Jet Li
Overview
 
The fame gained by his sports winnings led to a career as a martial arts film star, beginning in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 and then continuing into Hong Kong. Li acquired his screen name in 1982 in the Philippines when a publicity company thought his real name was too hard to pronounce. They likened his career to an aircraft, which likewise "takes-off" as quickly, so they placed the name Jet Li on the movie posters. Soon everybody was calling him by this new name, which was also based on the nickname, "Jet," given to him as a young student, due to his speed and grace when training with the Beijing Wushu team.
Encyclopedia
The fame gained by his sports winnings led to a career as a martial arts film star, beginning in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 and then continuing into Hong Kong. Li acquired his screen name in 1982 in the Philippines when a publicity company thought his real name was too hard to pronounce. They likened his career to an aircraft, which likewise "takes-off" as quickly, so they placed the name Jet Li on the movie posters. Soon everybody was calling him by this new name, which was also based on the nickname, "Jet," given to him as a young student, due to his speed and grace when training with the Beijing Wushu team. He made his debut with the 1982 film Shaolin Temple. Some of his more famous Chinese films include:
  • The Shaolin Temple series (1, 2 and 3), which are considered to be the films which sparked the rebirth of the real Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China;
  • The Once Upon a Time in China
    Once Upon a Time in China
    Once Upon a Time in China is a Hong Kong martial arts action/adventure film franchise directed, written, and produced by Tsui Hark. The stories are based on the life of the legendary kung fu master, Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, and Chinese folk hero, Wong Fei Hung...

    series (Chinese title: Wong Fei Hung), about the legendary Chinese folk hero Master Wong Fei Hung
    Wong Fei Hung
    Wong Fei-hung was a Chinese martial artist, a traditional Chinese medicine physician, acupuncturist and revolutionary who became a folk hero and the subject of numerous television series and films. He was considered an expert in the Hung Gar style of Chinese martial arts. Wong is visibly the most...

    .
  • Fist of Legend
    Fist of Legend
    Fist of Legend is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Gordon Chan and features action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, and also produced by and starring Jet Li. It is a remake of the 1972 film Fist of Fury, which starred Bruce Lee as the lead character...

    (Chinese title: Jing Wu Ying Xiong), a remake of Bruce Lee
    Bruce Lee
    Bruce Lee was a Chinese American, Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor, philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement...

    's Fist of Fury
    Fist of Fury
    Fist of Fury, formerly known as The Chinese Connection and The Iron Hand in the United States, is a 1972 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Lo Wei. It starred Bruce Lee in his second major film after The Big Boss...

    .
  • The Fong Sai Yuk
    Fong Sai-yuk (film)
    Fong Sai-yuk is a 1993 Hong Kong martial arts film directed by Corey Yuen and starring Jet Li as Chinese folk hero Fong Sai-yuk.-Plot:The brash and ambitious Fong Sai-yuk meets the beautiful Ting-ting during a track and field competition and falls in love with her. Ting-ting is the daughter of the...

    films about another Chinese folk hero.

Li starred in the 1995 film High Risk, where Jet Li plays a Captain who becomes disillusioned after his wife is murdered by crime lords. Along the way, he pairs up with a wacky sell-out actor, Frankie (played by Jacky Cheung
Jacky Cheung
Jacky Cheung is a Hong Kong singer-songwriter and actor. The Chinese language media refers to him, Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau and Leon Lai as the Cantopop Four Heavenly Kings , with more than 60 million records sold as of 2000....

), and proceeds to engage in a series of violent battles in a high-rise building. The setting is similar to that of Die Hard
Die Hard
Die Hard is a 1988 American action film and the first in the Die Hard film series. The film was directed by John McTiernan and written by Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza. It is based on a 1979 novel by Roderick Thorp titled Nothing Lasts Forever, itself a sequel to the book The Detective, which...

and both their Chinese film titles. This movie is notable in that director Wong Jing
Wong Jing
Wong Jing is a Hong Kong film director, producer, actor, presenter, and screenwriter. A prolific filmmaker possessed of strong instincts for crowd-pleasing and publicity, he is often cited as the most consistently successful filmmaker , in commercial terms, in the Hong Kong cinema of the last...

 had such a terrible experience working with Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

 in Jing's previous film City Hunter that he chose to make Cheung's character a biting satire of Chan. Jet Li would later publicly apologize to Chan for taking part in it.

