Do you remember the epic feud between Dolph Lundgren and Jean Claude Van Damme in the 1990s? Yeah, it was completely staged.
As the story goes, The Expendables 2 co-stars faked an elaborate fight at the Cannes Film Festival back in 1992. While standing in front of a large crowd, the two pushed each other and acted as though they were going to start throwing punches. They even shared some pretty intense and vulgar words with each other.
When the fight heated up, the actors’ bodyguards joined the action and stepped in to keep things from escalating—meaning, they were in on it, too.
So why did the two stars go through all that trouble and pretend to hate each other? For publicity, of course.
After getting the drama got its time in the spotlight, Van Damme admitted the idea came from a dance act that his fellow actions stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger put together at the same festival one year earlier.
Because Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s antics were such a hit, Van Damme called up Lundgren and suggested they create some “friction” while walking down the red carpet. The actor thought if they did, it would drive people to the theaters to see their upcoming movie, Universal Soldier.
And as suspected, the stunt worked. The stunt instantly made headlines and helped raise ticket sales for the movie. The fake fight then progressed into a fictional ongoing feud that kept the media busy for months to come.
Eventually, the actors came clean about the drama. And to this day, the story has turned into an ongoing joke that Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme still reminisce about to this day.
Jean-Claude Van Damme Saves Chihuahua From Euthanasia
It turns out that the villainous action star Jean-Claude Van Damme is softer than he appears.
Last year, the Timecop actor heard about a passport debacle that was going to lead to the euthanization of a three-year-old chihuahua puppy named Raya. So he used his celebrity status to rally a support crowd and save the pup from certain death.
As Raya’s former owner shared on a Change.org petition, the puppy was born in Bulgaria. And her owners sold her to a new family in Norway. But after deeming the dog’s passport invalid, Norway attempted to send Raya back to Bulgaria. And her homeland refused to take her. Because of the dispute, the European Union decided Raya had to be put to sleep.
Once Jean-Claude Van Damme saw the story circulating on social media, he stepped in to help.
“They made a mistake, the people who didn’t do the paper correctly,” Van Damme wrote on Twitter while sharing the petition. “But they cannot kill that little chihuahua.”
Once the actor blasted Raya’s story, the petition got the traction it needed to save the dog. While Raya never made it to her new family in Norway, she was given up for adoption and found a new home in Bulgaria.