If you haven’t heard, 90s kids kungfu extraordinaire, Jet Li, isn’t looking so good nowadays.
Suffering from hyperthyroidism and spinal problems, he is, but a former shadow of himself.
Here are 8 facts about this great man who taught us to stand up against bullies back in our school days.
1. Jet Li photographed looking frail and weak
Netizens all around the world were shocked to see Jet Li’s latest photo.
Unlike the sword-wielding, shadowless-kicking Jet Li of the 90s, he looks frail and had to be assisted even when he walked today.
Reports said that Jet Li is currently suffering from an overactive thyroid since 5 years ago in 2013.
South China Morning Post reported that last year, Li revealed that he has been taking medication but “the condition just kept coming back.”
However, Jet Li has refuted the idea that he stopped making movies because he is suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
Instead, he said that it was because he was focusing on charity work.
He will be starring alongside Gong Li in the upcoming Mulan life action movie, which will be released in 2020.
Don’t worry too much about Jet Li, because he say he’ll treat the illness like how he treated the villians in his movies.
He’ll beat them up.
2. His manager says there’s nothing to worry about
Jet Li’s manager, Steven Chasman, said that “Li is in great condition”, calling the online rumours “much ado about nothing”.
He is not suffering from any life-devastating illness and is dealing with it.
Chasman claimed that it was just one picture and cannot be taken as a representation of his condition.
He added that even if his own picture was taken at a bad angle and the wrong time of the day, he’ll look frail as well.
3. He’s a discovered Wushu prodigy at the age of 11
Another well-known thing about Jet Li is his collection of injuries collected over a lifetime of stunts in movies.
He was 11 years old when he performed in front of then Chinese premier Zhou Enlai and former United States President, Richard Nixon.
The president approached him and offered him a position as his bodyguard when he grew up.
To which, Jet Li replied that he doesn’t want to just protect one person. He wants to protect one billion Chinese people.
4. He fell from a 12-foot tower when making this movie
Remember this movie?
This was the movie that he remembers the most.
He fell from a 12-foot tower on the set when he was filming a fight scene for Fearless back in 1986.
Suffering from a serious left ankle fracture, a few broken ribs and internal injuries, he had to continue with the filming as the entire movie studio was depending on him.
He said that till now, old injuries still bother him.
The only one who suffered more injuries than Jet Li in the movie industry is Jackie Chan.
5. The name “Jet Li” was actually given to him by a Philippines Publicity Company
Did you know that Jet Li wasn’t a name that he gave himself?
It was actually given to him by a Philippines publicity company who found it hard to pronounce his name back in 1982.
And don’t think they gave him that name because it sounded cool. There’s actually a meaning behind it.
They felt that his career was like an aircraft that was taking off fast, so they placed the name Jet Li on movie posters.
And the name stuck from then on.
Like my handsome colleague said, what an absolutely cool way to get a name.
6. His achievements since young were super impressive
So there you are, thinking. Really meh, his career got so huat meh? It was.
When he joined the Chinese Wushu Championships, he won 15 gold medals and 1 silver medal.
His opponents were not kids, but adults as old as 30 years old.
After retiring from Wushu at the age of 19, he joined the acting industry.
His debut film was Shaolin Temple in 1982.
Then, he starred in other critically acclaimed martial arts movies like Hero, The Fist of Legend in 2002 and the Once Upon a Time series in China.
Which we all know as Wong Fei Hung.
After 16 years of acting in Chinese movies, he starred in Hollywood movies like Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) and Romeo Must Die (2000).
He also appears in French cinemas with movies like Kiss of the Dragon (2001) and Unleashed (2005).
Let’s just say that as a wushu champion or an actor, he’s pretty much made it.
7. The Thing That Sparked Jet Li’s One Foundation
If there’s another thing you should know about Jet Li, it’s his charity work.
Here’s why he was inspired to start One Foundation, according to an interview in 2008.
He was in the Maldives when the tsunami happened in 2004. He almost lost his 1-year-old daughter during the disaster, but four men jumped into the water and rescued his daughter and her nanny.
When he camped at the hotel lobby, he looked around and saw people of different nationalities helping each other.
To him, it was “like a movie” with people putting women, children and the elderly first.
That was when he saw that if everyone helps a bit, it will make a big difference.
After he went home, he researched and planned out One Foundation, which mainly helps out with disaster relief.
That’s because he understands what its like to be in a disaster. People will be hoping that there are people out there coming to rescue them.
He wants to use his name to do good, to spread the “love virus”. That is the most important thing to him.
8. The three movies that contain his message to the world
If you hadn’t known from this article, Jet Li is a pretty deep person and he has messages that he wants to tell to the world.
These messages can be found in three of his movies.
The biggest enemy is yourself.
Violence is never a solution.
The suffering of a single person isn’t as significant as the suffering of an entire nation.
I don’t know about you but that’s just wow.
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