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Jackie Chan to stop performing his own stunts in films

Kung fu superstar Jackie Chan said this week that while upcoming film Chinese Zodiac would be his last big action movie, he would still be packing punches in the world of philanthropy.

The 58-year-old actor was in Beijing shooting a documentary and auctioning a Bentley 666 to set an example to China’s leagues of newly wealthy, whom he hopes will give more to charity.

Chan was recently awarded social philanthropist of the year by Harpers Bazaar magazine.  

Chan’s newest film, Chinese Zodiac, which is set to premier in cinemas from Dec. 12, was written, directed and produced by Chan, who also plays the lead role.

“For the last ten years [it’s] my best film for myself. I’m the director, I’m the writer, I’m the producer, I’m the action director, almost everything. This really, really is my baby. You know, I’ve been writing the script for seven years, and one in a half year in the making,” he said.

In the film, Chan is a treasure hunter seeking to repatriate sculpture heads of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac which were taken from Beijing’s Summer Palace by French and British forces during the Opium Wars.

Chan said the film was an important film for him because it is his last major action feature, although he insists it is not the end of his action career.  

“Honestly, I’m not young anymore … I just don’t want to risk my life to sit in a wheel chair, that’s all,” he said noting he’ll likely rely on green screen technology and stunt doubles in his upcoming projects.

In addition to film work, Chan also hopes to dedicate more time to charitable work.

With over 700 participants in total attending Monday’s Autumn Arts and Finance Auction in Beijing, Chan, an avid car fan, auctioned off the Bentley 666 for around six million yuan (US $961,837).

It was the only item at the event auctioned for charity.

Citing Warren Buffet and Bill Gates as influences, Chan hopes to encourage more Chinese millionaires to give their money to good causes.

He announced in 2006 that he would bequeath half of his personal fortune to charity, leaving the other half for his wife and son.

Explosive economic growth over the last three decades has left China with over 500,000 people with at least $1 million to invest, but giving to charity is a comparatively new phenomenon in the world’s most populous country.