
career were Universal Soldier, a 1992 sci-fi action thriller where he played a deceased
veteran resurrected as a technologically enhanced super-soldier, and 1989’s Kickboxer, where
he played… a kickboxer. Both films wound up spawning full-on franchises,
and while Van Damme himself wasn’t always involved, he did eventually return to the
roles that made him famous. In 1999, Van Damme reunited with Dolph Lundgren,
along with Michael Jai White and pro wrestler Bill Goldberg, for the appropriately named
Universal Soldier: The Return. A decade later, he returned again for 2009’s
Universal Soldier: Regeneration and while that movie ignored the previous film entirely,
it led to Lundgren and Van Damme closing out the franchise with Day of Reckoning in 2012. As for Kickboxer, that franchise became a
straight-to-video juggernaut with five installments by 1995. Unfortunately for Van Damme fans (or Fan Dammes),
those movies opted to replace him with leading men like Step By Step’s Sasha Mitchell and
future Iron Chef America star Mark Dacoscas. After 20 years, however, the franchise returned
for 2016’s Kickboxer: Vengeance, and Van Damme reappeared in the series, and even fought
Drax the Destroyer! and it seems to have been a good enough time that he returned for
the seventh installment, Kickboxer: Retaliation. In that one, JCVD fights Mike Tyson. No, really. “You mention Mongo one more time and I’ll
smash your face. “…really?” Those weren’t his only brushes with franchises,
though. In 2010, he was personally offered a role
in The Expendables by Sylvester Stallone, but turned it down. According to an interview with Van Damme,
it was because of commitments to another movie, but Stallone claimed it was because he objected
to a scene where his character would lose a fight against Jet Li. Fortunately, there weren’t any hard feelings,
and Stallone found a place for Van Damme in The Expendables 2. Unless you count the usual blood and bruises
that result from on-screen fistfights, Van Damme has rarely appeared onscreen with his
face obscured by makeup. There was, however, a time that he almost
took on one of the most costume-heavy roles in Hollywood when he was cast as the title
monster in The Predator. Unfortunately for the famously athletic actor,
the heavy suit restricted his movement to the point of making a thrilling martial arts
battle against Arnold Schwarzenegger impossible. At the time of his departure, the Predator
looked very different from its final version, and Van Damme would later explain that while
he was in the “very dangerous type of outfit,” he was “moving everything with cables.” It was far too limited to make any good use
of his skills, so he walked after only two days of production, leaving Arnold to duke
it out with a redesigned alien who did significantly less kickboxing than called for in the original
draft. Van Damme is famously nicknamed “The Muscles
from Brussels,” as he was indeed a ripped guy born in the capital city of Belgium. In 2012, Brussels paid tribute to one of its
favorite sons with a life-sized bronze statue, forever posed in a fight-ready stance in front
of the Westland Shopping Center. A visibly touched Van Damme unveiled the statue
himself at a special ceremony, saying the monument … “represented the dream of a Brussels kid” … and hoping it could serve as a source
of inspiration for troubled youth. If you’ve seen Hard Target, you already
know JCVD hates snakes. Dogs, though? The dude loves dogs. In 2016, Van Damme appeared at a fundraiser
for Animals Australia, encouraging people to adopt retired racing dogs after greyhound
racing was banned in New South Wales. He’s even worked on behalf of endangered species,
meeting with Australia’s Environment Minister to help procure funding for relocating endangered
rhinos, gorillas, and elephants to Australia. On top of those efforts, he’s trying to
put together a foundation of wealthy individuals to create sanctuaries for those animals. Believe it or not, Van Damme didn’t hit
the peak of his popularity with movies like Bloodsport. Instead, the most notable recent moment in
his career came in the form of a commercial for Volvo that went viral thanks to Van Damme’s
signature move. One of the most iconic images of JCVD’s
career came in Timecop, when he leapt on a counter while doing the splits to avoid an
untimely demise. He did the same thing in the ad except this
time, the 53 year-old performer did them while balanced atop two giant trucks…driving backward. More than 86 million people have watched that
amazing clip which is more than the number of people who ever bought tickets to any single
film in his considerable career. Jean-Claude’s daughter Bianca Van Damme is
certainly not someone you would want to mess with she’s been studying martial arts for
over 20 years, and once said she wanted to be a role model for kids by showing them they
can “kick ass in a nice, feminine way.” Growing up, she hated martial arts, and was
forced into it at the age of seven by her mother, bodybuilder Gladys Portugues, in order
to help with self-discipline. Her interests at the time lay more on the
