Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

11 Things You Didn't Know About Jason Statham

Merriam-Webster defines badass as "likely to cause trouble; tough and dangerous". However, they probably could've just as easily inserted a picture of Jason Statham from any film in the man's ever-growing action movie catalog, and the message would've been equally as clear. Even though the actor is in his 50s, there's just something about the British actor that still makes him an intimidating force, both on and off the silver screen.

Statham, who was born and raised in the English town of Shirebrook, has been making things "go boom" on camera dating back to the late '90s. He's starred in both one-off action flicks, such as 2005's Revolver and 2013's Homefront, as well as in blockbuster multi-film franchises, like the explosive Fast & Furious universe and Sylvester Stallone's shoot-em-up Expendables movies. If there's one common denominator in all of his films, it's that Statham plays a guy you don't ever want to mess with.

Although odds are high that you've seen at least one of the cockney tough guy's movies throughout the years, there's probably a lot that you don't know about his life behind the camera. And it should come as no surprise that the man is a truly interesting individual. So if you want to learn more about the iconic English action hero, here's the untold truth of Jason Statham.

Jason Statham doesn't need a stuntman

If Jason Statham is starring in a movie, you best believe that there's going to be some action involved. Whether it's an adrenaline-pumping car chase, a bullet-spraying shootout, or a good, old-fashioned, bare-handed beatdown, the action star seems to feed off of stunt work. And more often than not, Statham is actually the one performing the stunts, too. As he explained to IGN, "I'd do more if they let me. I've never really been frightened to do anything."

In an interview with The Guardian, the Transporter star talked about how his early ambition of becoming a stuntman was initially sparked by watching a man doing a high dive into a hotel pool. "He'd done this sort of reverse layout and I was like ... 'I'd love to do that!'" Years later, the young daredevil had mastered the craft of diving, and he was even selected to compete for the British national team in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Although Statham ultimately retired from the sport, perhaps his intense diving training helped hone his body for the demanding stunt work that his film career would bring.

He used to sell jewelry on street corners

A lot of today's biggest actors and actresses were taught how to hone their craft through years of studying drama or performing in prestigious theater productions. Jason Statham, however, apparently has a bit of a different origin story than your typical A-lister. 

When speaking to Esquire, the Crank actor opened up about how his father taught him to hustle on the London streets when he was just a teenager. "I'd sit down outside of Harrods, and I'd pitch the jewelry. ... And what I'm selling is costume jewelry, basically. ... But I'm selling it with a bit of street theater and having a bit of fun with it, making a living." An actor is nothing if not a skilled salesman, right?

Statham went on to boast that he was such a talented hustler that he could pull in as much as $3000 in a weekend. So what would the future Fast & Furious star spend all that dough on? We'll give you one guess. "We'd buy cars, and we'd race. ... Cars I've always loved." Statham literally went from hawking sketchy goods on street corners to starring in blockbuster action movies, but throughout it all, the man's love for automobiles has remained strong.

Jason Statham is Guy Ritchie's go-to guy

Who says bromance is dead? Jason Statham and Guy Ritchie, the well-renowned director of action flicks like 2017's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and 2019's live-action Aladdin remake, prove that having a dependable go-to guy can be a real asset in Hollywood. The duo make up a powerful actor-director combo, joining the ranks of other successful tag-teams like Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, and Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan.

Ritchie is actually the man responsible for jump-starting Statham's acting career, casting him as Bacon in 1998's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, despite the fact that he had absolutely zero acting experience. As Statham explained to Esquire, Ritchie, who he'd met through an earlier modeling gig, approached him about the role because the streetwise character was similar to Statham. "He just wanted someone who was authentic. He said, 'I'm gonna get someone from ... drama school to do this? How can they learn what you've learned?'" 

After Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the two collaborated again in films like 2000's Snatch and 2005's Revolver. Although it's been a while since they've worked on anything together, the two remain very close mates. In an interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, the Sherlock Holmes director had nothing but kind words for his British BFF. As he put it, "Jason Statham is one of my most favorite people in the entire world. He's grumpy, and he's one of the few grumpy people that doesn't annoy me in any way."

