As an actor, producer and martial arts champion, Jet Li is a household name around the world. Throughout his epic career Li has starred in some of the biggest action films in China and the USA.
Over two nights, World Movies celebrates this icon of martial arts with the Australian premiere of two of his latest films as part of WM: Jet Li. Tune in to Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate at 7.30pm tonight and The Sorcerer and the White Snake tomorrow, Wednesday 19th June at 7.30pm.
To help you get to know a little more about the man behind the martial arts, we’ve pulled together a few facts about this legend of modern cinema.
10 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT JET-LI
1. Li made his American film debut as the villain in Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) before taking on the lead role in the hit Romeo Must Die (2000). Since then Li has taken roles in several Hollywood films, including making an appearance in Forbidden Kingdom with Jackie Chan (2008).
2. His real name is Li Lian Jie. He was give the nickname ‚ÄòJet’ due to his agility and grace and the name stuck after a publicity company in the Philippines found his real name too difficult to pronounce.
3. Li was born on April 26, 1963, in the suburbs of Beijing, China, in a town called Hebei.
4. His physical prowess results from extensive training in Wushu (Chinese Combat arts). As a child he was enrolled in an academy where the school’s coach took immediate interest in Li, noting his natural talent.
5. Before he was even a teenager, he had won five national titles in Wushu.
6. In 1974, at the age of eleven he was given the chance to perform his Wushu moves for President Richard Nixon on the lawn of the White House.
7. When he was 12 he was approached by a kung fu film producer. They remained in contact until he was 17, when he was given the leading role in his very first movie, The Shaolin Temple.
8. Li was in the Maldives when the 2004 tsunami hit. He suffered a minor foot injury while guiding his daughter to safety.
9. Jet Li turned down a role in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon due to his wife’s pregnancy. He is married to Miss Asia Pacific 1986, Nina Li Chi.
10. He is a Red Cross ambassador and also the founder of Jet Li One Foundation Project, a charitable organization providing relief to victims of natural disasters and people coping with mental issues.