Monday, 22 August 2022

Jean Claude Van Damme interview with Richard Blackwood 2001

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Action Movie legend Jean-Claude Van Damme meets British actor comedian Richard Blackwood in a comedy interview show I produced in 2001.  A difficult show for me, for many reasons - you can see younger me at a couple of points (this was a few days before the terrible events of September).

0:00 Jean-Claude Van Damme long interview
0:30 Where does Jean-Claude Van Damme live? Who is Jean Claude Van Damme's wife? What car does Jean-Claude Van Damme drive? 
6:20 Tour of Jean-Claude Van Damme's clothing factory, Dammage 7. How tall is Jean Claude Van Damme in feet? What is Jean Claude Van Damme's shoe size? How are stonewashed denim jeans made?
8:15 When did Jean Claude Van Damme come to Hollywood? Jean-Claude Van Damme performs a martial arts swing kick.
11:15 Going to a Beverly Hills restaurant with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Jean Claude Van Damme bathroom handwashing technique. Where Jean Claude Van Damme from? Is Jean Claude Van Damme left handed? Is Jean Claude Van Damme an artist?Jean-Claude Van Damme's style of martial arts.
15:32 Why does Jean Claude Van Damme have a bump on his head?

From it, 16 years on, I've learnt that however hard a day's shoot is... it's only one day.  Plus that his real name is Jean-Claude Camille Fran├žois Van Varenberg.  He was a very nice guy.



