Polanski to appear in New Line pic

Roman Polanski will appear in New Line’s “Rush Hour 3,” starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan and currently shooting in Paris.

Polanski’s been cast as a French police officer who harasses Tucker and Chan’s characters in several scenes while the stars battle a wing of a Chinese organized-crime family.

Though the director’s occasionally acted in European films such as Andrzej Wajda’s “The Revenge,” “Rush Hour 3″ marks his first thesping gig in a Hollywood pic since 1974′s “Chinatown” as “a man with a knife.” After winning the directing Oscar for “The Pianist” three years ago, he last helmed “Oliver Twist.”

Director Brett Ratner told Daily Variety that he persuaded Polanski to appear after a chance encounter while in pre-production in Paris. He expressed particular affection for Polanski’s stint as an actor and director in 1976′s “The Tenant” and the notion of directors such as Orson Welles, Sydney Pollack, Spike Jonze and Albert Brooks working as thesps.

“Roman is my favorite director and my favorite actor, so I asked Jeff Nathanson to write him into the movie,” he added.

Polanski joins a cast including Max von Sydow, Noemie Lenoir, Roselyn Sanchez and Hiroyuki Sanada.

“Rush Hour 3,” penned by Nathanson, is produced by Arthur Sarkissian with Roger Birnbaum, Andrew Z. Davis, Jonathan Glickman and Jay Stern, Ratner’s Rat Entertainment partner.

Polanski fled to Europe in 1978 from the U.S. after pleading guilty to having sexual intercourse with a minor.

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