Jackie Chan says “Kung Fu Kid” co-star Jaden Smith’s dedication to martial arts puts his own son to shame.
The 11-year-old son of Hollywood stars Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith has been training under Chan’s stunt coordinator for his role in the China Film Group-Columbia Pictures remake of the 1984 hit “The Karate Kid,” which kicked off filming in Beijing on July 11.
In a diary entry on his official Web site, Chan said he was deeply impressed by the younger Smith’s progress when he visited Los Angeles last month.
The veteran Hong Kong action star said Jaden Smith learned the Chinese phrases for different kung fu moves, responded to orders in Mandarin, and treated his teacher, Wu Gang, according to traditional Chinese custom.
“When he was thirsty, he gave the traditional hand gesture, putting one fist into the palm of the other, bowed and asked permission to drink some water,” Chan said.
Chan said Smith even learned the drunken fighter routine he made famous in his 1978 film “Drunken Master.”
“He put my son to shame! I provided my son with the best martial artists in the world, and he could not be persuaded to try it. In just two months, Jaden had learned so much. He is truly a talented boy,” he said, adding he felt Smith was ready to perform his own stunts in “Kung Fu Kid.”
Chan’s son, Jaycee, is a singer and actor but has not followed in his father’s footsteps as an action star.
Chan posted several photos with the diary entry showing him with Jaden Smith and his father.
He said he was skeptical at first of Jaden Smith’s work ethic because he was born into a privileged family.
“Training in martial arts is hard work. It takes years to perfect even one punch or kick. Jaden’s father is a famous celebrity, and Jaden probably knows he could get away without having to work very hard. If I couldn’t get my own son to train in martial arts, how could anybody else succeed?” Chan said.
Chan said he suggested to Will Smith that he send his son to China for a few years of kung fu training, predicting “when he returns, his martial arts will be truly incredible.”
Jaden Smith costarred with his father in the 2006 movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” and appeared in the 2008 Keanu Reeves sci-fi movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”