But today she’s embracing Jean-Claude Van Damme’s legend with one roundhouse kick after the other!
“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 tells 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.”
With films such as Bloodsport, Kickboxer and Street Fighter on his CV, Jean-Claude – aka ‘The Muscles From Brussels’ – was the biggest action box-office star of the late 1980s and early 90s.
Bianca started acting – and eventually, doing martial arts – alongside her dad, in 2008’s The Shepherd: Border Patrol. Though she enjoyed the experience, she didn’t take it too seriously.
“I didn’t like what I saw on-screen when I watched my first film. I realised that if this was what I was going to do, I needed to do it right.”
So she buckled down, determined to work harder the next time Dad gave her a break. She’s since co-starred in six of Jean-Claude’s films and even co-produced a couple of them.
Even as she acted alongside Jean-Claude, she felt compelled to distance herself.
“It’s complicated,” she says. “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?”
Bianca admits that it’s only recently that she’s mended their fractured relationship.
“Yeah, it was tough. It’s never been like I’m my father’s little girl or princess.
“Our relationship definitely had its ups and downs, but now we’re cool. 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.”
Bianca’s certainly inherited his skills. Just like Jean Claude, she can do crazy flying kicks and spins and even a balancing split that mimics his infamous 2013 Volvo commercial.
One big sign that things are better between the two Van Dammes?
Bianca’s now using her dad’s stage name professionally, even as she’s signed on to make some films without him.