Li has two wuxia
Wuxia
Wuxia is a broad genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists. Although wuxia is traditionally a form of literature, its popularity has caused it to spread to diverse art forms like Chinese opera, manhua , films, television series, and video games...

 feature films scheduled for release in 2011, The Sorcerer and the White Snake
The Sorcerer and the White Snake
The Sorcerer and the White Snake, previously known as, It's Love and Madame White Snake is a 2011 film directed by Ching Siu-tung and starring Jet Li. It is based on the Chinese Legend of the White Snake. Production started in September 10, 2010 and ended on January 16, 2011...

and The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate is an upcoming wuxia film directed by Tsui Hark and starring Jet Li, Zhou Xun, Chen Kun, Li Yuchun, Kwai Lun-mei, Louis Fan and Mavis Fan. The film is a remake of Dragon Gate Inn and New Dragon Gate Inn...

, the latter is helmed by Tsui Hark
Tsui Hark
Tsui Hark , born Tsui Man-kong, is a Hong Kong New Wave film director and producer. He is viewed as a major figure in the Golden Age of Hong Kong cinema .-Early life:...

.

In order to promote tai chi, in 2012 Jet Li will star in a film titled Tai Chi and will co-produce the movie with Chen Kuo-Fu. Li will portary Tai Chi master Yang Lu-ch'an
Yang Lu-ch'an
Yang Lu-ch'an or Yang Luchan, ; also known as Yang Fu-k'ui , born in Kuang-p'ing , was an influential teacher of the soft style martial art t'ai chi ch'uan in China during the second half of the 19th century...

.

American films

In 1998, he made his American film debut in Lethal Weapon 4
Lethal Weapon 4
Lethal Weapon 4 is a 1998 American action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock and Jet Li. It is the third sequel in the Lethal Weapon series of films. -Plot:...

which also marked the first time he had ever played a villain in a film. He agreed to do Lethal Weapon 4 after the producer Joel Silver
Joel Silver
Joel Silver is an American Hollywood film producer, co-creator of the sport of Ultimate, co-founder of Dark Castle Entertainment and owner of Silver Pictures.-Life and career:...

 promised to give him the leading role in his next film, Romeo Must Die
Romeo Must Die
Romeo Must Die is a 2000 martial arts film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak. Starring Jet Li, Aaliyah, Anthony Anderson, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, and features action and fight choreography by Corey Yuen...

(2000) alongside late singer Aaliyah
Aaliyah
Aaliyah Dana Haughton , who performed under the mononym Aaliyah , was an American R&B recording artist, actress and model. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Detroit, Michigan. At the age of 10, she appeared on the television show Star Search and performed in concert alongside...

. The film became a box office hit.

Li turned down Chow Yun-fat
Chow Yun-Fat
Chow Yun-fat, SBS is an actor from Hong Kong. He is best known in Asia for his collaboration with filmmaker John Woo in heroic bloodshed genre films A Better Tomorrow, The Killer, and Hard Boiled; and to the West for his role as Li Mu-bai in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon...

's role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen...

(2000) because he promised his wife that he would not make any films during her pregnancy. He also turned down the role of Seraph
Seraph (The Matrix)
Seraph is the name of a fictional character in the science-fiction Matrix universe. He is portrayed as the personification of a sophisticated challenge-handshake authentication protocol which guards the Oracle....

 in The Matrix
The Matrix
The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction-action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and Hugo Weaving...

trilogy, based on his belief that the role was not one which required his skills and that the films were iconic and stunning enough without adding his name to the cast list.