Hey Jorge...
Shhaa! Like they’re for sparring.
[fighting noises]
He’s good, he’s good!
You know it's like one, two... Yeah!
You know like yes!
Okay so you’re like a bad guy, right?
Right there.
So I go here...
This is Jean Claude, watch this!
JeezChrist! Saw that?
Hey come on, this is a real guy huh?
Oh OH OH and of course, DAMMAGE 7!
Ahh! There you go!
Be careful of your lens!
Does he have any dogs by the way?
No Dogs! No Dogs! No.
Black men and dogs don't go.
That's like that's like chicken and cheese,
that sh-- don't go together.
(No pitbull! No doberman pincher!)
Look at this, look at this.
You might wanna knock there.
Is there cameras? Does he have cameras?
Oh yeah he has a security camera.
Hey, hey!
What is that big four legged thing I see?
That's a dog, bro!
Well I mean it’s not a vicious dog! It's a... you know...
It's Jean-Claude's dog! It must be vicious bro, the guy knows Kung Fu for like 15 years!
Uh oh, somebody's at the window.
They called security.
Where we're looking?
I don't think he's coming back downstairs.
Tell you what, you knock the door, alright that way if he comes out to kick somebody
in the chin it's you.
I ain't gettin involved
Ringing the bell's good!
I said yeah I think Jean-Claude said “hold on”--
OOP [Laughs]
Oh wait a minute!
I have to take a shower - 20 minutes.
Go ahead - do your thing.
It won't take - sorry guys I'm late.
Do it, brother, handle your business.
Thank you very much sorry guy.
Sorry, sorry, sorry...
Handle. Alright.
In a mo - we're right here!
See you!
Take care.
Alright. This is Jean-Claude's car people.
Film this. ONE of his cars. How many cars does he have?
Well, for the record - a few.
A few. We like that.
I like this is the beach house car.
Imagine you can have a car specific to where it is that you live.
I live by the beach - I have a beach car.
This is my beach car right here!
That's my wife Gladys.
Don't! I look terrible.
You look great.
We met twice, we shook hands twice.
Here you go a third time, it's a cup of coffee.
Okay some water and then we go.
Now are we going to take our car or the limo?
It's cool guy. Right there, talking away, it's cool guy.
(chatter in French)
I changed my schedule.
We have meetings all day today. Book, book, book, book.
Can I go with my car. We'll do an interview at the factory...
There, and then because I've got to go from downtown LA to meetings all day, all day, all day, by the time I come back with the limo...
I will be missing all my meetings. We'll do the interview in the factory.
In the factory...
This is cool with the machines of [machine noises]
I'm down with the [machine noises]
We’ll have to yell or when we scream.
Are you going to shoot right now?
No, we can walk and talk.
Because we wouldn't mind seeing the Jean-Claude home!
You want to see my home?
I would love to see your home.
You like that baby?
It's a mess now.
It's a mess?
We have a new lady... and she's trying to get organised.
Okay that's alright, we don't want to go in your house and first time we go in your house it's messy!
But also they're waiting for me with the machine, in the factory - we have to because - there-
You know next time we'll have special things!
Oh alright, we tried to get in the home, but that's alright we can go to the garage instead that's cool.
Alright, he's gonna get the keys for the car.
I was trying to get in the house you know.
Houses. We're gonna rush the house!
It's not in the briefcase?
Just one second - very fast... Only the 2 of you.
Only 3 you'll see the house.
Don't go in the bedroom!
No we won't go in the bedroom.
We'll do that another time.
We'll do a special occasion.
I promise.
I'm sorry.
We ain't gonna try break up a happy home.
How did he turn around his bigass car?!
Which channel is this?
This is Sky.
Sky? Sorry sorry I'm sorry.
It's Sky channel.
Say hello to Sky channel.
Hello Sky channel!
He's all over the programme, we've interviewed him.
Baby I love you!
He's going to kiss his lady.
Look at that - a lot of love there. A lot of love.
So you've got meetings are we talking about some new movies from Jean-Claude Van Damme?
What's happening?
New movies new movies - a lot of shh man
I stopped training for 6 months
6 months is that a long time?
Yeah I travel all around the world trying to put up some stuff together
and it worked well...
and I would get two movies in the can.
What are they called, so we know.
Replicant, and then The Order.
So you shot them back to back?
I'm starring in 2 new movies soon.
Yes I've noticed this.
It was awarded in 1992 for the best construction.
It resists the earthquake and everything.
Now this is a badass car, so what can I sit up in the front is that what you're saying?
You come with me.
Just let people know I'm getting in Jean-Claude's car, so just back up this is exclusive stuff right here.
See you guys don't be late! Wait for you!
Did he say ‘follow me’? I’ll drive slow?
What speed are we doing Steve? 80.
What’s the limit? 65. 
Back from Jean-Claude's car. Don't want you scratching it. 
Just get back there please, thank you.
Was Richard okay in the car?
Yeah, he he's putting his hand on my leg...
Now I don't know why he's trying to take it there, 'cos you know...
I was not safe with him!
I don't know what happened to Richard, but now I know the real Richard!
That was cool guy.
Yeah it's cool.
You want a jean?
You want a jean?
They all look like they're finished.
Is this all your line here?
No, we have Lucky Brand... We've got Guess... We’ve got Gap...
Oh okay.
Oh OH OH and of course, DAMMAGE 7!
