Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the most famous action stars in the world; whether you’re a fan of his films or not, you’ve at least heard of him and the magical mullet he used to sport. But what even the most die-hard Van Damme fan might not know is that he was tapped to play the Predator in the 1987 film of the same name, in the early stages of the film before the costume was tweaked.
Special effects master Steve Johnson–who has worked on hits like “Ghostbusters”, “Blade 2”, and “Species”–was recently a guest on The Monster Show and told the story of how exactly Jean-Claude got mixed up with the movie, with hilarious results. Apparently, the effects team worked up a model suit for Van Damme to wear that looks nothing like the Predator we all know and love, because it was meant for the shots where the creature is “cloaked” while running through the jungle. Van Damme wasn’t told this, however, and thought the suit was the actual costume for the character…and he hated it.
He was also upset that his martial arts skills weren’t going to be part of the film, as he’d originally believed, because all they had him do was run back and forth in the Mexican jungle in a big red suit. While Van Damme got the last laugh–he went on to become a huge star even without the film on his list of martial arts credits–he probably doesn’t look back on this time too fondly.
Image via YouTube