side of speed-skating and ballet one of her father’s passions as well but an injury
forced her into another path. She embraced martial arts and worked alongside
her father in several movies. In 1992, the producers of Universal Soldier
approached the Midway company with the hopes of making a game based on the movie. Midway wasn’t interested, but they did want
to work with the film’s star, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and worked out a deal with him
to make a game that would be something more along the lines of Kickboxer or Bloodsport. Unfortunately, the deal fell through, and
they never finished working on that project. Instead, that idea eventually lead to Mortal
Kombat complete with a character based on Van Damme in the form of Johnny Cage. Along with sharing a few of their initials,
Cage was also a martial arts movie star. Obviously, the licensing deal fell through
and the character was modeled off another actor, leaving Johnny Cage more of an homage
to the Muscles from Brussels than a direct representation. Still, knowing what could’ve been makes
us wish that we had gotten a bloody, ultra-violent game about the genuine article… or at least
seen Van Damme playing Cage in the Mortal Kombat movie. He probably would’ve been a better fit for
that role than the fighting game character he did take on for the screen, the mega-patriotic
Colonel Guile in Street Fighter. Van Damme has faced plenty of villains onscreen,
but his toughest battle in real life was against addiction. He has admitted to having a 10-gram-per-day
habit, which cost him around $10,000 a week. By 1999, he had racked up a DUI charge, and
while he tried rehab, he left after only seven days. A few years later, he relapsed, and found
himself in a pretty dark period of his career. From 1999 to 2008, Van Damme starred in 14
films, and even his most die-hard fans would have trouble remembering most of them. The string of generic direct-to-video action
flicks and Turkish heist movies earned him the nickname “Jean-Claude Van Desperate,”
but they also paved the way for 2008’s JCVD. That movie, in which he played a version of
himself who was caught up in a hostage crisis and confronted the emotional and somewhat
depressing aspects of his life as a has-been action star was well received. Along with kicking his cocaine habit, it helped
to bring him back to mainstream Hollywood. Van Damme’s substance abuse problem has
been linked with his bipolar disorder. His condition went undiagnosed for years before
finally being identified as Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, which is often seen in people
who struggle with addiction. Before being medicated, he would try to literally
fight through the dark times by focusing on training, saying that when he didn’t hit
the gym, quote, “nothing could make [him] happy.” The drugs were another attempt at happiness,
but obviously was not the solution to his problems. Eventually, his extensive cocaine use even
left him feeling suicidal. The good news is that he was able to battle
through his intense depression, and has since been very open about his disorder, both in
interviews and in some gut-wrenching scenes in JCVD. Over the past few years, he’s been able
to move forward, and deal with his condition in a far less self-destructive fashion. While he rose to meteoric fame in Hollywood
with a starring role in Bloodsport, Van Damme didn’t just get off the bus and walk right
onto a movie set. Long before he broke into the film industry,
he was an active fighter, with a record of 18 wins and one loss in kickboxing winning
every single contest by knockout. In semi- and light-contact battles, his record
stands at 44 and 4, so his skills in the ring are pretty well known. Many have attributed his flowing fighting
style and graceful movement to his years of training in a different physical activity:
ballet, which he studied for five years while also earning his black belt in karate. That said, at least one person thinks that
Van Damme should’ve stuck to the dance floor, and while that’s an easy opinion to dismiss,
this one comes from someone who really ought to know: Frank Dux. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Dux was the guy Van Damme played in Bloodsport,
whose alleged real-life battles in the kumite were dramatized for the film. Dukes even worked as a fight choreographer
on the movie, and according to him, Van Damme quite simply can’t fight. In 1997, the Las Vegas sun reported that Dux
was suing Van Damme for $50,000, which was later upped to 1.5 million, claiming that
the star never paid him for his work as a co-writer on the 1996 film The Quest. During the suit, he took a dig at Van Damme’s
fighting abilities, claiming that when he was training him for Bloodsport, Van Damme
proved to be unable to perform even simple stunts. Oh, and as for his legitimate kickboxing career
with all those knockouts? According to Dux, “Van Damme … lied to the
public that he was a martial arts champion.” Unfortunately for Dux, a jury cleared Van
Damme, saying that the star didn’t owe anyone anything.

