- Title: GERMANY: The Smith family takes Berlin by storm
- Date: 20th July 2010
- Summary: BERLIN, GERMANY (JULY 19, 2010) (REUTERS) RED CARPET AT PREMIERE OF KARATE KID KUNG FU ARTISTS PERFORMING
- Embargoed: 4th August 2010 13:00
- Location: Germany
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVA9CKRLJZWY7WSNGA6W7Z3RH7CG
- Story Text: Thousands of screaming fans lined the red carpet of the premiere of Karate Kid in Germany on Monday (July 19).
Young Jaden Smith brought along his whole family: dad Will, mum Jada Pinkett and sister Willow as well as co-star Jackie Chan.
The 12-year-old son of actors Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith makes his debut in a lead role in the new "Karate Kid" film.
Smith plays Dre Parker, an American boy who moves to China with his mother, who is transferred to Beijing from Detroit, USA for work.
Dre quickly finds life tough in Beijing. He is no match for the local bullies who attack him with their kung fu moves and Dre's attempt to fight them with the little karate he knows, fails spectacularly.
He must learn how to defend himself, or continue to be bullied.
Enter Mr Han, played by Jackie Chan. He's the maintenance man in Dre's block who just happens to be a kung fu master willing to take on a young charge.
"After you learn martial arts like Jaden, you know, now he knows respect. He can take the pressure. He was crying, but he was training. Why? Because he wants to be the best, a Jackie Chan or a Will Smith" Chan said of teaching young children martial arts.
"You know, when I was young the director told me, you are stupid, and the teacher said you are useless. I would go home and wanted to show them I am the best. So I am here to tell all the parents you should take your son to karate, judo, teakwondo, martial arts, Chinese kung fu, whatever. Because those kind of things, they teach people to respect your parents, your life, the world, respect your country. Martial arts is the best" Chan added.
To prepare for the role, Smith was paired with Wu Gang, the stunt co-ordinator from Jackie Chan's Stunt Team, formed in 1983 to choreograph movie fight scenes.
He juggled school with training in Los Angeles for three months before production began and continued perfecting his kung fu skills in Beijing for the duration of the four-month shoot.
Because Smith's character Dre was moving to China, it was decided that he would need to learn a Chinese fighting style rather than karate, which has Japanese origins.
The karate reference in the movie comes when Dre is teased for using karate instead of kung fu.
The film was produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, meaning Jaden was working with his parents. They said it was easy to keep the balance making sure Jaden still felt like a kid despite being hard working like an adult:
"Well it's easy, because he doesn't have to pay any bills, so when your parents are still the bread winners of the house you still have to do what we say" Jada Pinkett Smith said, with her husband laughing.
It was their job, along with director Harald Zwart to give Karate Kid a modern update.
There's no doubt the youngest Smith's family ties have helped him become the new Karate Kid, but he's already proving to be a talent in his own right, winning a Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Young Actor for his role in "The Day The Earth Stood Still". He also won several awards for his role as Chris Gardner Jr in "The Pursuit of Happyness".
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