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Celebrity in China$
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Louise Edwards and Elaine Jeffreys

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789622090873

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622090873.001.0001

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Jet Li: ‘Wushu Master’ in Sport and Film

Jet Li: ‘Wushu Master’ in Sport and Film

(p.103) 6 Jet Li: ‘Wushu Master’ in Sport and Film
Celebrity in China

Mary Farquhar

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines Jet Li's celebrity status in relation to the sports and film worlds. It first explores the early basis of Li's fame against the broad backdrop of China's changing sports sector. Li was acclaimed as a wushu champion who won national sports competitions, leading to international performances as his country's ambassador. It then focuses on Jet Li's film image, especially in Shaolin Temple, his film debut. The chapter ends by arguing that Jet Li is now a superstar: a wushu master with few peers among martial arts stars in Chinese or world cinema, and a celebrity whose star image builds bridges between China's past and present and between China and the rest of the world.

Keywords:   Jet Li, sports, film, Shaolin Temple, wushu, martial arts

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