17 Things You Didn't Know About Jean-Claude Van Damme

He's just so Hollywood-in-the-'90s, isn't he? 

Jean-Claude Van Damme and his wonderful Belgian-French accent charmed his way into America using the classic double pronged approach: karate and ridiculous interviews. From his homelessness to the masterpieces he did for Coors Light and Volvo, we give you 17 things you didn't know about JCVD. 

1. Just like Patrick Swayze, he studied classical ballet.

But you know this already; the man can move.

2. He won a court case over a famous martial artist because the evidence against him was lost in an earthquake.


3. He could bench 366 pounds.

That's not nothing when you consider he's around 185 pounds and is 5'9". Ish.

4. His career fight record as a full-contact kickboxer is 19-1.

Eighteen of those were knockouts. The loss was because he accidentally kicked a dude when he was down.

5. He is famous for saying and doing outrageous things.

For instance: "A cookie has no soul, it's just a cookie. But before it was milk and eggs. And in eggs there's the potential for life."

6. His "zen Franglais" was developed by watching years of The Flintstones, apparently.

It's very unclear whether he was watching it in French or English. Frankly, it could have been in Spanish, who knows.

7. He once had a sex scene with Sloane.

Yes, JCVD was actually married to Ferris' GF in Timecop.

8. He used to spar with Chuck Norris.

He probably lost, let's face it.

9. Known for his splits, he performed the greatest split of all time.

Between two Volvo trucks.

10. He says Charlie Chaplin is the first great action star.

No one disagrees.

11. In 1989, he was sued for willfully gouging the eye of an extra in a sword fight while filming Cyborg.

Sometimes, great artists get lost in their craft. (Photo not from Cyborg; just some eye stuff from Universal Soldier.)


12. There's a statue of him in Belgium.

Now the muscles can forever stay in Brussels.

13. His most recent critical success was in JCVD where he played a fictionalized version of himself falling apart.

Time named it the second best performance of the year.

14. He once was homeless in L.A., eating and sleeping on the street.

Though with a bod like that, it's hard to believe it was difficult for him to find a bed.

15. He made some amazing Coors Light commercials.

Because that's what aging action stars do. 

16. He used to do splits for the paparazzi.

Get on that level, Kanye.

17. The Expendables 2 was the first major movie he did in a decade.

That's why he went from looking like this young dapper soldier to looking like the 55-year-old he is. He had burned most of his bridges in Hollywood and was in a tailspin, though he did do some indie stuff. Apparently dogs and Sylvester Stallone saved him.

We're hoping for more JCVD soon. Don't call it a comeback yet.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. His first JCVD movie was Timecop. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.