In 2001, he appeared in two more Hollywood films: The One which was the first of his films with Jason Statham
Jason Statham
Jason Statham born 12 September1967) is an English actor and former diver, known for his roles in the Guy Ritchie crime films Revolver, Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels...

 and Kiss of the Dragon
Kiss of the Dragon
Kiss of the Dragon is a 2001 martial arts action film, directed by Chris Nahon, co-written and produced by Luc Besson, and starring Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, and Tchéky Karyo....

opposite Bridget Fonda
Bridget Fonda
Bridget Jane Fonda is an American actress. She is best known for her roles in films such as The Godfather Part III, Single White Female, Point of No Return, It Could Happen to You, and Jackie Brown...

 which did moderately well at the box office. In July 2001, Li agreed to produce and star in an action film with Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

 which was to be released in 2002 or 2003, but no further news of their collaboration surfaced until 2006. In 2002, the period martial arts epic film Hero
Hero (2002 film)
Hero is a 2002 wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou. Starring Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, the film is based on the story of Jing Ke's assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC....

was released in the Chinese market. This film was both a commercial and critical success and became the highest-grossing motion picture in Chinese film history
Cinema of China
The Chinese-language cinema has three distinct historical threads: Cinema of Hong Kong, Cinema of China, and Cinema of Taiwan. Since 1949 the cinema of mainland China has operated under restrictions imposed by the Communist Party of China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television and...

 at the time. In 2003 he reunited with producer Joel Silver for the action thriller film Cradle 2 The Grave
Cradle 2 the Grave
Cradle 2 the Grave is a 2003 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak featuring martial artist Jet Li and rapper DMX.-Plot:...

where he starred alongside rapper DMX
DMX (rapper)
Earl Simmons , better known by his stage name DMX, is a multiplatinum American rapper and actor who rose to fame in the late 1990s. His stage name pays tribute to the Oberheim DMX drum machine, an instrument he used when he made his own rap beats in the 80's...

 and fellow martial artist Mark Dacascos
Mark Dacascos
Mark Alan Dacascos is an American actor and martial artist. He won numerous karate and various styles of kung fu championships between the ages of 7 and 18....

. In 2004, Li lent his likeness, voice and provided motion capture work for the video game Jet Li: Rise to Honor
Jet Li: Rise to Honor
Jet Li: Rise to Honor is a video game released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. The game features the likeness, voice acting and motion capture work of martial arts actor Jet Li, and features martial arts choreography by Corey Yuen.-Gameplay:...

.

Li took on a more serious role in the 2005 film, Unleashed
Unleashed (film)
Unleashed , is a 2005 American-British-French martial arts action thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Luc Besson. Film stars Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman and Kerry Condon...

(a.k.a. Danny the Dog), where he portrayed an adult with the mentality of a child who has been raised like an animal. Although his martial arts skills were utilized extensively, it was a somber film with more depth than had been previously seen in Li's films, and co-starred dramatic actors Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins
Robert William "Bob" Hoskins, Jr. is an English actor known for playing Cockney rough diamonds, psychopaths and gangsters, in films such as The Long Good Friday , and Mona Lisa , and lighter roles in family films such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Hook .- Early life :Hoskins was born in Bury St...

 and Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

.

In 2006, the martial arts film
Martial arts film
Martial arts film is a film genre. A sub-genre of the action film, martial arts films contain numerous fights between characters, usually as the films' primary appeal and entertainment value, and often as a method of storytelling and character expression and development. Martial arts are frequently...

 epic Fearless
Fearless (2006 film)
Fearless, known in Chinese as Huo Yuanjia and Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a 2006 film directed by Ronny Yu and starring Jet Li...

, was released worldwide. Although he will continue to make martial arts films, Fearless is his last wushu epic. In Fearless, he played Huo Yuanjia
Huo Yuanjia
Huo Yuanjia was a Chinese martial artist and co-founder of Chin Woo Athletic Association, a martial arts school in Shanghai...

, the real-life founder of Chin Woo Athletic Association
Chin Woo Athletic Association
Chin Woo Athletic Association is a Chinese martial arts association founded in Shanghai on July 7, 1910, but other sources also cite dates in 1909. It can be found spelled in many ways - Jing Mo, Ching Wu, Jing Wo, Jing Wu etc....