He was Kit Kat's 'Break Philosopher'

In 1986, Nestlé executives introduced the world to one of the catchiest commercials in American history: "Gimme a break, gimme a break. Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!" But over in the UK, candy-lovers were more familiar with a different slogan, one that went, "Have a break — have a Kit Kat." That catchphrase lasted for 47 years, up until the early 2000s, when a company spokeswoman announced a change in their market approach. "We are introducing a new advertising campaign to consolidate Kit Kat's position as one of the UK's best-selling chocolate bars."

Part of that plan involved a brand new slogan: "Make the most of your break." And another piece of that advertising campaign involved one of England's hottest names at the time — Jason Statham. Riding the success of popular films like 2002's The Transporter and 2003's The Italian Job, Statham nabbed a partnership with the candy company, making him "The Break Philosopher." The action actor starred in a total of three ads for Kit Kat, and the brand's then-account director, Emma Stewart-Smith, was very pleased with their selection. 

"Jason Statham was the best choice," Stewart-Smith explained (via Campaign). "He is down to earth and credible when telling the stories. He hasn't done ads before, so people tend to listen to him more. Also, women fancy him, and men think he's a good bloke." Although they've been around for about 20 years, the commercials are still pretty funny today.

Jason Statham has a history of dating (much) younger women

Jason Statham's love life proves that age is nothing but a number. The British stud has dated a number of beautiful women throughout the past few decades, and most of them have been younger than him by double-digits. While this may seem somewhat unusual to the average Joe, it's honestly not all that uncommon in the wild, weird world of Hollywood, where some celebrities have spouses that are young enough to be their daughters!

Statham dated English model and media personality Kelly Brook for seven years before ultimately calling it quits in 2004. He then spent nearly a year with former Bachelorette starlet Sophie Monk before getting serious with Alex Zosman, who he'd go on to date until early 2010. After he and Zosman parted ways, the Expendables star was spotted out with former Victoria's Secret angel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Despite their 20-year age difference, the pair, who got engaged in 2016, have now been going strong for over ten years.

He nearly died while shooting an Expendables scene

Sylvester Stallone's Expendables movies don't exactly shy away from killing. The total kill count in the 2010 original tallies up to 221 deaths, a number that's more than doubled in its explosive sequel, 2012's The Expendables 2. For the third installment in the grizzly franchise, Jason Statham apparently nearly wound up on the kill count in real life after a dangerous stunt went awry.

When speaking to The Mirror at the Expendables 3 premiere in 2014, Stallone told the tale of how his costar had a very close call during the film's production. "He faced death. He was test-driving a three-ton truck, and the brakes run out." Statham, doing his own stunts per usual, crashed the runaway vehicle into the Black Sea. According to Stallone, if had it been anyone else driving the truck, they most likely would've died. "We would have drowned. But because Jason is an Olympic-quality diver, he got out of it." 

Years later, Statham recalled the near-death experience during an interview with The Red Bulletin (via Evening Standard), noting how it changed his attitude. "It's a real recalibration of everything. From that day on, I've been so appreciative of life and being able to walk on the ground. I think we all need [an experience] like that — one that puts things in perspective." Unlike some of the action heroes he's portrayed on the big screen, Statham seemingly understands that he's not invincible.

Jason Statham passed on an opportunity to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Jason Statham's filmography proves that he's always up for joining a multi-film franchise. In addition to the wildly popular Expendables and Fast & Furious cinematic universes, he's also filmed a number of sequels to his own films, such as Transporter 2 and 3, Crank 2: High Voltage, and Mechanic: Resurrection. Strangely enough, there's one multi-billion dollar entity that the British bad boy opted out ofthe Marvel Cinematic Universe.

When speaking to Den of Geek (via Geek Tyrant) in 2017, Marvel boss Kevin Feige confirmed that he had once considered Statham for a role in the MCU, but scheduling conflicts kept it from happening. Feige had nothing but nice things to say of the action icon, noting that the actor even called him after the fact to apologize. "He was saying, 'Sorry it didn't work out, maybe next time.' He couldn't have been nicer." The role he was considered for is anyone's guess, but some fans believe that Statham would've made a fantastic fit for notorious Daredevil-baddie Bullseye.

