Jason Statham really got out of his comfort zone when he signed on to Spy. I kept wondering how his casting even came about, but in Jason’s new Guardian interview, the reporter says that writer/director Paul Feig is apparently a HUGE Statham fan and wrote the role with Jason in mind. And to his credit, Jason understood that signing on to the film was a smart move for his career, plus it just seems like he had a ball making the movie with Melissa McCarthy.
Up until this point, Jason’s interviews haven’t been anything special. His recent Esquire cover profile was exceedingly boring – go here to see. But The Guardian actually got him to open up and chat about a lot of different stuff. He even threw some shade on the current crop of superheroes, which I enjoyed. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:
How he approached comedic work: “Paul was saying, ‘Look, just don’t try and be funny. That’s not what I want.’ It harks back to Guy Ritchie saying, ‘Don’t try and act. That’s not what I want!’”
He had difficulty improvising & he bowed down to Melissa: “She was just … great. For myself, it’s not something I’ve been accustomed to experimenting with.”
Whether he does crazy workouts all the time: “It’s been feast and famine. I’ve had untold years of burning the candle: going out, overeating, over-drinking. Even when you do it, you understand you can’t live that way. As you get older, you get a bit wiser.”
He’s still committed to doing action films: “I really like doing action movies. It’s opened the door for me and I’ve had a great career out of it. Why not continue doing something I’ve always wanted to do?”
He hates the younger crop of action stars: “They are not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. 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. But if you really are an aficionado of action movies, you know who’s doing what and who ain’t. To me it’s a little bit sad.”
He’s not impressed with the superheroes either: “You slip on a cape and you put on the tights and you become a superhero? They’re not doing anything! They’re just sitting in their trailer. It’s absolutely, 100% created by stunt doubles and green screen. How can I get excited about that?”
Would he love to play James Bond? “Could I do it? Abso-f–king-lutely. Would I do it? Abso-f–king-lutely. Is Daniel Craig a great Bond? Abso-f–king-lutely. Yeah, I’d make a decent Bond. But it’d be very, very different if I did it.”
Would he play a Bond villain? “Er …I don’t know if I wanna to do that. That’s not my thing. I’d rather play the other guy.”
I really like what he says about action-oriented actors needing to understand how to do their own stunt work. I think that’s fair for Jason in particular to say, since he prides himself on doing all (or almost all) of his own stunt work. And I like that he name-checks Bruce Lee, Jet Li and Jackie Chan as icons of “action actors.” As for Jason and James Bond… he’s 48 years old now. It’s not going to happen. But he’s right, he would have been an interesting choice for Bond.
Photos courtesy of WENN.