, who reportedly defeated foreign boxers and Japanese martial artists in publicized events at a time when China's power was seen as eroding. Together with the film Fist of Legend
Fist of Legend
Fist of Legend is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Gordon Chan and features action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, and also produced by and starring Jet Li. It is a remake of the 1972 film Fist of Fury, which starred Bruce Lee as the lead character...

, Li has portrayed both Chen Jun, the student and avenger of Huo Yuanjia (aka Fok Yun Gap), as well as Huo Yuanjia himself. Fearless was released on January 26, 2006 in Hong Kong, followed by a September 22, 2006 release in the United States where it reached second place in its first weekend.
Li has stated in an interview with the Shenzhen Daily newspaper that this will be his last martial arts epic, which is also stated in the film's television promotions. However, he plans to continue his film career in other genres. Specifically, he plans to continue acting in action and martial arts films; epic films deal more with religious and philosophical issues.

Li's 2007 Hollywood film, War, was released in August of that year, and re-teamed him with actor Jason Statham
Jason Statham
Jason Statham born 12 September1967) is an English actor and former diver, known for his roles in the Guy Ritchie crime films Revolver, Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels...

, who previously starred with him in The One, and action choreographer Corey Yuen
Corey Yuen
Corey Yuen Kwai is a Hong Kong actor, filmmaker and producer. He was a member of the Peking Opera Schools and one of the Seven Little Fortunes.-Life and career:...

. War raked in a disappointing $23 million at the box office, becoming one of Li's lowest grossers in America; however, it was a hit on video, accumulating nearly $52 million in rental revenue, more than doubling its box office take. With the exception of Romeo Must Die
Romeo Must Die
Romeo Must Die is a 2000 martial arts film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak. Starring Jet Li, Aaliyah, Anthony Anderson, Delroy Lindo, Isaiah Washington, Russell Wong, and features action and fight choreography by Corey Yuen...

and the worldwide release of Hero
Hero (2002 film)
Hero is a 2002 wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou. Starring Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, the film is based on the story of Jing Ke's assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC....

, most of Li's American films have been only modest hits like Kiss Of The Dragon
Kiss of the Dragon
Kiss of the Dragon is a 2001 martial arts action film, directed by Chris Nahon, co-written and produced by Luc Besson, and starring Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, and Tchéky Karyo....

, The One, Unleashed
Unleashed (film)
Unleashed , is a 2005 American-British-French martial arts action thriller film directed by Louis Leterrier and written by Luc Besson. Film stars Jet Li, Bob Hoskins, Morgan Freeman and Kerry Condon...

, Cradle 2 the Grave
Cradle 2 the Grave
Cradle 2 the Grave is a 2003 American action film directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak featuring martial artist Jet Li and rapper DMX.-Plot:...

, and the worldwide release of Fearless
Fearless (2006 film)
Fearless, known in Chinese as Huo Yuanjia and Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a 2006 film directed by Ronny Yu and starring Jet Li...

.

In late 2007, Li returned again to China to participate in the China/Hong Kong co-production of the period war film The Warlords
The Warlords
The Warlords, previously known as The Blood Brothers, is a 2007 epic war film directed by Peter Chan and starring Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Xu Jinglei. The film was released on December 13, 2007 simultaneously in most of Asia, except Japan...

with Andy Lau
Andy Lau
Andy Lau MH, JP is a Hong Kong Cantopop singer, actor, and film producer. Lau has been one of Hong Kong's most commercially successful film actors since the mid-1980s, performing in more than 160 films while maintaining a successful singing career at the same time...

 and Takeshi Kaneshiro
Takeshi Kaneshiro
Takeshi Kaneshiro , born October 11, 1973, is a Taiwan-born Japanese actor and singer.-Name:...

. This film with its focus on dramatics rather than martial arts netted Li the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor
The Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor is an annual Hong Kong industry award presented to an actor for the best performance by an actor in a leading role.-History:...

