“Don’t take it personally, it’s just business.” How often have we heard this term in the working world? While some can let things slide, others hold on to that grudge for years. Such is case of Teddy Chan (陳德森) and Jackie Chan (成龍).
Teddy Chan is a renowned Hong Kong movie director for helming films such as “Downtown Torpedoes” (神偷諜影), “Downtown Torpedoes” (神偷諜影), “Bodyguards and Assassins” (十月圍城), “Kung Fu Jungle” (一个人的武林), among others. However, Teddy first got his foot into the cinematic world as a personal assistant of Jackie.
In his newly released autobiography titled “Leave Your Sorrows To The Movies”/ “Cinema Of Sadness” (把悲傷留給電影), the 64-year-old recalled his journey of starting out at the young age of 18 years old, to becoming assistant director and actor, and eventually becoming a director in his own right. It’s an insightful read as we dive into his challenging life throughout the years and bumpy rides he had to endure.
One of the highlights is, of course, Teddy spilling the tea about his bad blood with legendary actor Jackie Chan. The opportunity to be Jackie’s right hand man came with plenty of perks. Back then, getting to clean the shoes of someone prominent was considered an honour. His hard work paid off and it landed him the chance to direct a film. Unfortunately, that meant he could no longer commit to Jackie.
Unbeknownst to him, Jackie was deeply offended and ignored him at public events over the next 2 decades. Needless to say, there was always tension whenever the duo bumped into each other at functions. It wasn’t until they reunited for Teddy’s 2001 action film, “The Accidental Spy” (特務迷城), where Jackie played the lead role, that they got the chance to reconcile in person and resolved their conflict.
Teddy later found out the reason why the iconic star took it so hard. According to a close friend, throughout his time in showbiz, “no one had dared to quit on him”. It was always Jackie himself laying people off on his terms. It’s nice to know that Teddy has gotten back into Jackie’s good grace and even got his longtime friend to write a prologue in his autobiography.