'I grew up watching his movies'
No matter what critics say, US actor John Cusack does not think that signing up for Dragon Blade is a step-down from doing Hollywood films.
The 48-year-old told M: "That's bulls***. That's a very American-centric view of the world. There's a whole world out there, and some of the best and most innovative directors in the world are coming out of Asia now.
"The idea that this is a step-down is almost laughable. It's a great adventure to come to Asia. It's very interesting to me, getting to work with artists from different cultures."
In Dragon Blade, Cusack plays Roman General Lucius, a warrior who is forced to flee his own country and later befriends Chinese commander Huo An (Jackie Chan).
FAN OF CHAN
Cusack is a fan of Chan's, and it showed during our interview.
"I grew up watching Jackie Chan movies. He has a certain distinctive style of acting, directing and writing, and he is so innovative with his stunts and action," he said.
"Jackie has such a sweet persona. He is constantly asking if I am tired, if I need a stuntman. He wasn't being competitive, he just wanted to know if I wanted to keep going or go home."
In Dragon Blade, there is an intense fight scene between Cusack and Chan.
He said: "Jackie is one of the greatest stunt choreographers that ever lived so I was in good hands.
"The only problem with action scenes is that your body can only stay warmed up for so long... As long as you keep going and stay loose, it's okay.
"Sometimes, after a while in the Gobi Desert where we were filming, my body may tighten up and I may pull my muscles. I just needed to drink a lot of water and remember to stretch."