Jean-Claude Van Damme—is there a Hollywood actor more a caricature of himself? And yet JCVD remains one of the most real, fiercest action heroes in cinema history.
You may also know him as a guy who won a court case due to an earthquake, and that he's trained in classical ballet, but you probably don't think of the Muscles from Brussels as one of the most quotable actors to ever live. In fact, in response to his own nickname he said, "It's better than being called the idiot from Brussels." He once was said to have remarked, "You don't need a flash to photograph a rabbit that already has red eyes."
Who's to say if all of these quotes can be attributed directly to JCVD? It may just be legend. Well, call us dreamers, but we—like the rest of the Internet, and Roger Ebert—like to believe they all originated from the man himself. Below, 17 of Jean-Claude Van Damme's best-ever quotes.
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1. "If you phone a psychic and she doesn't answer the phone before it rings, hang up."
2. "Showing myself nude from behind doesn't pose any problems, but from the front that's another story. I don't want to lose all my fans!"
3. "When I walk across my living room from my chimney to my window, it takes me 10 seconds, but for a bird it takes one second, and for oxygen zero seconds!"
4. "God gave me a great body and it's my duty to take care of my physical temple."
5. ”Obviously I've taken drugs.”
6. “I am fascinated by air. If you remove the air from the sky, all the birds would fall to the ground. And all the planes, too.”
7. "I am the Fred Astaire of karate."
8. "Air is beautiful, yet you cannot see it. It's soft, yet you cannot touch it. Air is a little like my brain.”
9. "My body looks like 30 but my face looks like 50. But I cannot walk bare-chested in the streets."
10. "In the year 3,000, people are going to speak with sound waves. Don't think I'm crazy, the whales do it. Dolphins too."
11. “My last fight was more than 20 years ago. I'm not a fighter, I'm a lover. If somebody's going to speak bad about me, I will walk away. But if a guy like Steven Seagal slaps me once, I will slap him twice as hard. Life is full of violence."
12. "I now truly believe it is impossible for me to make a bad movie."
13. "If you work with a jackhammer during an earthquake, stop, otherwise you are working for nothing."
14. "What is a movie star? It is an illusion. It was everything I ever wanted to be, but it became a kind of shell, non?"
15. "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."
16. "According to statistics, one person out of five is disturbed. If there are four people around you who seem normal, that's not good."
17. "I'm one of the most sensitive human beings on Earth—and I know it."
Ethan Wolff-Mann is an editor at Supercompressor. He is significantly taller than JCVD. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter.