Jason Statham is known for being a high octane action star. Crazy gun action, crazier driving and stunt work like you wouldn’t believe. Well, his real life doesn’t appear to be any slower than his on-screen lives. The man does everything to the limit! Maybe that’s why he’s so good in action flicks – you act what you know, and he knows how to live fast. Here are 16 facts about his life that prove that he really does know how to kick it into high gear!
1. Jason Statham began his working career as a street seller.
He peddled knock-off goods in the streets of London with his father, describing it jokingly as product didn’t fall off the truck – it was pushed off and he caught it.
2. Jason Statham worked as a model before he acted.
He didn’t like his own smile, so he would pose with a scowl – and this is actually what lead to him being picked for casting by Guy Ritchie, because he looked so tough.
3. He starred in a Kit Kat commercial.
Remember, you’re not a salmon. It’s weird to have Statham advocating taking a break, but there you have it.
4. It’s very unclear when he was born.
What’s known is that he was born on July 26. However, the year is the tricky part. According to different sources, some say 1967 while others say 1972.
5. His street seller skills came in handy when auditioning for his first movie role.
Guy Ritchie asked Jason to sell him a piece of fake jewelry for Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Statham was already so good at it, that he actually left with some of Guy Ritchie’s money.
6. Jason Statham was kicked out of the Playboy Mansion for notposing with the girls.
He showed up wearing only a bath robe and didn’t want to appear in photos with the girls. I guess Hugh Hefner saw this as a buzzkill or something, so five security guards took Jason off the premises.
7. Jason was a world-class diver.
He participated in the 10m Platform and the 3m Springboard events for the National British team. His intensive training is what gave him the physique for his modeling career.
8. Jason Statham does almost all of his own stunts.
Not only does he do most of his own stunt work, he’s long been fighting for stunt workers to have their own category at the Oscars.
9. He failed his driving test. Multiple times.
While he’s an incredibly talented driver, that doesn’t translate into passing the test apparently. He apparently picked up many bad habits while driving for his father in his early days, and many times drove to his test, failed, then drove home.
10. He was once arrested for driving… a golf cart.
Speaking of his mad driving skills, he wasn’t arrested for what you’d suspect. He was caught taking a joy ride on the freeway with Kristin Cavallari after a party at Coachella in 2010, but nothing serious came of the matter.
11. He actually performed the helicopter stunt from the end of Crank.
He was actually hanging 2,000 feet above L.A. from a helicopter with only a tiny cable and belt keeping him latched on. Talk about cranking it to the limit!
12. None of the extras from the Chinatown scene of Crank were aware of what was happening.
The helicopter wasn’t the only scene that was more real than you’d expect. The scene where he and Amy Smart get dirty in public was a complete surprise, and the shock of the extras was genuine. Statham refers to the scene as a great day at the office.
13. The plane scene from The Expendables was almost his last.
Stallone decided to have Statham be the one to fire the nose cone guns on the day of filming the scene, and after the two finished filming, the pilot informed them that the engine was leaking and they were lucky it had managed to stay in the air as long as it had.
14. Statham went through incredibly brutal physical training for his role in Death Race.
After three months on a relentless fitness regime and a diet of almost exclusively raw veggies, he managed to drop his body fat level from 20% to the incredible 6%. He lost roughly 17 lbs in 6 weeks.
15. Jason Statham is also a masterful chess player.
He’s not all brawn, he’s got the wits to match. Apparently he and Guy Ritchie would play routinely, and Statham states that Ritchie is the worst chess player he’s ever met – and that he still owes Statham a lot of money for all his wins against him.
16. He’s even a talented soccer player.
He wasn’t just acting in Mean Machine – Statham is a floating member of the Hollywood United FC.