Jean-Claude van Damme booking
Jean-Claude Van Damme’s life story has the perfect makings for a mid-afternoon soap opera.
Growing up he was by all reports, a very awkward child. He was short, thin, wore glasses and was in
the ballet. It’s hard to believe that this nerdy little kid would grow into a martial arts super star who
would sport the nick name “Muscles from Brussels”. By the way, Jean-Claude Van Damme does not
like his nickname. “It’s like I’m known as a shellfish”, he once said. On 18 October 1960 in BerchemSainte Agathe, Belgium, mister Eugene van Varenberg and Eliana van Varenberg did get a son:
Jean-Claude van Varenberg. (Later he changed his name into Van Damme . That name he borrowed
from a friend to have a more ‘power full’ name when he moved to the US). Jean-Claude Van Damme
was the 2nd of two children. He has an older sister.
Jean-Claude Van Damme can be called an actor, though it’s more accurate to describe him as a
bodybuilder and kickboxer. It evidently wasn’t in the genes; Van Damme’s father was an accountant
and flower salesman. He started martial arts at the age of 11, his father introduced him to martial arts
when he saw that Van Damme was physically weak. Jean-Claude started with Shotokan Karate. He
later studied Kickboxing, Taekwon-Do, and Muay Thai. Van Damme won the European professional
karate associations middleweight championship as a teenager(??), where he thrilled one and all with
his 360-degree leap-kick. He also beat the 2nd best karate fighter in the world. Cashing in on his fame,
the 18-year-old Van Damme launched the California Gym in Brussels. Jean-Claude Van Damme
came to the United States in 1981. When he finally flew to L.A., he had $7,000 to his name and spoke
only French and Flemish. His claims of being a European Champion were thoroughly researched and
found to be false(??). Howard Hanson, President of the World Karate Association, only found
evidence of Jean-Claude Van Damme competing in 1 amateur bout and writers from Black Belt
Magazine have labeled him “a complete fraud.” Though no proof of Van Damme’s champion status
was ever presented, Van Damme’s lawyer, Martin Singer, made a public statement defending his
client: “There are records to document his martial-arts acclaim. He’s the one who does those splits on
chairs. He doesn’t have a stunt man do that. “Upon arrival, Van Damme attempted to make it into the
movies. Unfortunately, the movie business didn’t welcome him with open arms and his first
experiences of working in America were as a chauffeur, carpet layer, and pizza delivery driver. JeanClaud Van Damme cast in his first feature, the 1983 French film “Rue Barbere”, he clashed with the
director and either quit or was fired (depending on whose version one believes).
Thanks to Chuck Norris he got a job as a bouncer at a nightclub. Chuck Norris also gave Van Damme
a small role as a gay hitchhiker in the movie “Missing in Action”, but it wasn’t good enough to get
anybody’s attention. Then in 1986 he got a role as a villain named Ivan in the low-budget movie “No
Retreat, No Surrender”. These small roles fueled Van Damme’s desire and he began signing movie
deals with anyone who was willing. Though his popularity skyrocketed, Van Damme was locked into
several low budget contracts. After approaching Menahem Golana, producer for Cannon Pictures
outside a Beverly Hills restaurant, Van Damme demonstrated his unique contribution to the martial
arts genre: executing a karate kick to his opponent’s head during an impressive 360-degree leap.
Suitably impressed, the producer hired him for “Bloodsport”. But when it was completed, “Bloodsport”
was so bad they shelved it for almost two years. It might have never been released if not Van Damme
helped re-cut the film and begged producers to release it. They released the film, and the miracle
happened. “Bloodsport”, shot in Hong Kong on a meager 1.5 million dollar budget, became a US boxoffice hit in the spring of 1988. It made about 30 million world and audiences supported this film for
only one reason. Its star was sensational. Jean-Claude Van Damme, the skinny, goofy kid who loved
classical music and dreamed of movie stardom, had made it. This helped Van Damme ; to partially
achieve his goal to become a movie star. Jean-Claude Van Damme estimates that he earned an
average of $70,000 per picture for his first seven leading roles, a collection of films that starts with
“Bloodsport” and moves on through “Black Eagle,” “Cyborg,” “Kickboxer,” “Death Warrant,” “Lionheart”
and “Double Impact.” It wasn’t until “Universal Soldier” in 1992, that he would receive his first real
Hollywood paycheck for $1 million. From then on, he made no less than $3 million per picture, peaking.
Price hire Jean-Claude van Damme
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