Title: Never Grow Up
Author: Jackie Chan with Zhu Mo (Translator: Jeremy Tiang)
Original Publication Date: April 15, 2015
Genre(s): Biography, Autobiography, Nonfiction, Memoir
Goodreads Synopsis: Everyone knows Jackie Chan. Whether it’s from Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, The Karate Kid, or Kung Fu Panda, Jackie is admired by generations of moviegoers for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and mind-bending stunts. In 2016—after fifty-six years in the industry, over 200 films, and many broken bones—he received an honorary Academy Award for his lifetime achievement in film. But at 64 years-old, Jackie is just getting started.
Now, in Never Grow Up, the global superstar reflects on his early life, including his childhood years at the China Drama Academy (in which he was enrolled at the age of six), his big breaks (and setbacks) in Hong Kong and Hollywood, his numerous brushes with death (both on and off film sets), and his life as a husband and father (which has been, admittedly and regrettably, imperfect).
Jackie has never shied away from his mistakes. Since The Young Master in 1980, Jackie’s films have ended with a bloopers reel in which he stumbles over his lines, misses his mark, or crashes to the ground in a stunt gone south. In Never Grow Up, Jackie applies the same spirit of openness to his life, proving time and time again why he’s beloved the world over: he’s honest, funny, kind, brave beyond reckoning and—after all this time—still young at heart.
My Mini Review
I would consider this “memoir” more of a collection of short stories. Being a big fan of Jackie Chan’s American films, I was disappointed to only read his very few thoughts on them. His family history and the way he rarely mentions them was uncomfortable and truly the opposite of admirable. His self-entitlement was far from the humble man I thought he was, too.
It was cool how hard he worked and the amount of dedication he had was remarkable but, we already knew all that! I wanted to learn more about the real Jackie Chan. On a positive end-note, I did enjoy the stories about his fan encounters.
I read this review on Goodreads that I agreed with nearly word-for-word. There are a lot of spoilers but, if you don’t intend on picking this up yourself and you want to know why Jackie Chan made me so angry — click here to read that review.
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Dates Read: February 19-February 21, 2019
My Favorite Quotes
“The way to never grow up is to love what you do.”
“I don’t want to copy anyone or be like anyone else. There’s only one me, and I’m it.”
“No matter what, I like films that bring people joy, the kind that send you out of the theater with a smile on your face. Modern society is frustrating enough; there’s no need for more negativity in the cinema.“
“When you have experience and standards, and show respect for people and property, you are respected in return.”
“So many people have tried to take my money and not one of them has gotten rich. I’ve been tricked out of large sums many times, and I’m still not poor. I’m going to go on believing in everyone until they cross me. That’s not going to change in this lifetime.”