.

Li and fellow martial arts veteran Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan, SBS, MBE is a Hong Kong actor, action choreographer, comedian, director, producer, martial artist, screenwriter, entrepreneur, singer and stunt performer. In his movies, he is known for his acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, use of improvised weapons, and innovative stunts...

 finally appeared together onscreen for the first time in The Forbidden Kingdom, which began filming in May 2007 and was released to critical and commercial success on April 18, 2008. The film was based on the legend of the Monkey King from the Chinese folk novel Journey to the West
Journey to the West
Journey to the West is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It was written by Wu Cheng'en in the 16th century. In English-speaking countries, the tale is also often known simply as Monkey. This was one title used for a popular, abridged translation by Arthur Waley...

. Li also starred as the lead villain in the fantasy action film The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a 2008 American action adventure film and sequel to The Mummy and The Mummy Returns . The film stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Luke Ford, and Jet Li, and was released on August 1, 2008 in the United States...

with actors Brendan Fraser
Brendan Fraser
Brendan James Fraser is a Canadian-American film and stage actor. Fraser portrayed Rick O'Connell in the three-part Mummy film series , and is known for his comedic and fantasy film leading roles in major Hollywood films, including Encino Man , George of the Jungle , Dudley Do-Right , Monkeybone ,...

, Isabella Leong
Isabella Leong
Isabella Leong Lok-Sze is a Hong Kong-based actress and former singer.- Career :Her father was a descendant of a prominent Macanese family of Portuguese-English heritage, and her mother is Chinese...

 and Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh
Michelle Yeoh Choo-Kheng is a Hong Kong-based Malaysian Chinese actress, well known for performing her own stunts in the action films that brought her to fame in the early 1990s....

.

After a one-year hiatus from filmmaking, Jet Li returned to acting in 2009, portraying a mercenary in the film The Expendables
The Expendables (2010 film)
The Expendables is a 2010 American ensemble action film written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, and directed by Stallone. Filming began on March 28, 2009, in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, and the film was released in theaters on August 13, 2010 in North America.The film is...

, teaming up with action stars Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone
Michael Sylvester Gardenzio Stallone , commonly known as Sylvester Stallone, and nicknamed Sly Stallone, is an American actor, filmmaker, screenwriter, film director and occasional painter. Stallone is known for his machismo and Hollywood action roles. Two of the notable characters he has portrayed...

, Jason Statham
Jason Statham
Jason Statham born 12 September1967) is an English actor and former diver, known for his roles in the Guy Ritchie crime films Revolver, Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels...

, Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, and martial artist. He belongs to a generation of film actors who epitomise the movie action hero stereotype including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme.A graduate in chemical...

, Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke
Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke, Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter and retired boxer, who has appeared primarily as a leading man in action, drama, and thriller films....

, Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts
Eric Anthony Roberts is an American actor. His career began with King of the Gypsies , earning a Golden Globe nomination for best actor debut. He starred as the protagonist in the 1980 dramatisation of Willa Cather's 1905 short story, Paul's Case...

, Steve Austin
Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin , better known by his ring name "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, is an American film and television actor and retired professional wrestler...

, Terry Crews
Terry Crews
Terrence Alan "Terry" Crews is an American actor, comedian, voice artist and a former player in the National Football League....

, and Randy Couture
Randy Couture
Randy Duane Couture is a retired American mixed martial artist, Greco-Roman wrestler, actor, a three-time former heavyweight champion, two-time former light-heavyweight champion, former interim light heavyweight champion and UFC 13 tournament winner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship...

. It was the third time he had teamed up with Statham.

Personal life

Li is a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism is the body of Buddhist religious doctrine and institutions characteristic of Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, Bhutan, and India . It is the state religion of Bhutan...

