25. Little Drummer Boy
The young Statham was roped into the family band. His dad was the singer, his older brother played guitar, and Jason was on the drums. He still hasn’t stopped hitting things.
24. Taking a Dive
Statham was one of Britain’s top divers, competed in Olympic trials, the Commonwealth Games, and placed an impressive 12th at the World Championships.
23. International House of Beefcake
Statham has said that he used international competitions as an opportunity to meet international women. He was always an action star.
22. FYI: A Lorry is a Truck
Jason’s father, Barry, was a bit of a hustler, selling knock-off jewelry and perfumes on London’s busiest streets. “It didn’t just fall off the back off a lorry,” Statham said, “Someone pushed them and I caught them. We made thousands.”
21. Fake It Til You Make It
When auditioning for Guy Ritchie for a part in Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels, he was challenged with having to sell a piece of fake jewelry. He literally conned his way into the movie business.
20. Horsing Around
Producer Matthew Vaughan drove to the Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels set in his brand new Porsche, and when he left, he heard a terrible clanking sound coming from his car. He took it to a mechanic only to discover that Jason Statham had filled his trunk with horseshoes.
19. Not On Board
Statham and director Ritchie have an ongoing feud over who is a better chess player. According to Statham, Ritchie is “probably the worst chess player in the world.”
18. He Bought the Wrong Vowels
Statham’s workout regimen for diving resulted in a physique that got him quite a bit of work for Hilfiger, Levis, and French Connection. So instead of medaling, he did modeling.
17. Never Happened
Statham was in a music video for Erasure, a syth-pop duo, that he wishes he could erase.
Still athletic, Statham is a floating member of the Hollywood United FC, a soccer club set up by the Sex Pistol’s guitarist Steve Jones. Teammates include Dermot Mulroney, Robbie Williams, and Vinnie Jones.
15. Gimme a Break
Statham’s big break was for a Kit-Kat commercial in the UK where he points out that maybe being a salmon is too much work. He’s not wrong.
14. Like Father, Like Son
While helping his dad carry the driving load on long journeys, Statham picked up quite a few bad driving habits before the age of 15, and by the time he got around to taking his driver’s test he failed three times. Not the best quality in a Transporter.
13. King of the Hill
When it came time to showing off his skills behind the wheel in the remake of The Italian Job, Statham spent some time learning how to drive from F1 champion Damon Hill.
12. Not the Best Decision
Statham dropped out of the lead role of the film Dog Soldiers for a part in John Carpenter’s Ghost of Mars only to get bumped into a smaller role by Ice Cube who then called the movie the worst of his career.
11. Fear Factor
After his Cellular co-star Kim Basinger requested Statham surprise her in order to really get her to look scared on camera, Statham went after her throat with a belt. It worked.
10. Sweet on Him
In the Transporter, Statham covers himself in auto oil to evade capture showing off that fine model body. The oil was actually syrup. Yum.
Statham does almost all his own stunts. He’s Britain’s version of Jackie Chan.
8. Hanging by a Thread
Among the stunts he performed was Crank’s climactic helicopter fight where he hung from a helicopter 2,000 feet over downtown LA. The only thing keeping him from falling to his untimely death was a small belt and a thin wire. Presumably a very strong wire.
7. Real Love
Crank featured Statham’s bare ass in a legendary love scene where the extras weren’t told they were about to witness a public simulated sex scene. Their shocked-turned-delighted reactions are quite genuine.
6. A Hard Man is Good to Find
In preparing for Death Race, Statham trained so hard his body fat dropped from 20% to 6%.
5. Prison Talk
While performing research for Death Race at maximum-security Corcoran Prison in California, one of the inmates remarked that Statham looked like, well, Jason Statham. The prisoner who recognized him was a mass murderer who decapitated his victims. The man knew his heads.
4. Called to Duty
Statham was the voice of Sgt. Waters in the videogame Call of Duty.
3. Smooth Criminal
Statham got into trouble with the law for his mad driving skills after he was arrested for joyriding on a “borrowed” golf cart following a party at Coachella in 2010.
2. Photo Op
While attending a party at the Playboy mansion, Statham declined a photo with some of the girls. Hugh Hefner took exception to his snub and had him tossed.
During the filming of The Expendables, Stallone was swapped with Statham at the last minute for the scene where they were to fire cannons from the nose-cone of a plane. It was later revealed that the engine was leaking and they were lucky to not have crashed. Or Stallone was unlucky that his plot to murder Statham fell through. Either or.