Hong Kong is where the action is for Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme - the Hollywood action star who has made Hong Kong his home - is on a hunt for talent and is hoping to bring worldwide stardom to young Chinese talents with his latest film project.
"We want to help young talents who are ready to explode in China, Chinese national treasures in a sense," said the actor known as "the Muscles from Brussels" in an interview with the South China Morning Post.
"We want to go find people who want to play in this film."
The 52-year-old said he has been living in Hong Kong for nearly seven years and he believes Hong Kong could well be the best city to live in.
Van Damme has now teamed up with Fashion TV founder Michel Adam to produce a US$40 million action feature called Luxury Meets Justice, where white-collar megacriminals are brought to account.
Adam noted that Van Damme started out as a professional sportsman competing in karate tournaments before earning his fame in Hollywood.
"We are going to look for this guy who will become [Van Damme]. We will take a real sportsman, and make him a movie star," said Adam.
Van Damme, who has recently appeared in The Expendables 2 with Sylvester Stallone and Jet Li, said he hoped to make the project in China but filming locations had yet to be decided.
Shooting will commence next year.
"We want to work with the government of China to show them our good faith, to create a franchise in China followed by a TV series and video game," said the Timecop and Double Impact star.
"Today in China, they have everything. They have great crews and computer graphics [specialists]. We want to grow on that, to become partners."
Pictures posted on Van Damme's Facebook page, which has more than 2.4 million likes, show him having a foot massage and judging last year's Miss Asia Pageant on ATV.
"I first came here in 1982. Then in '85, when I came here to do Bloodsport. Then, I said to myself, if I have money, I'd love to live in a place like this," said the animated actor.
"You can go to a foot massage at 3am and they wake you up at 7am with oxtail soup … Hong Kong is the place."