Jason Statham has punched a megalodon, teamed up with Stallone, and taken on British gangsters, but now the star faces his toughest challenge yet: working with Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. The duo are set to reprise their Fast & Furious roles in the upcoming movie Hobbs & Shaw, and Statham sat down with GamesRadar and Total Film to chat about the movie and working with Johnson.
Watch the full interview above or written through version below.
"We learnt that The Rock doesn't actually have any tattoos, because he doesn't like needles," Statham jokingly says. "He's also afraid of heights, so anything that happens up high, we have to lower the building down, because he gets really scared. We had to build a car he can fit in. You have to butter his hips to get him in the passenger seat."
Hobbs & Shaw sees the eponymous duo team up to save the world. However, as we learnt in the eighth Fast & Furious movie, that's no easy task because the two muscular heroes detest each other. "And, apparently, that's a great ingredient for a buddy movie," Statham says. "And it is - what better fireworks can you get on camera!" Of a sequel, the actor adds: "We'll have to see how this one does."
One thing few people know about Statham – who has also starred in The Transporter trilogy, The Mechanic, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – is that he was once a diver for England at the Commonwealth games. Before landing his first role in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock, Statham was also a backup dancer (painted silver for good measure) in the music video for Erasure's 'Run to the Sun'. So, how did he go from diving for Queen and country to leading blockbusters with $200 million budgets? Here's his quite lengthy answer in full. You can also watch the entire interview above.
"You never imagine any of that crap to ever happen. You're on a road to nowhere. You never predict the future because the film industry is not anything you have any angle on, despite how talented you may be. I'm not referring to myself; I'm referring to all the great actors who do not get a break. There's a real injustice in the world of the movie industry and what it does. You just have to be in a place where the lightning strikes and you have to make the most of that opportunity.
"I was doing all kinds of stuff, working on the markets, all kind of things that were just... I was never going to meet a director, let alone convince them that I should be in a film. When I made Lock, Stock back in the day, I thought ‘This is it, I’ve just made a movie!' And that was it, I never thought any further than that. Because I wasn't a Shakespearean actor, I didn't have the credentials, I didn't go to RADA. I didn't have anything that gave me an authentic stamp that made me worthy of a movie. And what I learned was that I didn't need that. You just need to be in the right place at the right time.
"But you also need a role that is within your DNA. You need to be able to bring something authentic to the role you're playing. And I've found that, with all the roles I play, I can bring that because I have that sort of background in martial arts, gymnastics. So if you ask me to play a physical role, I have an advantage over all those people who went to drama school for 20 years. They are not going to be able to strap on the gun next to Stallone in The Expendables and do that. They don't have the experience I have.
"What I'm trying to say is, no, I had no fucking clue that I was going to be in a movie, let alone starring next to Dwayne Johnson in something as mountainous as this. It's a $200 million budget movie! And if you think you're deserving of it, then you need to spend a few weeks with my friends and they will bring you back down to earth."
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is in UK cinemas now.