Brussels-born Jean-Claude Van Damme is on the road again, promoting his newest film, ''Double Impact,'' opening Friday, in which he plays twins who were separated at six months of age. When the boys reunite as adults, they look for the men who murdered their parents.
Naturally, Van Damme plays both roles in the film, thanks to cinema magic.
''We tried to get Schwarzenegger or Steven Seagal to play the other brother, but they weren't available,'' he said. ''I'm just kidding.''
Suggest that he is following in Schwarzenegger's footsteps by moving from the muscle movies to action-comedy films, and he says, ''I'm not following in anyone's footsteps.''
Retreat a bit and say, yes, but like Schwarzenegger, you are trying to add humor to your on-screen impersonations, and he says, ''I'm not trying it. I'm doing it. There is humor in the new film, and I will do more. I'll do better later. I want to do a concept movie. I could easily continue to do the same things, but they all begin to look alike. I want to elevate my work. I want to do a love story, a comedy, something with relativity.''
He may work with Jon Peters, one of Hollywood's hot-shot producers. ''They're talking about a remake of 'On the Waterfront.' They're also talking about a sci-fi film, and I think I'll be doing a movie with Dolf Lundgren,'' said Van Damme.
His next project is ''Universal Soldier,'' which he will do for Carolco Pictures, the people who package films with Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
He says he doesn't mind being compared to Schwarzenegger. ''It's better than being compared to people like Chuck Norris,'' he said. ''I want to do big beautiful karate films, because that's how I began, with my karate skills.''
He says he doesn't believe in taking acting lessons. ''I never have and never will,'' he said. ''You don't go to school to learn passion and sensitivity. There are some acting schools in L.A., but they are a joke. All they talk about is method then ask for a paycheck.''
He knows he has a way to go before he has the power that Schwarzenegger and Stallone have. ''I'm just a shadow of those guys, I know that,'' he said. ''You need the power, and I haven't got that yet.''
He also knows the pitfalls of super stardom. ''It's a trap,'' he said. ''Arnold is looking but can't find his next property. When you're that big, the next one always has to be bigger than the last.''
He not only co-authored his new film, he also co-produced, but he doesn't want any of this to jeopardize his work as an actor.
''If I were to become a businessman," he said, "I might lose my quality as an actor, and I love movies. ''I love every aspect of them. They make me feel good. Doing a movie is like being part of a big family.''
He also wants to be ''normal,'' he added. ''Just as you and I are now.''
He'll go on promoting his movies, though, and he should. He's very good at it. He remembers all the people he has met before and is complimentary to them.
''Dolf does a movie then goes on vacation, and you can't do that,'' he said. ''You've got to promote your film. That's why I'm here.''
He's a father again. He and wife Gladys Portuguens have a daughter, Bianca, who is 8 months old. Their son, Kristofer, is 7. ''Bianca is beautiful like her mother,'' he said. ''My boy looks like me.''
Baltimore's Senator Theatre will be the first film house to show the restored version of the 1951 MGM version of Edna Ferber's ''Show Boat.'' According to owner-operator Thomas Kiefaber, the Ted Turner corporation, impressed with the success the Senator has had in showcasing classic films, wanted the Senator to be the first to show the restored film.
Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel and Marge and Gower Champion are in the cast of the musical, which has been done three times on the screen. This version, however, is considered the best.
Kiefaber said that ''Show Boat'' will be shown at the Senator when ''Regarding Henry'' ends its run there.
The 51-year old theater was recently cited by readers of USA Today who, in a poll conducted by the newspaper, identified the Senator as one of the best-managed movie houses in the country.