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Chris Klein on Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li

Published February 25, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li revamps the video game for modern movie audiences. Co-star Chris Klein is old school though. He grew up playing the original game, or rather the landmark sequel Street Fighter 2 which was effectively the blueprint for all that followed.

Chris Klein Talks Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

"I started my Street Fighter 2 on Super Nintendo," Klein said. "That was the first Street Fighter that I played outside of the arcade. I wasn’t good at it, not nearly as good as my peers, but I liked it. I remember it being the first one-on-one action fighting game that I really liked."

In the new film, Klein plays Charlie Nash, a cop on the trail of Bison, who encounters Chun-Li on her personal vendetta along the way. His performance may suggest action heroes who came before him, but that was purely coincidence.

"That’s a gift that I don’t have, channeling another actor’s performance. I don’t even know where I’d start doing that. A lot of the people that I grew up idolizing are in action movies and the men that I grew up idolizing on screen, of course, loving the movies ever since I can remember and this being one of my favorite genres, There’s absolutely no question about it. We can just run down the list of my favorite movies. There are three action movies in that list. The first one is Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know, Harrison Ford. How can you not be a kid growing up and idolize him? Braveheart, Mel Gibson, along with any of the Lethal Weapon franchise, he’s fantastic. And Romancing the Stone, Michael Douglas, bringing a perfect combination of action hero and comedian. I think that performance is brilliant so those are three good examples."

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

For Nash, Klein learned to handle some artillery. "I guess the only way to ever know that is to actually participate in some form of the military which I never did. The only training that I had up until rehearsals for this picture was making We Were Soldiers a couple of years ago where I played Second Lt. Jack Geoghegan, but this was totally different. Charlie Nash is a run and gun guy, and I have very limited experience with handguns. I don’t own a handgun and it’s not a hobby of mine personally, so upon arriving in Thailand, I started training with some Thai and some Australian special forces that the guys brought in to teach me the appropriate way to use a handgun. We went from Glocks and Walther 9mms all the way through the arsenal to grenade launchers and stuff so we had a real ball doing that. For any dude to do something like that is pretty darn fun."

He even got to do the trademark action shot where he dives out of an exploding building. "I think my favorite action sequence is when the Port Authority office blows up and all hell breaks lose on the top of the harbor pier. That was incredible. There was so much noise and so much going on. It comes off really good on screen, it was absolute mayhem. I remember right before we did the jump stunt, I looked at [the producer] and said, 'It all starts right now. This is going to be three nights of mayhem.' And he goes, 'Don’t get hurt.' I’m blasted out of that building. You see my face and everything. I’m blasted out."

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li will open to theaters on February 27th.

For the trailers, stills, posters and more movie info, go to the Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of respective holders

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