Wait, is that really Jet Li (李連杰)?
Recent photos of the 55-year-old actor attending an event in Chengdu leaked on the internet and fans are shocked. The Chinese star looks almost unrecognisable in his frail condition. This seems to be the result of his poor health.
The latest photo of Jet Li (pictured right) seems him being assisted by an unidentified man while they were at a temple. A few years ago, the Beijing-born actor revealed that he has been suffering from hyperthyroidism as well as a heart condition. At that time, Li quoted his doctor saying that he could “either continue making (action) films or spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.”
For the uninitiated, hyperthyroidism can “accelerate a person’s body metabolism significantly by causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability”.
Since taking a step back from filmmaking, the icon – being a devout Buddhist – has spent the last years on his charity, The One Foundation (set up in 2007), which draws attention to disaster relief and children’s welfare in China.
Although Li assured the public that “there is nothing to worry about my health”, recent reports claim that the condition “kept coming back”. Due his condition and injuries sustained from film sets over the years, his movements have been limited. His doctor also advised him against rigorous exercising as he’s unable to perform stressful physical activities.
Despite his physical restraints, the veteran actor has signed on to play Emperor Qin Shi Huang in Disney’s live-action remake of “Mulan“. Li and his team have yet to address the speculations from the recent viral photos.
Jet Li’s manager, Steven Chasman, has released a statement, assuring fans that there’s no need to worry.
“We appreciate everyone’s concern. But Jet is completely fine. There’s nothing wrong with him. There’s no life-threatening illness. He’s in great shape,” he quoted as saying.