BEIJING - Jail has done actor Jaycee Chan the world of good, according to his dad.
Action superstar Jackie Chan says his son has been more disciplined, neater and more helpful around the house after he was jailed for six months for a drug offence - so much so that he thinks Jaycee should go back behind bars every year.
In an interview with Oriental Daily News that was published today, Jackie said: "He used to be lazy and not focused enough. Now I see him placing his shoes neatly, eating all the food his mother cooks for him, carrying bowls, folding clothes."
Seeing how much Jaycee has been changed by his time in jail, Jackie said he told his son: "Why don't you go back for half a year every year?"
"He said, you can't go back if you haven't done anything. I joked and told him to send in a request. It's quiet there and he can write songs."
Since his release from jail last month, Jaycee's relationship with his father has been calmer, Jackie said. "We used to clash as soon as we talked, we could clash watching TV, now we don't. I sense he has a lot of things he wants to tell me. He plays me songs, and says he wants to write scripts."
Jackie said he did not scold Jaycee for his trouble with the police because "he's already been punished". He added: "But he doesn't dare look up at me, he looks so remorseful, and this isn't a Jaycee I'm used to."
After his tough talk in the weeks before Jaycee's release, Jackie seems to have softened. He had said he would not join his wife, retired actress Lin Feng-jiao, and his son for Chinese New Year before completing the promotional tour for his movie Dragon Blade. But on Feb 23, Jackie took a few hours off from his tour in China to see his son in Taiwan.
Recounting the reunion, Jackie said he was in a rush, going upstairs to the family's apartment as his employees told a nervous Jaycee about his arrival over the intercom. "The door opened, and I gave him a deep hug," Jackie said.
A quiet dinner with his son and wife followed. "The feeling was so warm, we hadn't been like this for so long," he said. The silence became awkward though and he asked Jaycee about his time in jail. "He was in there six months, and had not one word of complaint. He said, 'Dad, now I have more experience than you. If you have a question, ask me.'"
Jackie has also changed his mind about making movies with Jaycee. He had said he would not, but "if Will Smith can stop working for half a year to help his son, I'm also cancelling my own insistence".
He said Jaycee had shown interest in scripting the sequel to his 2012 movie Chinese Zodiac, and they would work together "if it's right".