Ahh! There you go!
Be careful of your lens!
I came very close.
Yeah that was actually quite good.
Oh oh oh oh!
Your kicks are very good! Your kicks are very good!
Can we have one?
I knew a girl with some legs like this once.
Alright these are some big jeans right here.
There's some big jeans.
The big fat guy.
Yeah there's some overweight lovers in the house.
Do you know what, you're actually taller than I thought you'd be.
Excuse me?
You're taller than I thought you would be.
Oh yeah.
A lot of people said you were short, but you're quite tall!
What are you about 5'8"?
Five, 5'9".
5'9"? Yeah you're very tall!
I'll have your shoes man.
Yeah, well I got these for free.
At Dada’s, Dada.
But I like yours those are Pradas, right?
Yeah yeah yeah, I've got small feet.
Yeah well I'm a size 10, what are you? Size 8?
Okay that's not bad.
I've got them in white.
Oh oh oh oh!
Move forward a bit!
That's not, is that the back of your feet?
Ey! Hey! Hey! Amigo!
You know what they say about people with big feet!
You know what they say.
Big feet, big hands.
Big hands, big wallet, okay.
It's kind of cool because people are gonna see what they call a movie star like a normal guy right?
Yeah that's what they want.
You too, you're a normal guy. And we're here in a factory with very normal people and you can see how they make jeans because the movie--
And all the--
See the other side to Jean-Claude. The other side.
yeah hey whaaa-
Hey Jorge, momento...
Like they’re for sparring.
[fighting noises]
He's good, he's good he's got the moves!
I reckon I could take him. But I ain't gonna try! Know what I mean?
This is my, by the way that's Arri, Arri Arrous, who is my jean designer.
Oh okay.
The head of my company. Dammage 7. 
He's been in the jean business for the last 22 years.
He's sacrificed all his life for jeans. But now finally he's going to work for his own brand called Dammage 7.
Every time you come here...
- Yeah reminds me when I start in Los Angeles
yeah you were telling me in the car, now tell the people how you- how it was back then.
When I came in LA I came with a dream of becoming a movie star right?
So I came here with nothing! With that passion of wanting to make it.
Now I get the same passion with the jeans, but before that I came here, I drove a taxi, a limousine -
You serious?
I was sleeping in cars, I was sleeping in garage. 
Sometimes I stole my food.
I was having no money to buy the food you know?
So it was real rags to riches?
It was tough and rough!
And now I lost that you know when you drive the Bentley and a nice house and my kids they... they want a toy I can buy it.
So I like to come back in this type of area.
Keeps you real.
Keeps me real, and the jean, that jean we are making it's also part of that process.
Oh wait, what's this now? What've we got here?
What have we got here?
Called the culture. Jean culture. Why culture?
That jean will have, that jean will have a pamphlet: 
"How to walk, and how to kick with it."
You've got to show me that! You've got to show me that.
Low waist. 
High here. One pocket.
No, sorry no bllshh...
Yeah. No bllshh
It will have the Dammage 7 line.
On the back. Very simple, with a side belt.
You know it's like one, two... Yeah!
You know like yes!
Your kicks are dangerous!
If you like a different colour, we'll have like 3 of them.
We'll have the culture. The teacher. And the key. K-E-Y, mono - mono.
No, no wait! Because we know Jean-Claude ain't nohomo.
We're French! I go to France...
Tell them the story.
I just land from... from America, and they say are you a humble social - you know French people, they're so obnoxious. They say the English people are---
I don't think so.
No not at all.
I'm very happy to be with Sky Channel.
Imagine like a guy... like a spy's here.
And the guy's here, like a bad guy right?
Right there.
So I go here.
This is Jean-Claude, watch this.
[Martial Arts noises]
Hey come on, this is a real guy huh?
No Bllshh-- like er...
Noone starts trouble with Jean-Claude Van Damme do they?
They can't start trouble...
It's for real stuff.
Because people say "Is he for real? Is he not for real?"
Of course I'm for real.
Yeah, yeah you can see that.
That's like a wide shot, no close ups, no cuts. You know?
You want to do lunch together?
Let's do lunch!
Okay we'll have lunch together. And we'll talk about life.
Yes we will, so are you going to go now
Er, Richard...
No I know that but the... I slept with Richard Show.
I slept with Richard Blackwood but you didn't.
I'm kidding, I didn't. But woman want to see that, we're not going to show that because it's not true!
It's not true.
That's right.
But that lady that you hugged...
Which one?
Where did she go?
This is... oh look over there and... CUT!
Right now, the UK camera right here...
It's my show, right, right.
Nice guy.
This is what happens in LA, you're just walking down the street... bump into huge stars.
And they say hey, hi. How are ya?
I don't know my way - when I was a taxi driver in Los Angeles I didn't know my way.
So I drove those guys left and right.
He made the most money, getting lost! Right?
$13 was $26!
Cos he took the long route. But he drove us all around, and he had a navigational in the car. Just to let you know, in the spaceship. That's all I'm saying. Right, just let you know.
You believe in God? I believe in God.
Do you believe in God?
I'm here.
Okay I hear that.
What do you want to drink? Coke?
Can I have erm- Coke is not good for the stomach bro!
That's right, I’m from Belgium man.
It's not good we've got to think ahead.

