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Jason Michael Statham ( ; born 12 September 1972) is an English actor and martial artist, known for his roles in the Guy Ritchie crime films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Revolver; and Snatch. Statham has appeared in supporting roles in several American films, such as The Italian Job, as well as playing the lead role in The Transporter, Crank, The Bank Job, War (opposite martial arts star Jet Li), and Death Race. He normally performs his own fight scenes and stunts.

Early life

Statham was born in Sydenhammarker, London, the son of a lounge singer and dressmaker-turned-dancer. He later moved to Great Yarmouthmarker, Norfolk and grew up initially following in his parents' footsteps to master the art of street theatre. He also played football for the local grammar school (1978-83), but his real passion was diving -- in particular, he finished 12th in the World Championships in 1992. He was also a member of Britain'smarker National Diving Squad for twelve years.

Statham's life in media began when he was spotted by a talent agent specializing in athletes while training at London's Crystal Palace National Sports Centremarker. Afterwards, he became a model for the clothing brand French Connection. Statham is an expert of martial art Kickboxing.

Career

While working for French Connection, he was introduced to fledgling British director Guy Ritchie who was developing a film project and needed to fill the role of a street-wise con artist. After learning about Statham's past, Ritchie cast him to play the role of "Bacon" in Ritchie's breakout 1998 hit, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The movie was well received by both critics and audiences, which helped catapult the unknown actor into the public eye. Statham's second collaboration with Ritchie came in the 2000 film Snatch. Cast alongside popular actors Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina and Benicio del Toro, and with the movie earning more than $80 million in box-office revenues, Statham was able to break into Hollywood and appeared in two movies in 2001: Ghosts of Mars and The One.

Statham was offered more film roles and in 2002 was cast as the lead role of driver Frank Martin in the action movie The Transporter, in which his background in martial arts enabled him to do most of his own stunts. A sequel, Transporter 2, followed in 2005 and a third Transporter film was released in 2008. He also appeared in supporting roles in The Italian Job (2003) (in which he played Handsome Rob) and Cellular (2004), and had a cameo in Collateral before taking the lead role in Crank (2006). Statham compares his role in Crank to his real life in the September 2006 issue of Maxim. In 2005, Statham was once again cast by Ritchie to star in his new project, Revolver. His most recent releases were the films In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Transporter 3 and Crank: High Voltage.
Statham in 2006
In 2008, American film critic Armond White hailed Statham's ascension as the leading international action film star. On the occasion of Death Race, White championed Statham's "best track record of any contemporary movie star." Later in 2008, White praised Statham's Transporter 3 as a great example of kinetic pop art.

Statham is currently developing The Grabbers, written by David Peoples and Janet Peoples (Twelve Monkeys). Statham stated “We’ve got a movie we’re trying to do, written by David Peoples and Janet Peoples, in the vein of an old film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. It’s not a remake or anything, but it’s a little bit like that, about relationships and how greed contaminates the relationships these three people have. The working title is The Grabbers."

Ritchie and Statham will reunite to work in a new musical, described as a cross between "Wurzel Gummidge and Bullitt", The Sun reports.

He will also star in the action film, The Killer Elite. According to Variety the film will be based on real events, which were the subject of Ranulph Fiennes' book The Feathermen. Statham will play a former Navy SEAL who comes out of retirement in order to save an old friend.

Personal life

Statham is unmarried, but was in a relationship with actress Kelly Brook for several years.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1998 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Bacon
2000 Snatch Turkish
Turn It Up Mr. B
2001 Ghosts of Mars Sgt. Jericho Butler
The One MVA Agent Evan Funsch first time partnered with Jet Li
Mean Machine Monk
2002 Thai Boxing: A Fighting Chance Narrator
The Transporter Frank Martin
2003 The Italian Job Handsome Rob
2004 Collateral Frank Martin (presumed) Cameo appearance
Cellular Ethan Greer
2005 Transporter 2 Frank Martin
Revolver Jake Green
London Bateman
2006 Chaos Det. Quentin Conners
The Pink Panther Yves Gluant Uncredited role
Crank Chev Chelios
2007 War FBI Agent John Crawford second time partnered with Jet Li
2008 The Bank Job Terry Leather
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Farmer Daimon
Death Race Jensen "Frankenstein" Ames
Transporter 3 Frank Martin
2009 Crank: High Voltage Chev Chelios
Truth In 24 Narrator
2010 13 Jasper post-production
The Expendables Lee Christmas third time partnered with Jet Li
Blitz pre-production
Pretty, Baby, Machine Pretty Boy Floyd (rumored) pre-production
The Mechanic production
2011 The Brazilian Job Handsome Rob
Crank 3 Chev Chelios Unknown


Box office performance

Since 1998, Statham has appeared in over 20 films. Several have been box office hits, such as Snatch and The Bank Job. He has starred in two sets of film series, The Transporter and Crank. The films he has been in have grossed a total of more than $1 billion USD at the box office, with the highest individual film being Transporter 3.

Video game voice-overs

Video game Year Character
Red Faction II 2002 Shrike
Call of Duty 2003 Sgt. Waters
Crysis Warhead 2008 Psycho


References

  1. Interview with Jason Statham
  2. Jason Statham at askmen.com
  3. Jason Statham at Filmbug
  4. Jason Statham at the Internet Movie Database
  5. http:www.nypress.com/article-19048-transcendent-thrill-drive.html
  6. http://www.nola.com/movies/index.ssf/2009/11/new_orleans_film_shoot_to_disr.html


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