When combining the words ‘Street Fighter‘ and ‘movie’ it generally results in laughter and perhaps a few tears too. Back in 1994 there was huge excitement among gamers at the time that one of their favourite franchises would see a movie adaption. We all know what happened there, but all these years later the director now tells us what exactly transpired on the set.
Steven E. de Souza, who wrote and directed the movie, finally broke his silence on what sounds like an absolute disaster on the set:
“I couldn’t talk about it at the time, but I can now: Jean-Claude was coked out of his mind.”
Keith Heygate, first assistant director on the second unit, backed the director up with his take on Van Damme:
“There was one time he was in the trailer and he was quite pissed. My assistant couldn’t get him out, I couldn’t get him out, so I had to call the producer, Chad Rosen, to get him out. Then he came out with a bottle of champagne. I told him it was against health and safety to have alcohol on set. From that point on, he hated me.”
In 1994 Van Damme was a megastar, having found fame with Blood Sport, Kickboxer and various other films. It seems the fame really did go to his head as fellow actors on the set also had trouble dealing with his arrogance. Roshan Seth, who played Dhalsim, takes a trip down memory lane to recall what they all had to deal with:
“Sometimes he wouldn’t turn up on set – the message would come through from him saying: ‘I have to pump up my muscles!’ and that was that.”
Lastly, the man who played Blanka, Robert Mammone, put the cherry on the cake:
“He’d stay in the trailer until he was ready to come out; he’d take up so much time for a shot; scenes that should have only taken an hour could take half a day.”
If you’re interested in more very interesting trivia about what happened in that movie you should check the entire article. Quite astonishing that one man caused so much chaos for all. Guess that’s what happens when a big actor is demanded for a small budget movie. Capcom surely learnt from that.