. His master is Lho Kunsang of the Drikung Kagyu
Drikung Kagyu
Drikung Kagyu or Drigung Kagyu is one of the eight "minor" lineages of the Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. "Major" here refers to those Kagyu lineages founded by the immediate disciples of Gampopa while "minor" refers to all the lineages founded by disciples of Phakmo Drupa , one of the three...

 lineage of the Kagyu
Kagyu
The Kagyu, Kagyupa, or Kagyud school, also known as the "Oral Lineage" or Whispered Transmission school, is today regarded as one of six main schools of Himalayan or Tibetan Buddhism, the other five being the Nyingma, Sakya, Jonang, Bon and Gelug...

 school.

In 1987, Li married Beijing Wushu Team member and Kids from Shaolin co-star Huang Qiuyan, with whom he has two daughters, Si and Taimi. They divorced in 1990. Since 1999, he has been married to Nina Li Chi
Nina Li Chi
Nina Li Chi is a retired former Hong Kong actress. She is currently married to Chinese action superstar Jet Li. They have two children together, including daughter Jada...

 (born Li Zhi), a Shanghai-born, Hong Kong-based actress. He has two daughters with her as well, Jane (born 2000) and Jada (born 2002).

Li was in the Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

 when a tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 hit during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

. Although it was widely reported at the time that he had died during the disaster, he only suffered a minor foot injury, caused by a piece of floating furniture, while he was guiding his 4-year-old daughter Jane and the nanny holding his 1-year-old daughter Jada to safety. The four of them were by the pool and slightly above the beach when the wave came ashore.

In 2009, Li, who previously had American citizenship, after years working in the United States, was thought to have renounced his American citizenship and taken up Singaporean citizenship
Singaporean nationality law
Singaporean nationality law is derived from the Constitution of Singapore and is based on jus sanguinis and a modified form of jus soli...

, although no official confirmation has been provided by Singapore authorities. On July 28, 2009, the chairman of One Foundation (the Charity fund of Jet Li) announced that Jet Li had indeed become a Singaporean citizen. He was said to have chosen Singapore for its education system for his two daughters.

In 2009, Li launched his own fitness program that he named "Wuji". The programme consists of elements of martial arts, yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 and pilates
Pilates
Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany, the UK and the USA. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States....

 and Adidas
Adidas
Adidas AG is a German sports apparel manufacturer and parent company of the Adidas Group, which consists of the Reebok sportswear company, TaylorMade-Adidas golf company , and Rockport...

 launched a special clothing line for it that bears the initials of "JL".

In his free time he likes to play badminton, table tennis, volleyball, ride his bicycle, read and meditate. He collects rare Tibetan beads. He says he is never bored in his free time.

Views on life and martial arts

Li as a Buddhist believes that the difficulties of everyday life can be overcome with the help of religious philosophies. He thinks that fame is not something he can control; therefore, he does not care about it.

According to Li, everything he has ever wanted to tell the world can be found in three of his films: the message of Hero is that the suffering of one person can never be as significant as the suffering of a nation; Unleashed shows that violence is never a solution and Fearless tells that the biggest enemy of a person is himself. Li thinks that the greatest weapon is a smile and the largest power is love.

About Wushu Li said that he believes the essence of martial arts is not power or speed but inner harmony and considers it a sad development that today's Wushu championships place greater emphasis on form than on the essence of being a martial artist. He believes Wushu now lacks individuality and competitors move like machines, whereas according to his views Wushu should not be considered a race where the fastest athlete wins. He would like to see Wushu as a form of art, where artists have a distinctive style. Li blames the new competition rules that, according to him, place limitations on martial artists.

Li believes that Wushu is not primarily for self-defense and instead of trying to play the hero people should think about peaceful resolutions of conflicts and call the police if necessary: "A gun outdoes years of martial arts training in a split second. Like I've said many times before, it is important to differentiate between movies and reality. The hero in movies may be able to knock the gun off his opponent and save the day, but in real life – probably that is not the case." He has also stated that he has never had to use his martial arts skills in a real life fight and he does not wish to, either.

Philanthropy

Li has been a "philanthropic ambassador" of the Red Cross Society of China
Red Cross Society of China
The Red Cross Society of China is the national Red Cross Society in the People's Republic of China.-Origins and history before 1949:...

 since January 2006. He contributed 500,000 yuan (US$62,500) of box office revenues from his film Fearless to the Red Cross' psychological sunshine project, which promotes mental health.

