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Jackie Chan or Jet Li, Who plays kong fu better?
2007-06-26 01:58:15 Shanghai Daily

SHANGHAI, June 26 -- FILMING their first movie together, kung fu stars Jackie Chan and Jet Li are a bit fed up with questions about who is the better fighter, The Associated Press said today.

"A cup of coffee and a cup of tea -- both are drinks," Li said in an interview on Chan's official Website. "Can you tell me which one is better? It's hard to say. Sometimes you want to drink coffee, and sometimes you want to drink tea."

The action stars are currently shooting "The Forbidden Kingdom" in China. The Hollywood production is about an American teenager's fantasy journey to ancient China to rescue a mythological monkey king. Li plays the monkey king and a silent monk, while Chan will play another monk called T'sa-Ho.

The Chan-Li pairing has sparked interest in their duels and questions about who would come out on top. The stars themselves, however, are indifferent.

"What he learned and what I learned are different," Li said on Chan's Website. Chan said in his blog that Li is the better fighter.

They offer a contrast in martial arts styles. Trained in Peking Opera, Chan is known for his defensive, dance-like moves. Li, a former national kung fu champion in China, tends to dominate his on-screen opponents.

Both actors got their start in the Hong Kong industry before achieving international stardom in Hollywood. Chan's American credits include the "Rush Hour" series and "Shanghai Noon," while Li appeared in "Lethal Weapon 4," "Romeo Must Die" and "Cradle 2 the Grave."

Still, both stars described their fighting scenes in "The Forbidden Kingdom" as extremely fluent and enjoyable.

Chan said in his blog he and Li fought too quickly for the action to be captured on camera.

"As we went along, Jet would punch faster and faster. I would block faster and faster," he said, adding that some action sequences were shot in one take.

"No matter what the rhythm, tempo, low moves, high moves, hard punches, soft punches, kicks ... we can master it quickly. Although this was the first time we worked together, it seemed we'd been working together forever," Chan said.

Li said in his interview working with Chan was a joy because he could fight continuously.

"In the past I have seldom had a fight sequence with more than ten movements because most of my fighting partners could only do three or four. They couldn't do it smoothly enough or fast enough," he said.

Li also said he and Chan had tried to work together twice in the past but both plans failed.

He also praised Chan's on-set etiquette.

"He takes care of all of us, everyone on the set. He makes sure they have enough water, he gives us hats and clothes ... He cares if people get hurt and is concerned about security. He really cares about everyone. Thats our Big Brother Jackie," Li said.

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