Jean Claude Van Damme Was "Coked Out of His Mind" On Street Fighter

It's a hell of a drug...

Street Fighter JCVD
Universal Pictures

In a world of terrible video game to movie adaptations, Street Fighter remains one of the most notorious. Despite having a brilliant villain performance by Raúl Juliá and some... interesting ideas (to put it charitably), the film was a mess and its only real merit these days is as a kitsch oddity that seems to take itself WAY too seriously.

That it was made at all is quite an achievement though, if you believe the set stories of director Steven de Souza, who gave an interview to The Guardian as part of their profile on the movie. Because their biggest star was difficult to work with, thanks to his extra-curricular activities.

In other words, his drug use:

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“I couldn’t talk about it at the time, but I can now: Jean-Claude was coked out of his mind. The studio had hired a wrangler to take care of him, but unfortunately the wrangler himself was a bad influence. Jean-Claude was calling in sick so much I had to keep looking through the script to find something else to film; I couldn’t just sit around for hours waiting for him. On two occasions, the producers allowed him to go to Hong Kong, and both occasions he came back late – on Mondays he just wasn’t there at all.

de Souza talks about the other issues the film faced, like spending way too much on Van Damme and Julia and not being able to afford to train the rest of the cast in martial arts - or hire better actors. With all of that in mind, it's no real surprise it's not a great film.

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