Jet Li is best known for his martial arts moves in flicks like Lethal Weapon 4 and Romeo Must Die. His current movie Cradle 2 the Grave — co-starring rapper DMX — offers more of the same high-kicking hijinks. But while the Beijing-born Li enjoys making "popcorn action films," he'd like to add some new flavor to his steady diet of popped-kernel cinema.

"I've always played the tough guy or the good guy," Li tells TV Guide Online. "And I save the families, the cities, the countries, save everybody. But right now, I'm working in Paris with Morgan Freeman and [director] Luc Besson on a film called Danny the Dog, and this is the first film in which [someone] saves me.

"It's a very unique story," he continues. "My character mentally is only 10- or 12-years-old, but physically, he's very strong. Freeman plays a piano tuner who, through music, [helps me] to become human. It's a very warm story, not a typical action film."

Thus, Danny gave the big-screen badass a chance to test his muscles above the shoulders for a change. And that was scarier than any punch he's ever blocked. "I've made 30 films, but I don't know how to act," Li admits. "It's really difficult to become a 12-year-old boy, and I needed to take lessons with an acting coach."