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Movies & TV

21st Oct 2023

The Late Late’s bizarre interview with Jean-Claude Van Damme did not disappoint

Stephen Porzio

Van Damme

Flubs, sweating and bottles being kicked off of people’s heads – it was dynamite television.

JOE were understandably very excited when it was revealed that action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme was to appear on The Late Late Show.

And thankfully his guest spot on the programme did not disappoint, mainly due to several frankly quite odd moments – perhaps the most noteworthy of which was JCVD getting confused between Belfast and Dublin.

Best known for his starring turns in the ’80s and ’90s films Bloodsport, Kickboxer, Universal Soldier, Hard Target, Timecop, Street Fighter and Sudden Death – Van Damme was in Ireland this week to launch his own brand of Irish whiskey Old Oak.

As part of the launch, he was up in Belfast before coming down to Dublin to chat with Late Late host Patrick Kielty.

Speaking to the presenter, JCVD said: “I’ve been here before in Dublin years ago… then I was not here for a long, long time.

“I was in Los Angeles, Asia, South America. I travelled around the world and I’m back here with you in Belfast.”

Joking about the error, Kielty quipped to Van Damme: “Don’t worry. Thank God, it’s not live.”

Realising his mistake, the action star responded: “Dublin. Sorry, sorry, sorry… So, I’m here then in Dublin,” to which he received huge cheers from the audience.

Explaining his flub, JCVD later added: “They give me a schedule and I see Dublin, Belfast, Dublin, Belfast… Dublin and Belfast, jeez, what a mistake.”

Putting him at ease, Kielty joked: “I know what you mean, you’ve come to Ireland and you’re drinking your own whiskey. That’s the problem.”

The Late Late’s bizarre interview with Jean-Claude Van Damme did not disappoint

Over the course of their conversation, the pair discussed JCVD’s Hollywood career, his nickname ‘The Muscles from Brussels’ and the viral ad from 2013 in which the action star performed a split between two moving trucks.

Amid the chat, Van Damme told Kielty he was “in great shape”, stating that the host was “tall” and had “strong legs”, at which point the presenter self-deprecatingly told the Late Late audience: “This is why he [Van Damme] was one of the greatest actors that ever went to Hollywood.”

Throughout the interview, Van Damme was noticeably very sweaty and at one point during the chat thanked Late Late staff off-stage for turning on the “air conditioning”.

He then said of Kielty: “You know what’s he’s doing? He’s a smart guy. He’s put in heated chair, like a Bentley or a Rolls Royce.”

Kielty then quipped: “Just take a picture of this. This is what happens when you go on the lash in Belfast on a Thursday night and turn up in Dublin on a Friday. We’ve all been there.”

After his segment, JCVD even stuck around for Kielty’s conversation with Irish former footballer and pundit Liam Brady.

As well as this, the Muscles from Brussels also provided a demonstration of his martial arts skills, at one point kicking a bottle off of Kielty’s head.

All in all, it was just unforgettable TV.

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