Jaycee Chan has made the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.
For those of you who are struggling to link Jaycee Chan to a hugely famous person who shares the same surname, Jaycee is the son of Jackie, who is probably the single most universally lauded Chinese film star, even surpassing Bruce Li as the screen master of ludicrous stunts and jaw-dropping martial arts. Jaycee has very much lived in his father’s shadow, until now.
Jaycee Chan with the director Kenneth Bi at Sundance 208 [Getty/Bryan Bedder]
Although he has notched up over twenty film credits in his native China, Jaycee has yet to make an impact in the West to anywhere near the extent of his father. But this week, the now thirty one year-old is temporarily garnering more attention from Western media, but the reasons for such a sudden influx of interest are one that Jaycee will want to forget. Caught in possession of a sizeable quantity of marijuana, Jaycee was arrested in Bejing after a drugs bust alongside the Taiwanese movie star Kai Ko. Both tested positive for marijuana consumption and if found guilty of crimes of marijuana consumption and possession, which seem likely, the pair could even face the death sentence under Chinese law.
The arrest also comes with a certain irony, as Jaycee’s superstar father is an ambassador for an anti-narcotics charity. Both Jackie and his son will surely face much embarrassment over the coming weeks, with Jaycee’s career facing a PR disaster. Despite his father’s wealth and fame, Jaycee underwent a tumultuous childhood, mostly due to his own lethargy that was no doubt influenced by his father’s affluence.
Jackie Chan at the Chinese Zodiac premiere [Getty/Stuart C. Wilson]
Jaycee has previously been expelled from school after achieving dismal grades, reportedly his penchant for extravagant cars and the lure of glamorous nightspots relegated education to the least of his priorities. His forays into film and music have also been largely dismal, each proving a commercial and critical failure. After much wrangling, his father finally agreed to star alongside his son in Jackie Chan’s 100th film, 1911. In continuation with Jaycee’s box-office failure, 1911 was an abject flop, described as Jackie Chan’s worst film in his entire career.
Jackie has publically denounced his sons behaviour, his self-absorption, indulgence and narcissism. At an awards ceremony in April 2011, Jackie stated that all of his assets would be donated to charity upon his death. Not a cent is to be bestowed upon his son, such is the dissatisfaction Jackie feels towards his son’s disservice to the family name which Jackie has spent most of his life working hard to build into a screen dynasty. For most of his adult life, Jacyee has done little other than dragging the Chan name into disrepute. If Jackie was seething over his son’s behaviour several years ago, these recent developments will have driven a wedge between the two that may be beyond reconcilement.