Jean-Claude Van Damme Reveals Scrapped $20M Fight With Steven Seagal
Back in the late 1980s and throughout the ’90s, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme were two of the most in-demand action stars in Hollywood. The two actors and martial arts experts became embroiled in a rivalry that was anything but friendly, and at times almost came to blows.
In a new interview with The Telegraph, Van Damme reflected on his relationship with Seagal and what he thought of the actor both then and now.
“The first movie I saw of his, I said, ‘This guy’s going to make it, he’s very charismatic,'” he recounted, working in a jab at the Under Siege star about how he’s physically changed since then: “Even now, with his overweight years, he’s got this Steven Seagal way of talking.”
Peter Guber, the former head of Sony Pictures, saw an opportunity to turn their feud into a money-making venture for everyone involved. “They were having an idea to have a fight between me and Steven at The Mirage [resort in Las Vegas],” Van Damme remembered. “Twenty million each. He didn’t take the fight.”
Though Seagal seemingly chickened out of fighting Van Damme on camera, Van Damme thinks he could’ve made easy work of the action star, claiming he can outdo him physically by practically every metric.
“If him and I fight, I run faster than him—much faster,” The Muscles From Brussels said about Seagal. “I would run away. He’s going to try to catch me, he’s going to get out of shape. I come back and fight.”
With Seagal at 71 and Van Damme at 63 today, a fight between them would certainly be a much different sight than if they’d fought decades ago. Whether on screen or in the ring, it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing these two together any time soon.