Jean-Claude Van Damme used to consider Sylvester Stallone as his idol. Even before he was famous, the future action star couldn’t help but look up to Stallone. So much so that Jean-Claude Van Damme broke into Sylvester Stallone’s house to meet him. But Van Damme quickly realized he shouldn’t have broken in.
Jean-Claude Van Damme snuck into Sylvester Stallone’s house to meet him.
Before he became one of the biggest martial arts action stars in Hollywood, Jean-Claude Van Damme was just starting out. He tried to get into Hollywood by breaking into Sylvester Stallone’s house. His plan was to meet his hero in person and try to get him to work with him.
I was around his house, and I see this blonde lady — it was his first wife [Sasha Czack] — coming out with a bicycle,
Van Damme recalled to Yahoo.
Upon noticing this, Van Damme seized the opportunity.
I was trying to go above his wall. … [Czack] saw that, she called the cops. They came right away. But I [said], ‘I’m a big fan. I just want to do karate with Stallone.’ They [heard] the accent, they saw in my eyes I was innocent. They said, ‘Move on,’
In The Expendables 2, Jean-Claude Van Damme would finally be able to work with his hero. But not after making Stallone think badly of him.
At that time I wanted to make one more martial arts movie called Tower,
Van Damme explained.
[Stallone] called me and I heard his voice and Expendables. I said, ‘But I’ve got something for you! This movie Tower.’ So he’s calling me to ask me to be in Expendables, and I’m asking Stallone to be in my movie. So he called the producers. ‘This guy’s whacked, you know.’ So I made a mistake, I guess. So he didn’t talk to me.
He and Stallone were able to find a middle ground, which made it possible for them to work together.
Jean-Claude Van Damme wanted to change “The Expendables 2” script but was afraid to tell Sylvester Stallone.
After he started working on The Expandables, Van Damme thought that some parts of the movie needed to be changed. Especially the way his last fight was handled.
When I read the script, the final fight was me running away from him, jumping into a helicopter and taking off and then he came (sic) in the warehouse with a chain and throws it into the propeller and the helicopter is going up, but it’s chained,
Van Damme told WENN (via Hollywood)
We start fighting in the helicopter, break the cockpit, the helicopter falls down and touches his leg and he’s kind of stuck. Then I took (sic) a knife and escape and there’s a big circle of fire and this lady is trying to shoot me. I didn’t like it.
But Van Damme was very hesitant about telling Stallone what he thought about the movie. So he wrote a letter to the actor who played Rambo. But when he went to give Stallone the note in person, Van Damme found that he had lost it. So he had to tell Stallone in person what he thought of the fight scene.
He says, ‘Sit down,’ and I go, ‘Oh f*** it, I’m gonna tell him how I feel.’ I say, ‘Stallone, I think people want to see Muhammad Ali against Frasier. It’s a metaphor. Look at your arms, you’re strong. We need to do a fight. I need to give you myself to punch and kick the s*** out of me. And hopefully, I will do some damage to you,
Van Damme recalled.
He said, ‘I tell you what. Go and design the fight!’ Later I look all over the place for the letter; it was stuck to my pocket!
Sylvester Stallone once claimed Jean-Claude Van Damme didn’t star in “The Expendables” because of Jet Li.
Jean-Claude Van Damme may have been in the second Expendables movie, but he didn’t want to be in the first one. Stallone says that was because Van Damme didn’t want to lose a fight to Jet Li, who is also an action star.
I wanted to set Jean-Claude against Jet Li, but he didn’t want to lose to Jet,
Stallone said in an interview with Ace Showbiz.
He didn’t think that was cool. But that’s why it would be cool; to have Jean-Claude beaten by the other man. Hey, they could have a rematch. But Steven Seagal and Van Damme, they weren’t really into our gallows humor.
But Jean-Claude Van Damme said there was another reason why he turned down the offer at first.
He was unable to tell what it’s going to be. [Stallone said:] ‘You know, uh, well, the fighting will be good.’ [So I said:] ‘Sly, what is my character?’ So I didn’t do the movie,
Van Damme confided Total Film (via First Showing.)