25-year-old Bianca Bree Van Damme takes pride in her physical fitness.
Her Instagram features pictures of her incredible flexibility and strength, and with more than 51,000 followers, she’s something of a social media sensation. Her followers frequently call her an inspiration, and she’s considering a career as an actress.
None of that should be surprising—after all, for Bianca, greatness runs in the family.
She’s the daughter of action movie star Jean-Claude Van Damme, who rose to prominence with roles in hard-edged flicks like Bloodsport, Universal Soldier, and Kickboxer. Jean-Claude Van Damme is a martial arts legend, and he’s still acting today; he’ll play Master Durand in Kickboxer: Retaliation, due for release sometime this year.
Bianca embraces her family name, but she hasn’t always loved the idea of following in her famous father’s footsteps.
For a time, she went by Bianca Bree; recently, she’s added the “Van Damme” surname to her resume.
“I don’t want to be a shadow of my dad,” she told the Metro. “That’s what these celebrity kids are, really—shadows of their parents. I’d rather go through struggles than
“It’s complicated. I always have people coming up and telling me how much they love my dad. It’s nice to hear, but it’s like…what does that have to do with me?”
Growing up, Bianca kept a few close friends but generally shied away from people. She didn’t anticipate a life as an actress.
Then, one day, she was on set with her father when a film director noticed her.
“It just happened,” she said. “I did a few films with my father then the director of UFO saw me on my father’s reality show and cast me. I just went along with it. My first role was in a film my father was doing. They needed a kid, I was on set, so they gave it to me.”
Soon, Bianca was regularly co-starring in her father’s films, and she co-produced several. A talented athlete, she brings some of her father’s fiery persona to the screen.
“I want to show little girls and little boys that you can be physical and feminine. That you can cross your legs at the dinner table and then kick ass in a nice, feminine way,” she said to the New York Post.
“Kind of like how my father brought martial arts to the mainstream for my generation—I want to continue that legacy.”
Still, her father’s perfectionism occasionally gets on her nerves.
“He’ll be all like, ‘Look how high my kick is!'” she lamented. “And I’m like, ‘Dad, you can’t be serious—I’m obviously better than you!'”
Bianca has had an occasionally tumultuous relationship with her father. However, they’re on fairly good terms these days.
“Our relationship definitely had its ups and downs, but now we’re cool,” she said. “We talk and we hang out, but it’s not like I’m calling him being like, ‘Hey Dad, let’s grab a bite and talk about life.’ We’ll go to the gym and kick and stuff.”