Jason Statham: 'There's something interesting about playing
a man who is so loyal and true to his word.' Photo MCT
In one of the more perilous, locally shot scenes in new
heist-revenge movie "Parker," Jason Statham is fighting with a
bad guy with a very large knife on a balcony of the Boca Raton
Though you know our lead guy will survive, Parker does get
badly injured, and it's tough to watch.
All part of the Hollywood horseplay for the UK-born Statham,
who's used to breaking a sweat - and a few body parts - in
movies like "The Expendables" (No. 3 starts filming soon),
"Crank" and "The Transporter."
We talked to the surprisingly easy-going action star, 45,
about how he does what he does.
Q. It seems like you may actually have gotten hurt doing this
movie. Are we wrong?
A. At the end of the day, we're just foolin' around. It's
actually a comical sort of feeling filming the violent bits.
We have to give you all something exciting to see but keep
ourselves safe. We had to make it look like I was going to go
over that balcony. I really enjoy the big stunts. They give
you a feeling of accomplishment, like you've lived to tell
the tale. Me and (Michael ) Chiklis did bang our heads
together pretty good a few times, though! We had a few
bruises to take home.
Q. How would you describe your character? As a thief with a
heart of gold?
A. There's a reference to Parker in the movie to him being a
"rock" in that he's unstoppable. I say he's a regular guy
who's got a fixation on puttin' things right. He is tough and
intense and won't stop at anything to make happen what needs
to happen. There's something interesting about playing a man
who is so loyal and true to his word.
Q. How was it working alongside director Taylor Hackford and
co-stars Jennifer Lopez, Nick Nolte and Patti Lupone?
A. Nick Nolte was really something special. I was like, "Oh
my God, I'm going to do a scene with a cinema legend." A
moment you'll never forget. You don't get to work with people
like that all the time. And Taylor Hackford is such a
respected director that he's able to put such a strong cast
together like that. The pairing of Patti and Jennifer as
mother and daughter was absolutely brilliant, perfect.
Q. How was it logistically working in Palm Beach? Very
different from shooting "Transporter 2"?
A. They were really sort of accommodating in Palm Beach, but
it's not the simplest place to make a movie, with the permits
and to get a crew down there. But such a beautiful place. I
remember doing "Transporter" clearly: We shot in the summer
and shut down production for three hurricanes. It was crazy,
a very testing time. We'd let the storm pass, then another
would come. I have great memories of the area, as a kid
traveling to Miami Beach with my mum and dad annually. Going
to the hotels with the big diving boards and lounging around.
Q. What kind of shape do you have to be in for "Expendables
A. Not much. The preparation's already been done over the
course of the last 10 years or so. You just have to turn up!
Really, though, it's great to have this experience, making
these movies with Sylvester Stallone has been a privilege.
Q. You've also done other family friendly projects like
"Gnomeo & Juliet." Any chance we'll see you in a romantic
comedy one day?
A. Yes, I would absolutely consider that. But you have to
wait for the phone call. You can't go knocking on doors. You
have to be right for the director's vision. I like the voice
work. There's only so much pain you can sort of inflict on
yourself in a sound room with a mike. A safe bet!