Jean-Claude Van Damme Allegedly Was Coked Out Of His Mind While Filming Street Fighter

Jean-Claude Van Damme Guile Street Fighter

Though it can still arguably be said that the video game movie genre has never produced a legitimately great feature, 1994's Street Fighter remains a cultural touchstone that many fans love to (sometimes ironically) return to time and time again. The movie has widely become known for its campy, B-movie greatness, but it also turns out that star Jean-Claude Van Damme was allegedly frequently on cocaine during the shoot. In a recent profile on the film, Street Fighter writer and director Steven de Souza explained:

I couldn't talk about it at the time, but I can now: Jean-Claude was coked out of his mind. The studio had hired a wrangler to take care of him, but unfortunately the wrangler himself was a bad influence. Jean-Claude was calling in sick so much I had to keep looking through the script to find something else to film; I couldn't just sit around for hours waiting for him. On two occasions, the producers allowed him to go to Hong Kong, and both occasions he came back late -- on Mondays he just wasn't there at all.

The production of Street Fighter was a notoriously troubled shoot, and Jean-Claude Van Damme apparently didn't make it any easier on the cast and crew. Arguably at the height of his power as an action star at the time of the film's production, the Belgian action hero was reportedly a frequent user of cocaine, which, according to Steven de Souza's remarks to The Guardian, made filming the movie incredibly tricky at times.

In the end, however, the film DID get made, and Jean-Claude Van Damme's Colonel Guile arguably remains one of the most memorable (and also utterly absurd) characters in the entire movie. Check out one of his best scenes, below!

Of course, in the years since Street Fighter debuted, Jean-Claude Van Damme has found ways to carve out a new reputation for himself as an actor and an action star. Though his heyday in the genre has arguably passed, he has since taken a far more self-aware approach to himself by embracing comedy and self-parody. These opportunities have seen him become a well-known commercial star, as well as the villain in The Expendables 2 and even the star of his own Amazon series called Jean-Claude Van Johnson, which was recently canceled by the streaming service.

The Street Fighter adaptation remains an odd moment in the video game movie genre's history, and we will continue to bring you more updates related to all of the films in this particular subgenre as new details are made available to us. Until then, you can head over to our movie premiere guide to learn more information on this year's biggest releases!

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.