Working with a legion of A-list action stars in "The Expendables 2" was a priceless experience for Jean-Claude Van Damme. Though Van Damme himself is also known as a notable action veteran, the Belgian actor confessed that he learned a lot from his co-stars, including lead actor Sylvester Stallone.
"I have lots of respects for them, so I felt great," the 51-year-old thesp told Total Film about his co-stars. "Stallone was very happy about my acting. He was kinda upset because he didn't know which take to take. So he's a great teacher in a sense of knowing the character. Very intelligent."
The "Cyborg" actor continued singing praises to Stallone, "He's really making a movie as an Expendable. It's almost like he has his own world. He's created a world and he's in that world. I have a lot of respect for that because he really showed me how much a person can love a film."
The martial artist-turned-actor said that working on the star-studded movie felt like a reunion for him. "Being with all those guys was kinda cool because I knew all of them before," he shared. "I met them on the screen. I met them on my way up when I was just doing movies like 'Bloodsport', 'Kickboxer'... And then the opening of Hollywood Planet. So it was kinda like a reunion."
On playing the lead villain in the sequel to "The Expendables", Van Damme gushed, "I've got to say a big thank you to the idea of Stallone putting the Expendables together, and to choose me for the villain. 'I wanted to play the villain,' I said. Which is not stupid. Stallone said, 'F***, he's giving me the pleasure to kick the s*** out of him'."
The Brussels-born star additionally stated that he was never being starstruck in his co-stars presence. "They didn't see me as Jean-Claude Van Damme in a sense," he opened up. "They saw me running and shaking hands to everyone like kind of a cool kid. That's how I felt. But I didn't do it on purpose."
Also starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jet Li, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth and Jason Statham, "The Expendables 2" will be released in the U.S. on August 17.