Jean-Claude Van Damme talks The Expendables 2

Exclusive outtakes from our insane interview



The brand new issue of Total Film magazine is out tomorrow (in print and interactive iPad edition), with Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables leading the badass pack.

As part of our cover feature on The Expendables 2, we were treated to an audience with Jean-Claude Van Damme, who proved to be one of the most open, philosophical, and, frankly, barmy interviewees we’ve had the pleasure to hold court with.

In the pec-popping, ass-whupping, bullet-blasting action sequel, the Muscles from Brussels joins a host of ‘80s icon to play the villain of the piece, a terrorist with nefarious plans for a batch of stray plutonium.

Here are some morsels to whet your appetite for the full feature.

On working with all those action screen legends, JCVD told us, “I have lots of respect for them, so I felt great. Stallone was very happy about my acting. He was kinda upset because he didn’t know which take to take. So he’s a great teacher in a sense of knowing the character. Very intelligent.

"He’s really making a movie as an Expendable. It’s almost like he has his own world. He’s created a world and he’s in that world. I have a lot of respect for that because he really showed me how much a person can love a film.

“And then being with all those guys was kinda cool because I knew all of them before. I met them on the screen. I met them on my way up when I was just doing movies like Bloodsport, Kickboxer… And then the opening of Hollywood Planet. So it was kinda like a reunion.”

“So I’ve got to say a big thank you to the idea of Stallone putting the Expendables together, and to choose me for the villain. I wanted to play the villain, I said. Which is not stupid. Stallone said, ‘Fuck, he’s giving me the pleasure to kick the shit out of him.’ [Maniacal laugh].”

On being starstruck in his co-stars presence, Van Damme added, “They didn’t see me as Jean-Claude Van Damme in a sense. They saw me running and shaking hands to everyone like kind of a cool kid. That’s how I felt. But I didn’t do it on purpose.”

When talked turned to his breakout with Bloodsport, he was surprisingly humble. “You know, I came out from the street with an agent and we stuck together. So now we’ll see, but I think with the karate wave, I came at the right time at the right place. It was Bruce Lee, then it was Chuck Norris, then suddenly Jean-Claude Van Damme came in as a white guy, so... I guess it’s due to my destiny more than my acting at the time. I was a bad actor, man, but the heart was there.”

The Expendables 2
opens on 17 August 2012.

For more from Van Damme, Stallone and co, pick up the latest issue of Total Film magazine, which is out tomorrow!

And try out our brilliant interactive iPad edition! Read about the key features of Total Film’s interactive iPad edition.

If you prefer your magazine paper-y, worry not – the regular edition of the magazine is going nowhere. Subscribe to Total Film magazine.


Are you glad to see Van Damme on board for The Expendables 2? Let us know!


    • deanishbacon

      Jul 5th 2012, 12:06

      " I was a bad actor, man, but the heart was there.” WAS?

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    • EddieFelson

      Jul 5th 2012, 14:34

      "Chuck Norris, then suddenly Jean-Claude Van Damme came in as a white guy" What the Fu*k? open and philosophical? I love toatal film but he is a C*NT!

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    • jaykays hat

      Jul 5th 2012, 19:20

      Yes he was a bad actor but not as bad as Chuck Norris.

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    • alexr

      Jul 6th 2012, 8:05

      Forgive me, but wasn't Chuck Norris white?

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    • EddieFelson

      Jul 6th 2012, 15:28

      @alexr Thats the point, I missed out Bruce Lee in that as well but since when was Van Damme the first white martial arts film maker?

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    • julzmauldon

      Jul 8th 2012, 7:57

      Well I hope it's as good as the first one, I have nearly every dvd the actors have made, all great actors.................... And big deal his english isnt perfect, and yes chuck norris is awesome, made some great movies, as did bruce lee and seagal too......................

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    • theflyingninja

      Jul 8th 2012, 23:27

      Everyone seems to be underestimating the impavt Van Damme had on the world of martial arts movies. As far as the impact of one man to send a tremor through a genre on a worldwide scale, Van Damme is actually being generous. Chuck Norris doesnt figure in it - it was Bruce Lee, then Van Damme, then nothing. To this day, nobody has reenergised a dying genre of film like he did with Bloodsport during the 80s.

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