For all those who want to see and hear this great Hollywood film star, martial artist, bodybuilding champion, screenwriter, film producer and director you will be pleased to know Jean-Claude Van Damme will be appearing in Sydney and Melbourne in August – his first trip to Australia in almost 20 years – writes John Pond.
The Muscles from Brussels, as he’s most-famously known, will talk to his audience as he reflects on his career, life and views on fitness and health. There will be a Q&A session during which all his audience, including this writer, will be eagerly awaiting.
Jean-Claude Van Damme was born Jean-Claude Van Varenberg, on 18 October 1960, in Brussels, Belgium. He began martial arts at the age of ten and earned his black belt at 18. He started lifting weights to improve his physique, which led to a Mr Belgium bodybuilding title and numerous Martial Arts Championship titles. In 1982 Jean-Claude moved to the US with the objective of becoming a movie star. He was cast as an extra in the film Breakin’ but an impromptu demonstration of his splits for Hollywood producer Menahem Golan in a chance meeting outside an LA Restaurant earned him a contract with Cannon Films. His breakout film was Bloodsport, which became a U.S. box-office hit in 1988 and was followed up with massive hits in the home video market with Cyborg, Kickboxer and Wrong Bet.
By 1990 the big Hollywood studios then came knocking and he headlined big budget action movies Double Impact, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, Street Fighter, Time Cop, Sudden Death and more. He returned to the big screen in 2008 with JCVD and again in 2012 as the lead villain in Expendables 2.
It should be noted that we have to thank Goran Kurkioski of Melbourne company Fast Track Events for Van Damme’s visit to Australia. Kurkioski has worked tirelessly over the last 10 months to get Van Damme to Australia. On top of the numerous personal phone calls, he flew to meet Van Damme in England last year, Los Angeles earlier this year and next week he will be meeting with him on the set of his latest movie that is currently filming in Thailand.
An Evening With Jean-Claude Van Damme – Unplugged & Unscripted is selling out fast. Shows are Wednesday 24th August at The Star, Sydney and Sunday 28th August at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Tickets are available at www.jcvd.com.au