This news was somewhat surprising considering that Statham had made some pretty disrespectful comments about Marvel movies when speaking to Italian website I 400 Calci a couple years earlier. "I could take my grandma and put her in a cape, and they'll put her on a green screen, and they'll have stunt doubles come in and do all the action — anybody can do it." Honestly, if Statham's grandma is anything like he is, then she probably would make a believable superhero!

He was once kicked out of a party at the Playboy Mansion

The annual Midsummer Night's Dream Party at the Playboy Mansion in sunny California is always an extravagant event. Often a regular who's who of Hollywood socialites, the party is a great opportunity for celebrity elites to mix, mingle, and have a good time. At 2008's shindig, however, that apparently wasn't the case for Jason Statham. 

According to The New York Post's gossip column, Page Six, the Death Race star was kicked out of the Hugh Hefner-hosted event for reportedly refusing to pose for pictures with the models. Although Statham's spokesperson had no comment on the matter, a witness noted that "he was escorted by five security guards off the property." Getting kicked out of a ritzy party sounds exactly like the kind of thing one of Statham's onscreen characters would do, so the fact that this actually happened in real life really isn't all that hard to envision.

Jason Statham is an apparent chess master

In 2005's thrilling Revolver, Jason Statham plays a scheming gambler named Jake Green. While in prison, Green discovers a formulaic game-winning strategy with the help of two fellow inmates, a skilled conman and a chess master. And as it turns out, Green's skills on the chess board are apparently something that he shares with the film's star in real life.

In an interview with Cinema.com, Statham spoke about the competitive relationship he has with Revolver's director and longtime friend, Guy Ritchie, noting that they are fierce chess rivals. To hear him tell it, he's clearly the superior player. "The toughest moment is getting Guy Ritchie to pay his debts when he loses at chess. He just won't pay up. He won't accept the loss. I have to live with that." However, Ritchie has also playfully claimed that he has "no respect" for Statham as a chess player (via ChronicleLive), so the jury is still out as to which talented celebrity is the real chess whiz.

He may not have a dad bod yet, but he is a dad

In 2013's underrated action thriller, Homefront, Jason Statham plays Phil Broker, a recently widowed former DEA agent who moves to a small Louisiana town to raise his young daughter. When things go sideways (as they always seem to do in Statham's movies) and the town's drug dealer targets the new family, it's up to Broker to fend off the bad guys and keep his kid safe. Statham plays the paternal role with great authenticity, which was perhaps an indicator of things to come.

In June 2017, Statham and his fiancée, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, welcomed their firstborn, son Jack Oscar, to the world. Since then, Statham has looked every bit the part of proud dad, frequently caught by paparazzi spending quality time with his kid. Young Jack certainly has a bright future with such talented parents to look up to.

When speaking to Now This, The Meg's leading man opened up about how becoming a dad truly changed his life and reshuffled his priorities. "You learn as soon as you become a dad that ... all your selfish desires are put on a very large back-burner. ... It's an incredible transition and it's the greatest feeling in the world." He may be a tough guy onscreen, but fatherhood proves that Statham may have a soft side, after all.

Jason Statham ain't afraid of no bloody sharks

In 2018's thrilling shark tale, The Meg, Statham played Jonas Taylor, a scorned ex-rescue diver with a personal vendetta against a mysterious massive underwater beast that only he believes is real. When the creature, which is revealed to be a gargantuan prehistoric shark called a megalodon, eventually rears its ugly head again, it's up to Taylor and crew to find it and take it down before it unleashes an aquatic killing spree. It's like Jaws on steroids.

While the film's enormous man-eater is only a product of CGI and bad dreams, don't get it twisted. Statham probably would've hopped in the water even if the thing was real! In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the notorious English daredevil recalled a time he went diving with bull sharks in Fiji, admitting that it was "quite an ordeal" being inches away from a swarm of the large, toothy fish. 

But did the experience scare him, per se? "All of the fear — or the perceived fear — is done in your own head before you get down there with them. ... So once you're swimming down there with all the other divers, it's phenomenal. It's one of the greatest experiences you could have, for me anyway." Swimming in shark-infested waters is apparently just another relaxing day in the life of Jason Statham.