[wind noise] Like a horse. I'm built like a horse.
Sprite is good.
By the way I want to make a correction for "smaller hands and small feet".
I know this thing is a legend where - well the coke is good for the cows and horse.
Do you think they're gonna cut that stuff out?
They'll keep it in.
They'll keep it in - they're gonna keep all that stuff. They love that stuff.
Oh gosh.
I'm gonna wash my hands.
Yeah, yeah go ahead.
Wash my hands.
Go wash your hands bro, cos, I know what you've been doing.
[laughs] Handle your business. I won't tell nobody but wash your hands.
Come with me.
Are you sure?
Follow us in the toilet.
Follow us in the bathroom, so he cannot take advantage of me. [laughs]
You see how he asked ME to go to the bathroom though.
Oh sorry.
What's up!
Well I'm in here, I'll see you guys in a minute.
Gonna handle my business.
Might have to put the lock on the door.
My secret? Always wash your hands. Also for all the kids on the TV.
Film Jean Claude washing his hands!
Look you always wash your hands BEFORE going to the toilet.
Why is that?
Because, you know your weewee's clean no matter what. So you shake hands and people are sweating from their hands, so you have to wash - wash your hands before AND after.
Ahhh ha!
Now I have to be honest, I didn't know that.
No, it's common sense buddy.
It's not that common, bro.
It's common sense! Buddy.
I'll wait for you.
Wait for me bro.
Okay, soap. Very good soap. Wash hands.
Paper, sir?
Paper sir? Like in Hong Kong. Been to Hong Kong?
You go to a bathroom in Hong Kong, you wash your hand, the guys there are [noises]
And this. 
What was Jean-Claude the kid like? When he was growing up?
Very skinny.
I was very, very skinny.
I was very skinny, I was not very gifted.
From nature, no.
So he wasn't - was he a sporty kid or was he... what was he?
In sports all the time.
Yeah because I was having a few... not handicap.
I was a lefty, they made me a right hand - they forced me to be a right hand which is bad I mean, not good I'm saying.
It was not necessary for me to... to be changed to a right hand because I like freedom a lot and I was always a freedom child.
I was drawing a lot.
Are you a good artist?
Me too I like drawing.
Oh yeah?
Yeah I like drawing real life though - you know people do abstract art. I do real life.
Yeah, yeah.
So I was not really... I started karate first.
Karate and...
What style?
Oh, that's what Chuck Norris does.
Yes. Started Shotokan...
My teacher stretched me a lot when I was young.
You know I was doing - I was phenomenal.
No you are, but even now you're still very fast.
I was able to put a clay between my toes and I was writing my hair - and my... my name with my foot.
You can-- can you still do that now?
I mean I've got to go back into hard training, to do so, but I was like in balance, like this against the board. And I'm going "Jean" - you know the perfect writing, right?
J - E - so imagine the hip working, and... the bottom...
One question how did this come about?
Oh, the bump?
Er... the training. From past training. Always hit the same sides.
Also - and also I came out of water in a pool, and a guy landed on my, with his heel on my head. From the...
Diving in.
Diving in, yeah.
Cos, that - that's some years old now. You've had that a while right?
Yeah. And when you lose weight, when I lose weight for movies, it shows more because less fat you have on your face - more prominent...
Yeah prominent.
There you go.
You're gonna do well in Los Angeles -
I hope so.
If you start acting here.
I hope so - that's the whole joy like with ICM, signing with ICM. They... they get it and
they wanna push the Blackwood phenomenon.
ICM, they're good to package deals together which is good for you.
Maybe they will package us together.
We need to do that.
I've got this script called "The Monk" - it can be wonderful for us because it's between a Caucasian monk, Caucasian monk and a black--
black American actor - like English actor?
I can play that.
Yeah and it's funny... And he has to be physical, which you have a great body.
So I get some fight scenes - is that what you're saying?
I'm down.
I know.
I am down with that.
Real. It's been very nice. Cool guy.
Okay, gah.
Cool guy.
This is Jean-Claude! Very real. He took time out of his busy schedule to film with us, so.
And Richard is the same type of guy.
As real as me. If not better.  

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