100 Replies to “The Truth About What Happened To Jean Claude Van Damme”

  1. How was Van Damme standing at 5'6" gonna play the Predator at 7'2"?

    Van Damme talks from his ass the manlet

  2. Because of he's one of the most congenial and spectacular actor, we'll keep watching any of his movie…

  3. His role in all his movies were almost identical that bored me , i every movie he is doing same things lol i think he didnt concentrated on story and role , acting much , more into action and fantasy fighting . vandamn , arnold and silvester stallone have same issue , they used too much artificial drugs for body for movies that they all aged early , there face and body has deformed badly ,

  4. Wow I'm surprised that no one has said Illuminati. Don't tell me he ain't good enough for that fictitious clan.

  5. I think Chuck Zito made him reconsider his career choices.Chuck told the story on Stern and other. Paces.Tyson in his prime was scary as hell.

  6. i love how this rumor of him being a "kickboxer" champion and winning matches is continuously perpetrated in the media. Karate tournaments is not kickboxing, just because he starred in kickboxer, he was never a kickboxer for fuck sake. Also, a champion in tournament is like saying someone is a champion at their local karate dojo, tournaments are often limited in competitive scope and it wasn't a worldwide or even a European title. These rumors started years ago, much in the same way the Frank Dux rumors started and keep getting told… but its mostly bullshit

  7. Damn…. If Van-Damme would have done that scene with Jet Li? That would have been amazing to see. WHY would Jean Claude refuse that scene? Stupid move man. But that is just typical for his career. Mostly stupid films and bad role choices…. Wakey Wakey Van-Damme.

  8. She can kick ass? Then why Doesn't she Chamber her kicks!? Very important to do. Not just for power but for looks as well. Her kick just shown, looks like shit!

  9. He never was a great actor. I like some of his movies but let's be honest. If it wasn't for his kickboxing ability he would be a no body.

  10. I have attended all of his movies in the movie theater while in Iraq before the invasion. The only actor that audience would cheer loudly while the movie is running lol. Everybody was cheering Van Damme when he was tied to the mast in one of his movies.

  11. You’re citing Dux?!?!? Guys, you’re giving credibility to the biggest poser, pretender, snake oil salesman and swindler in martial arts history.

  12. In my oponion he is the best actor and never will one same as him.i live in LA .and it would be great if one day met him.

  13. "He Never Pretended to be a Great Actor" Wow!, Van Damme Straight! the worst. but that should be his epitaph.

  14. "A has been actor". Well the internets says he is worth $30 million. Myself, I would not mind being a has been with $3 million.

  15. Van damme does the splits in all his movies prior to timehop

    Bloodsport he got them pulled by Master Tanaka with a pulley plus he did it between 2 chairs & did it the move that Johnny cage did of a split into a groin punch

    Kickboxer it was similar to bloodsport only he was on his back instead of straight up. Also does it while dancing in the bar & during the bar fight

    In no retreat no surrender he did it sitting on the corner of the ring in splits

    In Black eagle it's even on the cover art of the VHS box

  16. I'd like to see his critics do spinning kicks, splits in suspension or actually hold an extended leg static in the air. He had one of the most aesthetically pleasing bodies of all time. His back/delt/bicep ratio was in perfect proportion. Maybe he can't bench 10,000kg but I bet he could climb a rope. An all-round excellent example of functional strength.

  17. Bullshit. Jean Claude practiced shotokan karate over here in Belgium. He never entered a kickboxing event. I trained with several people that he trained with and they were not impressed with his kumité. His kata's were up to scratch.

