Friday 23 August, 2019

Jean-Claude Van Damme is back with 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson'

The new Jean-Claude Van Damme action spoof "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" mixes a pinch of reality with spinning kicks and laughs.

"Just, it's fresh. Yeah, it's fresh. They took pieces of reality and fiction and good writing, fresh idea, unusual comedy and drama," Van Damme says.

Like the movie "JCVD" nine years ago, Amazon Studio's "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" finds Van Damme playing a version of himself - a mostly washed-up action star. Only this time around, he's also an international spy, taking jobs on movies as cover to go after the bad guys.

"I would say that 'JCVD' can be one of the episodes in the season, you understand? 'JCVD' can go back to Belgium, he's got problem, he's stuck in the bank. That can be one of the episodes," Van Damme said. "This show, hopefully it will have some legs – if destiny knows to, because I don't know yet."


The 57-year-old Belgian action star says he still gets nervous in front of the camera.

"Before the action I go into it, and then I've got butterflies in my tummy," he said. "Van Damme: "Before dialogue and action, whatever. Before any scenes, I've got the butterfly. Being afraid not to make a good one. And if I don't have a good one in that scene, and you too - if we have a good - this is the actor – at least you want one honest one to his own. And the director will feel that, normally. He will feel what's the one. Cut – I mean cut, let's move on. If the actor agrees - so we want that. So the butterflies always there."

Van Damme stars opposite Kat Foster, who plays a former flame, Phylicia Rashad as a Hollywood agent-slash-spy handler, and Moises Arias as another agent working undercover as a makeup artist.

The experience marked a first for Rashad, best known for her role as Clair Huxtable on "The Cosby Show."

"I never imagined myself in action films. So this was great. Leaping in and out of helicopters and firing pistols at people and being on the run – I never imagined myself doing that. I must say, I really enjoyed it. I liked it a lot," Rashad said.

All six episodes of "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" are now available on Amazon Prime Video.

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