A gift from Belgium

17 September 2021
Jean Claude Van Damme, the Muscles from Brussels!

For many millennials, Jean Claude Van Damme is an action-cult hero and a fond memory.

He and other action film stars like Sylvester Stallone and Chuck Norris owned the 80s and 90s but slowly began to disappear from the big screen with the rise of new and younger stars.

Wondering what he has been up to lately?

The 'Muscles from Brussels' is still quite active in the film industry and still does martial arts films, even training his children. While he hasn't had many major big-screen roles lately, he has had some interesting straight-to-video movies, such as the acclaimed self-titled JCVD film in which he stars as himself. You may have also seen the epic  Volvo advert with Van Damme doing his legendary split on two of the brand’s trucks moving backwards! 

An interesting bit about the actor is that his real name is Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg and that he has also gone by the name ‘Frank Cujo’ before settling on Van Damme. JCVD as a young man in Hollywood interestingly worked as a bouncer for Woody’s Wharf, a bar owned by action film icon Chuck Norris.

Think all of it was just acting? Jean Claude's body is simply an athletic wonder that has tested the art of classical ballet and martial arts, with his kickboxing record at 18 wins out of 19 fights, all 18 by a knockout! So no, it was a whole lot of skill and a bit of acting.

On questions about why his career slowly but surely disintegrated, most site an industry ‘block’ after he demanded to be paid as much as or above what comedian Jim Carrey was being paid for a film during his prime in the 90s.

Although his career currently does not match his former success,  he may be in the middle of a comeback with his voice role on the upcoming Minions: The Rise of Gru film to be released in 2022.

Would you still watch JVCD movies?

Join the conversation online, find us on Twitter (@MNet),  Instagram (@mnettv), and Facebook (@MNet) using the hashtag #MNet101.