THR: Jason Statham ‘has got one of the biggest egos in Hollywood’

The Special Screening of 'Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw' held at the Curzon Mayfair

Jason Statham has always had a somewhat prickly reputation, at least from what I gather. I’m not a Hollywood insider or anything, but I’ve heard/read two different tracks of gossip about Statham: he’s a complete professional on set, AND he’s kind of a jackass in real life. But some people would have you believe that Statham is a lot more temperamental than we’ve already heard. This is just an FYI to a lot of actors: when you switch agencies, expect your old agency to throw some dirt. That’s exactly what’s happening now:

Hollywood’s “life is too short” list may have just grown a little longer. Actor Jason Statham has parted ways with WME, and several sources tell The Hollywood Reporter it was the agency, not Statham, that severed the relationship. However, other sources counter that it was Statham that cut ties. Reps for WME and the Hobbs and Shaw star declined to comment.

At issue was the 52-year-old British actor’s abrupt March 3 exit from Sony’s The Man From Toronto, an action comedy co-starring Kevin Hart that was scheduled to start shooting in April. Typically when an actor drops out of a movie, the cause is money. However, in Statham’s case, the dispute was over Man From Toronto’s intended rating. After agreeing to be in the movie, Statham is said to have issued a last-minute demand: He wanted the project to include material that would guarantee an R rating, according to three sources with knowledge of the situation. Sony executives resisted, insisting they wanted to make an all-audience, broadly appealing movie.

Statham then turned to his agents at WME and said he wanted out. His team, led by Patrick Whitesell, already had negotiated what sources say was a $10 million fee, and they counseled their client to stay in the picture. Besides forfeiting the money, exiting a studio production at the last minute would be a bad look for him, they explained, and Sony was willing to pay the eight-figure salary only because the movie would carry an audience-friendly PG-13 rating. Statham bailed anyway, and soon the actor and his agents parted ways. He has since been replaced by Woody Harrelson.

This isn’t the first time Statham has made unorthodox demands. The actor insisted on a clause in his Fast & Furious contracts prohibiting his character from being beaten up too badly, a request that Fast stars Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson also made. But his WME agents apparently drew the line at asking for content changes that would potentially impact the studio’s bottom line.

“He’s got one of the biggest egos in Hollywood,” says a source close to the situation. A Statham source, though, blames the blowup on Sony rushing the project.

“If a script was there or not, they were going to start shooting,” he says. “That’s not his style.”

Statham had been with Endeavor-owned WME just under a year, having exited CAA in April 2019. The actor also left his longtime manager, Steve Chasman at Current Entertainment, several months ago.

[From THR]

I think all sides probably have some truth here? Statham wanted a say in the script and he wanted the story to be harder and more R-rated, and he was throwing his weight around because he was already attached to the film and because the script was still in flux. And maybe Statham saw the writing on the wall that the film wasn’t going to be his vibe anyway, especially if they made it PG-13. So all of that just seems like a typical give-and-take of preproduction on any film. But the fact that Statham has now left two major agencies in less than a year? Yeah. He’s the problem.

Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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17 Responses to “THR: Jason Statham ‘has got one of the biggest egos in Hollywood’”

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  1. Kelly Darksin says:

    He does look great for being 52 though.

  2. Ali says:

    Already knew he had a major ego

    • jimmywho says:

      I never really liked him or enjoyed his presence in movies. His ego is clearly bigger than his career. I thought his acting came off super tacky and unreal. In a few years all his films will be mocked like Seagal movies.

  3. SJR says:

    Yeah, he is talented, makes movies that play internationally, big profits generally.
    I think he is fine as far as ego. I don’t see his career going for more than 5-10 more years, bit older now. Of course, Stallone and Company are still going on as much older action men.
    JS has done very well for himself, good on him.

    Btw, Ben Affleck turns my stomach. Just saying.

  4. Michelle says:

    I think he has a major Napoleon Complex. That’s all I got.

  5. JLH says:

    hes a white guy who makes action movies. he basically can act as he pleases and nobody will do a darn thing about it. if he were a woman though….imagine how that would play out?

    • Allergy says:

      Yeah. “That bitch” and so on.
      I find him so unattractive. His career success is a mystery to me.

      • harlowish says:

        I once heard someone say he looks like a real life Homer Simpson and now that’s all I can see.

  6. Mrs. Smith says:

    Fun fact: Jason’s now-former rep Patrick Whitesell was married to Lauren Sanchez before she moved on to Bezos.

  7. Maria says:

    I mean I’m not ruling out that he may be a douche but this just sounds kind of standard; personal requests that weren’t met so he backed out? Doesn’t this happen all the time? Idk, I’m not seeing the controversy in this particular instance.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah, same here. I’m willing to believe he’s a big ego, but at the same time, he’s in the privileged position of being able to pick and choose his acting roles. If that one wasn’t what he wanted, I don’t see a problem with any actor deciding it wasn’t right for then and respectfully leaving the project.

      • Sankay says:

        I agree this sounds like standard bitching in parting ways.

        I like him as an action star and I really like how he supports the stunt men and women working in the industry, supporting them to be better recognized in awards as well as financially.

    • Hello says:

      Agree with everything you said

  8. Pretentiousdrama says:

    I met him randomly at a party about 20 years ago and in the course of the evening he announced he was about to give up modelling to give that acting lark a go. I — at the time, a terribly pretentious drama student — informed him that acting was a craft and that he should think again. His response… well let’s just say I believe he’s the problem!

    • nic says:

      I don’t know. It sounds like you were telling him not to go into acting and he told you off. Giving unsolicited discouragement is kinda something you deserve to be told off for. Maybe if you want to give us some details as to what he said or did, I could come around to be sympathetic to you. But in your story, as is, it sounds like you were instigating a fight.

      • Pretentiousdrama says:

        I’m not really in need of sympathy or anyone being on my side, I was a pretentious twat and he was an arrogant twat, it’s no deeper than that!

  9. Nan says:

    He probably has an ego larger than his life, but if these facts are most of the story, I kind of like it.

    In essence, he wants the movie that shows lots of violence to be rated R not “family friendly”. Granted, there’s likely a lot more in the sorty, but that approach gives him a big plus in my eyes.