Eiffel Tower has star power in ‘Hour’

Location proved tall order for film's stunts

When Ratner and “Rush Hour 3” descended on Paris to shoot key scenes around the city and a big action sequence staged on the Eiffel Tower, it was the job of Jean-Bernard Bros to make the locations available and ensure that operations ran smoothly.

As Bros, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of tourism and President of Societe d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), notes, “The Eiffel Tower belongs to the city of Paris, which contracts the operations to a limited company, SETE, and we are used to accommodating shoots on the Eiffel Tower.”

Bros notes that “Rush Hour 3” presented exceptional challenges, including 10 all-night shoots, extra hours of the tower’s sparkling illuminations, complex installations on the monument and stunts that needed special security constraints.

So just how nervous were Bros and the French authorities at the prospect of letting loose Tucker, Chan and Ratner on their beloved icon?

“We felt the seriousness of the film crew and the quality of their technical specs allowed us to envisage this shoot without risk to our monument,” he says. “And we think it was a positive idea to associate the world fame of the Eiffel Tower with Jackie Chan’s international popularity. To remain the most popular tourist destination in the world, Paris has to be a trendy and fun place, and this kind of shoot is good business and helps promote our city among young people and our future visitors.”

“The most spectacular scene is the one shot on the second floor, involving some complex choreography with a huge flag,” Bros says. “Our teams worked more than a month with the production before such shots were finalized. The technical file contains more than 100 pages!”

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