Old School Americana & Nostalgia

Movies

Jean-Claude Van Damme Post Epic Behind the Scenes Shot from ‘Predator’ Set: Look

Jean-Claude Van Damme Post Epic Behind the Scenes Shot from ‘Predator’ Set: Look

In a rare throwback on X (formally Twitter), the original Predator star Jean-Claude Van Damme is seen in the notorious alien’s suit while on the film’s set.

“Jean-Claude Van Damme on the set of PREDATOR, in the original Predator suit design before he was fired from the film,” the caption of the X post reads. 


Although he was originally selected for the role, The Hollywood Reporter revealed in 2019 that Van Damme was replaced for numerous reasons, which include him being unhappy with his costume and his tiffs with the film’s producer, Joel Silver. 

Predator casting director Jackie Burch told the media outlet that she thought Van Damme was perfect for the now iconic role. “Jean-Claude Van Damme was someone who used to constantly come into my office, jumping up in the air, showing me his moves, begging me for work,” she explained. “So finally I said to Joel, ‘He’d be great as the Predator because no one moves like him.’ I mean he really is quite amazing.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme Recalls Being Offered the ‘Predator’ Role

The Hollywood Reporter also revealed Jean-Claude Van Damme did recall going to Fox to meet with Predator director John McTiernan to discuss the role. He noted there was one thing that the production was really looking for.

“They made me run around the studio and I jumped like a dance,” Van Damme explained. “‘This guy can jump very high.’ (laugh). ‘Yes. He’s in.’”

In a 1989 interview with Starlog Magazine, Jean-Claude Van Damme admitted that after the initial meeting with the director and production staff, he thought the costume and makeup would be minimal and nothing over the top. “They said I would be in a tight leotard with half-[human], half-animal makeup on my face.”

However, he was surprised with the massive Predator costume and the issues that came with it. It was also noted that the film’s set was in Puerto Vallarta with 100% humidity. “I like to breathe — and they’re gonna do my head and everything,” he explained. “They put in my mouth like a tube [to breathe through]. I was covered in that cast for at least 20 minutes. It was boiling hot.”

Although he got through the casting without any issues, Jean-Claude Van Damme stated he wasn’t impressed with the Predator design. “My head was in the neck. My hands were in the forearms, and there were cables [attached to my fingers to move the creature’s head and jaws].”

In regards to being able to jump in the costume, Van Damme then added it wasn’t easy at all. “When Joel asked me to jump, I knew it was gonna be a bad one. I said, ‘This is impossible, Joel. I think we’re gonna have a problem.”