Mostly known for his roles as badass tough-guys, it’s only normal to wonder whether the English native does his own stunts for his many action-packed movie roles.
Jason Statham frequently does his own stunts in the films he stars in, and he is a large advocate for stunt performers to get more recognition for their enduring and often dangerous jobs. He’s made it a point to do his own stunts from the start of his career.
How did he train and learn how to do his own stunts? Keep on reading to find out more about Statham’s history with stunts.
Not So Far From His Roles
Before becoming one of the biggest action-movie stars in the business, Statham was already a keen athlete. After moving to Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, England, he made the choice to go down his own career path.
He got into martial arts, and also started playing football for his grammar school in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Along with these sports, Statham also gained a passion for diving.
Soon enough, his training in the martial arts made him a powerhouse in MMA where he’s considered top-tier, and he became a member of the National Swimming Squad of Britian for over ten years.
What many don’t know is that he even competed in the 1990 Commonwealth Games, representing England in diving. He told IGN in 2003 that “it was a great experience, you know, to travel the world and compete at a certain level. It teaches you discipline, focus, and certainly keeps you out of trouble.”
In that same IGN interview, Statham was questioned whether he’s comfortable doing his stunts.
He replied, “Yes, but I’d do more if they let me. I’ve never really been frightened to do anything. It’s always an issue of safety that sort of prevents me from doing everything. Apart from things like fire burns and stuff that’s completely out of your control, I’m really keen to do any of that stuff anyway. But, you know, half the time they don’t see who it is.”
2002 rolled around for Jason, and he scored a lead role as Frank Martin an action-thriller film called The Transporter. He did all of his own stunts for the film, and continued to do so for the rest of the Transporter trilogy.
Several other action flicks ensued, like Revolver (2005), Crank (2006), and The Bank Job (2008), where he did most, if not all, of his stunts.
While he isn’t shy about performing his own stunts, Statham understands the perilous nature of doing your own stunts. Speaking to ExtraTV on the unfortunate injury of a stuntman on Fast & Furious 9, Statham had this to say:
“It’s an unpredictable science. Sometimes you do every measure that you can to eliminate these things from happening, and, you know, it’s just a real shame that accidents happen.”
Passionate About The Stunt Industry
Statham doesn’t just do his own stunts and call it a day – the actor is also heavily passionate about the entire industry. He’s often expressed his beliefs on the importance of actors performing their own stunts.
“I’m inspired by the people who could do their own work. Bruce Lee never had stunt doubles and fight doubles, or Jackie Chan or Jet Li. I’ve been in action movies where there is a face replacement and I’m fighting with a double, and it’s embarrassing.”
In an interview with Vanity Fair, he further pushed his thoughts on stunt doubles getting the recognition they deserve, calling for them to be acknowledged by award ceremonies.
“I think it is an overlooked category,” Statham told the magazine, especially considering “how much responsibility these coordinators have for some of the greatest entertainment in action movies. I mean, all of the stunt men—these are the unsung heroes. They really are. Nobody is giving them any credibility.”