In April 2007, touched by his life-shaking experience in the Maldives when he was close to dying during the 2004 tsunami, Li formed his own non-profit foundation called The One Foundation
One Foundation
The One Foundation , also called Red Cross Society of China Jet Li One Foundation Project, was founded by Chinese Red Cross ambassador Jet Li in April 2007...

. The One Foundation supports international disaster relief efforts in conjunction with the Red Cross as well as other efforts, including mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Since the starting of the foundation, Li has been involved with recovery efforts in seven disasters, including the 2008 Sichuan earthquake
2008 Sichuan earthquake
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake was a deadly earthquake that measured at 8.0 Msand 7.9 Mw occurred at 14:28:01 CST...

 and Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan. Wu Jing was a One Foundation volunteer and helped in the effort.

Li discussed his commitment to philanthropy in an interview with the December 2009 issue of Alliance magazine, stating that "grassroots non-government organizations can help the government in its blind spots. Government relief is not always detail-oriented. Grassroots NGOs can’t be as big as a government effort, but they need to be flexible and independent."

In September 2010, Jet Li was appointed by the International Red Cross as the first Good Will Ambassador. He posted online saying "Today I signed a deal with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – IFRC - to become the FIRST goodwill ambassador in the history of this humanitarian organization. I am very honored! At the same time, I will not pause to celebrate, but instead keep pushing forward.. and do my best to help the world! Thank you all once again for your support and belief in me!"

It was also announced that Jet Li would be meeting Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to talk about charity work. "Three days ago, I received an email from Gates, hoping I could make time because he and Buffett hoped I could go for a 30-minute chat before the dinner about the future we face as human beings, so I will go," Li said.

Filmography

Considering US box office statistics, the most successful Jet Li film as of August 2010 is Lethal Weapon 4
Lethal Weapon 4
Lethal Weapon 4 is a 1998 American action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock and Jet Li. It is the third sequel in the Lethal Weapon series of films. -Plot:...

, which grossed over 130 million dollars domestically, while the second is The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor is a 2008 American action adventure film and sequel to The Mummy and The Mummy Returns . The film stars Brendan Fraser, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Luke Ford, and Jet Li, and was released on August 1, 2008 in the United States...

with over 102 million dollars. Hero
Hero (2002 film)
Hero is a 2002 wuxia film directed by Zhang Yimou. Starring Jet Li as the nameless protagonist, the film is based on the story of Jing Ke's assassination attempt on the King of Qin in 227 BC....

is the third most successful foreign language film in the US, and one of the best critically acclaimed Li movies. Fearless
Fearless (2006 film)
Fearless, known in Chinese as Huo Yuanjia and Jet Li's Fearless in the United Kingdom and the United States, is a 2006 film directed by Ronny Yu and starring Jet Li...

is the sixth most successful foreign language film of all times in the US. From a critical point of view, the best acclaimed Li movie is Fist of Legend
Fist of Legend
Fist of Legend is a 1994 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Gordon Chan and features action choreography by Yuen Woo-ping, and also produced by and starring Jet Li. It is a remake of the 1972 film Fist of Fury, which starred Bruce Lee as the lead character...

(Rotten Tomatoes: 100%) and the worst is War (Rotten Tomatoes: 12%).

Further reading

  • Ducker, Chris, and Stuart Cutler. The HKS Guide to Jet Li. London: Hong Kong Superstars, 2000.
  • Marx, Christy. Jet Li. Martial Arts Masters. Rosen Publishing Group, 2002. ISBN 0823935191.
  • Parish, James Robert. Jet Li: A Biography. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 2002. ISBN 1560253762.
  • Farquhar, M.(2010) ‘Jet Li: "Wushu Master" in Sport and Film’ in Jeffreys, Elaine. & Edwards, Louise (eds.), Celebrity in China, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong pp. 103–124. ISBN 9622090885

External links


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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