Five Favorite Films with Jason Statham
The Transporter star also talks Corey Yuen, Olivier Megaton and his just-announced film with Sly Stallone and Jet Li.
I hear you visit Rotten Tomatoes...
Jason Statham: Sometimes, yeah! You're making all these films, and sometimes - hey, listen, it can be quite depressing or it can give you a big head for all the wrong reasons. So I don't know whether it's a good thing or a bad thing, but sometimes you spend so many hours making these films...people are going to give an opinion on them, and everyone's entitled to an opinion. There's always good and there's always bad. So it's best not to take it too seriously, but at the same time it's nice to know people support what you're doing, and at the same time you also get the ol' custard pie. "That was a piece of crap!" But at the end of the day, no one tries to make a bad movie. And people really do work hard. And there are a lot of people involved. And sometimes it doesn't end up the way it was supposed to end up. So to think that some people just say, "Well that was a piece of shit..." It's quite harsh when you read that. But at the end of the day, it's just us trying to do good.
And you're just a part of the whole picture...
JS: Yeah, you're not solely responsible for the finished product. But it is what it is; people like feedback.
The Bank Job got great reviews.
JS: I know! I was like, hey, somebody likes a movie of mine!
You mentioned how influential Bruce Lee was to you; in many of the scenes in your movies, but especially in Transporter 3, you seem to be going for such a precise physicality that is reminiscent of Bruce Lee's lightning-quick moves and poses.
JS: Oh, God. Bruce Lee was just so lightning-fast. People try to emulate him in whatever way they can, but to try and do what he was doing...you're just inspired by it; you're not trying to say, look, I can do that. No one can do what he did.
And Corey Yuen, by the way, is the one that creates all these sequences. [Yuen directed the first Transporter film, served as second unit director on Transporter 2, and choreographed the action in Transporter 3.] He's ultimately responsible for those choreographed pieces.
Now, Corey directed the first Transporter; the second film was by Louis Leterrier (Incredible Hulk). In the third Transporter, you've got a new director, Olivier Megaton. How different has it been working from movie to movie with these different directors?
JS: think it's difficult, because this time the action sequences took on a bit of a different twist. Normally Corey Yuen gets to edit the sequences; because he creates them, he's responsible for the snip, snip, snip, and puts them together in his own musical way. But this time, Olivier - who's obviously the director - he wanted to give it a new twist, a fresh twist, and basically put them together in what he saw as the best way. It's only down to individual taste, really. I don't know whether it was better...I hope it was.
But Corey still choreographed the sequences?
JS: Yes, but usually if you choreograph it, you usually edit it, too. But you know, Olivier has a very certain style of filmmaking, and it's very stylistic and cool; I think he's done a great job. But it is very different to the previous two. A lot faster; doesn't have the silky-smooth feel. A little bit of timing was lost. But at the same time, some people like that; it's a little more contemporary. It's all about flavor, it's all about what you like.
Can you talk a bit about The Expendables, which was just announced?
JS: Yeah, we're gonna team up with Sly, who's going to write, direct and star in The Expendables movie and I'm going along for the ride. With Jet Li as well! It'll be a powerhouse combo - get out of the way, motherf***ers! (laughs) That's what it should be called.
Will you be fighting each other?
JS: No, we'll be on the same squad. There'll be some ass to be kicked. I'm looking forward to it.
Want more Five Favorite Films? Check out previous installments with Robert Pattinson, Kevin Smith, Guillermo del Toro, and Judd Apatow.