So I went on a soul-searching mission. It was 1997, and I decided to visit Hong Kong because this historical moment was happening, with the island being handed back to China. I made the mistake of going to Japan first, where I spent all of my money. By the time I got to Hong Kong I was broke. I was in this bar having a drink, depressed that I’d have to go straight back to the U.S., and this guy came up to me and asked if I wanted to be in a TV commercial. I asked how much, and they told me $4,000. And because I wanted to keep traveling, I took the money and did the ad. Well, this director, Yonfan, saw my commercial, and he called me in for an interview, and by the end of the conversation, he asked me to play the lead in his next film. I said to him, “Are you crazy? I don’t act, and I can’t even speak Cantonese!”
That same week, I ran into Jackie Chan at a party, and within a few minutes of talking, he told me he wanted to be my manager. “What, are you serious?” My mind was blown. I went from drinking in a bar to starring in a feature film and having the biggest star in Asia as my manager.