Jackie Chan was surrounded by women and the actor did not think he would settle down unexpectedly.
Life takes us to unexpected places but each step prepares us for something better. It gives us the opportunity to mature, to take life more seriously and focus on the things that really matter. Jackie Chan, the famous actor and stunt master, was hit with these realizations after the birth of his son, Jaycee. His son gave him a different perceptive in life. He even helped him achieve a happy and long-lasting marriage.
Chan became famous in Hollywood through movies like Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon. His celebrity status and his warm smile attracted a lot of women. Chan admitted that even before becoming famous, women flocked around him and he had seen too many beautiful ladies. "I actually was very popular among girls ever since I was young. After I became a stuntman, I would go to nightclubs with my senior fellow apprentice," said the actor to Los Angeles Times. "...girls would come to me like butterflies. Actually I’ve been numb after so many years. I have seen too many beautiful girls, Chinese or foreign. Now I don’t think anyone is particularly beautiful," said Chan.
However, life changed the day he met his wife, Joan Lin, a famous Taiwanese actress. Chan did not think much when he got into a relationship with Lin. He was not looking forward to being married but the events that followed turned his world upside down. Lin became pregnant and the actor found himself unprepared. But that did not stop him from taking responsibility.
"One day she [Lin] told me she was pregnant. I said I wanted the baby.... Although I looked calm, I didn’t know what to do," wrote the Chan in his memoir, according to Los Angeles Times. "It was an accident which conceived Jaycee (his first son). I have never thought of getting married [sic]," said the 66-year-old actor to AsiaOne.
Following the news, Chan sent his partner to the United States. But, Chan was caught up with work and could not visit her until days before the delivery. Soon, days before the birth of his son, the couple tied the knot in the US. The wedding was not grand but small and sudden as per his agent's advice.
"During her pregnancy, I was working the whole time and didn’t go to the States until she was going to deliver. A form needed to be filled in before the baby was born. She then asked me if she could fill in my name under the 'father' column; ... my agent said we should get married first. A priest was hired for the ceremony, which took place in a coffee shop in L.A. It was lunchtime and it was very noisy. They went to a private room, where the bare-bones rites were held," recalled Chan. He added, "The priest said, ‘Do you?’ We both nodded, and that was it."
Just two days after, on December 3, 1982, the couple welcomed their first child. That was the beginning of a lifetime commitment.
However, the actor had a downfall through the journey. He had an affair which he called a "mistake. However, he readily admits his mistake, saying, "I've made an unforgivable mistake and I don't know how I can explain it, so I won't," said Chan to AsiaOne. He recalled his wife's reaction when he admitted his mistake to her. Chan stated that she cried and stared at him but forgave him later.
Apart from that, his only regret is not being able to spend enough time with his family. "When he was a kid, he could only see me around 2 a.m. I’m not a good dad, but I’m a responsible dad. I will be very strict in good times, support him to pull through in bad times when he is punished and aware of his mistakes,” said the Oscar-winning actor to LA Times. He stated that he was a disciplinarian and admitted to having hit his son only once during his childhood.
"I’ve always believed kids need to be smacked to be disciplined. Parents discipline kids in the hope they can avoid making more mistakes, especially those I’ve made when I was young. If you only speak to a kid about it, he won’t listen. When [my son] was very young, I beat him hard once; I picked him up and threw him on the couch. His mother and he were really scared. I also regretted it, and so I made a promise not to beat him anymore," said the father of one.
Chan still thinks he has not been the best husband or father. "I've not been a good father or a good husband but I did my duty to my son and his mother," wrote the actor, according to AsiaOne. However, despite his ups and downs, he has been married for 37 years and Lin has stood by his side.