  18. Jean Claude Van Damme Could Never Accept His Gay Role In Forever Monaco Why He Is So Homophobic Over It Is Insane.

  19. Never like him.
    Hated his lame half ass poor acting films.
    But because of his love and devotion to doggies and Rhinos 🦏 acting still sucks but more respect as a person.

  20. To You Jean, Sen Say….Belgium…Pound Dollar Deutch Mark Euro….Trivial Chernobyl Dead Center Pit of your Country…200 yards wide,…The Gamma is Known by Science(the HULK 1945) I was Born In Norway…CC tx OLD home….(1984 match-box car)Cobra Kai.

  21. one of the recent moviesh he's in floored me he's the villaini in that movie: who is an environtalist nut who hates using guns ("bad for environment"}through me for a loopthat movie was hilarious!

  22. Frank, Dux is a well known liar and bullshit enthusiast. JCVD is the real deal and I will always have love for the man. He had a raging cocaine problem but pulled himself out of it. Props are certainly deserved.

  23. WOW, so many factual errors in this one (as of ALL of looper videos)

    Predator – He didnt walk off, he was fired. Van Damme was upset that his face wouldnt be shown, and he passed out frequently due to dehydration cause the suit was too hot.

    Expendables – VanDamme nor Stallone complain. Vand Damme actually did the right thing here – he was trying to take his career seriously, and didnt want his drug days back of just doing things for money. The project was secret and under wraps, so Stallone wouldnt tell him what the movie was about, just said "Its gonna be great and youll be paid alot of money" Van Damme turned it down respectfully. The next iteration, since JCVD saw the first Expendables, he then understood what the franchise was about, and took the offer to star in the sequel.

    Record – JCVD never said he was a champion, nor spoke about his fights. Biographers did that. Frank Dux has been proven to be a fraud 10 times over, and only began insulting him when he didnt get paid for The Quest.

  24. My heart goes out to Jean Claude. I am a fan of his. I truly love the movies I've seen him in. I do so love his character. He is a kind, caring, compassionate person. Be well "my friend".
    t

  25. Hells Angel (HA) Chuck Zito One fist Knockout Jean Claude Van Damme at Scores NYC. This is from chuck to me at the Rainbow. Chuck Told Mgmt, Mario, He knows me. Do NOT kick him out. I hope he would of said, He is a friend from the China club, Scores, Backstage at M.S.G.

  26. Love JCVD, Dux is one of the biggest frauds in Martial Arts. Also I want to see Van Damme fight Steven Seagal, they had some big problems with each other lol.

  27. Incredible athlete for sure and enjoyed his movies for sure. I wish him.well going forward. A lot of people were very envious of his obvious skills!!

  28. Oh mehnn! I will always be a big Van Damme Fan!! Hopefully, he knows how much JOY he has brought to (former) kids like me in play-grounds across the world!😎 Plus, hope he knows his battles towards overcoming REAL LIFE's challenges with depression are also a MASSIVE ENCOURAGEMENT to (honest) people, unafraid to admit it!😎 PLS Keep going upward JCVD💪😎👌!!!

  29. I love your movie too way to go and helping animals that are wild and that are not wild I love cat and dogs too and I hope you don't do drugs no more I will keep praying for you

  30. Grew up on his movies and was definitely inspired by him. I wish him well in his future endeavors. Van Damme fan for life.

  31. He got addicted to cocaine as many others do. Great respect for him though he is doing well today and still is making a good living clean. Good for you Jean love your movies.

  32. Norris, Segal and Van Damme got old and people don't like them anymore. That's how we are, out with the old, in with the new. Shame on us,

  33. People in this country are very quick to condemn others, without even looking and knowing that Hollywood is and designed to destroy good people. Now, after all these years of destroying others. The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost. Continue to do good with yourself, family, and leave the Buzzards alone. May God Bless You and Keep You.

  34. "When Demm" XD. Americans and their pronunciation. Try to say "Fun Dumm" and maybe you pronounce the name correctly now.

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