The Chinese film industry is gaining a strong foothold globally, with locally made movies such as Lost in Thailand <人再囧途之泰囧>and Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons <西游•降魔篇> grossing more than 1 billion RMB. While many stars are eager for the mainland “gold rush”, Jet Li (李连杰) is enjoying his relaxed lifestyle and will not dive into projects purely for financial gain.
Last week, Jet appeared at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center to present the 1 million RMB prize to the winner of the Wulin Competition Global Championships organized by Snail Games. Though he has more or less been out of the film industry the past year, Jet Li was not surprised by how well the Chinese movies industry is gaining traction. Jet said, “Times have changed. We used to want to go to Hollywood. Now, Hollywood is coming to us. I have predicted this day will come because there is a huge demand in China. I believe we will even overtake the world’s movie industry within the next 10 years.”
Although his new film, Badges of Fury <不二神探> will be released in June 2013, Jet has no immediate plans to film another new movie. “Many people invited me to film movies. This year, I rejected 3 film offers. Let’s wait a little, until I feel like it. If it’s fun, I’ll do it,” Jet said.
Spokesperson for Taiji
Since founding charitable organization, The One Foundation, in 2007, Jet has been actively involved in international disaster relief efforts. Now, Jet is on a mission to promote martial arts form, taiji, to a wider global audience.
Speaking of his company, Taiji Zen, Jet Li immediately grew animated. Taiji Zen is a company which Jet Li founded with Alibaba Group Chairman, Jack Ma (马云), to promote taijiquan, which has often been stereotyped as an exercise practiced only by the elderly in parks. The first Taiji Zen school will open in Hangzhou in May, with a large internet promotion due in August. Jet has high hopes that one day, taijiquan will be eagerly embraced and practiced by youths around the world.
As a Buddhist, Jet felt an urge in 2009 to “go into the hills to meditate” for a few years, like ancient kung fu masters. However, internet tycoon, Jack Ma, persuaded Jet that he had a greater mission to accomplish. Jack asked Jet to co-found Taiji Zen to increase awareness for Chinese culture and promote taijiquan.
Jet advised the youths of today, “[Video] games can help you learn the Chinese culture. Games can teach you many things. But games cannot replace your studies and your life, so do not neglect your studies and your life because of gaming. Do make more time for entertainment and your work. And learn to take care of your family too.”
This article is written by Karen for JayneStars.com.