As a child, Jason spent a lot of time active. Playing football for his local school's team as a child, he developed a real interest in competing which led him to compete in a lot of varied sports, including diving, a sport he excelled in. Coming 12th in the 1992 World Championships and spending twelve years on the British Olympic Diving Team, Statham was a notable success and appeared to have a bright future in the sport. However, while training one day at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, he caught the attention of a local talent scout who offered him a series of modelling jobs for the famous fashion brand French Connection.
While modelling for FCUK, he was introduced to the then unkown Guy Ritchie who personally invited him to audition for a role in his 1998 film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. During the audition, he was asked to act like street vendor selling knock off jewellery, something he may have done during his time as a black market salesman. Winning Director Ritchie over, Statham got the role of Bacon as one of the four lead characters in the brit flick. While the film went on to be a huge critical and financial success, it wasn't until he took another lead role in Guy Ritchie's 2000 film Snatch that his career really took off. In 2001, Statham starred in a total of 3 films, including John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars and Jet Li's The One both of which helped established him as the new Hollywood action star. The following year, his star rose even further when he was given the lead role in Luc Besson's new action franchise The Transporter. Perfect for the role as the ex-Marine and SAS Pilot, Statham did all his own stunts in the film including the driving, underwater and fight scenes, all of which are usually done by stuntmen.
Even though his forte is as an action star, in 2005, Statham showed there was more to him than just fight scenes and explosions. Taking a role in the psychological thriller Revolver, directed by long time friend Guy Ritchie, Statham played the role of gambler who has just been released from prison and is now on a quest to get revenge on the Casino owner who put him there. He also took the role of Bateman, a British drug dealer in New York, in the low budget drama London. While neither film was a success, Revolver being a total flop, they proved that Statham had more range than most of his previous films showed.
Bouncing back in 2006, Statham returned to what has been most successful in his career with the fast paced action film Crank. Becoming a cult hit across the globe, Crank finally confirmed Jason Statham's ability to be a charismatic leading man, securing him roles in War, The Bank Job and Death Race, a remake of the 1975 classic, Death Race 2000. Jason Statham has also starred in Uwe Boll
's infamous Dungeon Siege
movie, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, as Farmer Daimon, a farmer who is also a champion kickboxer.
Set for a 2010 release, Statham is to star in the highly anticipated throwback action movie, The Expendables, alongside veteran action icons including Sylvester Stallone
, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke and Arnold Schwarzenegger
who will be starring as himself in a cameo role.
Statham's first video game role was as the wreckless pilot Shrike in THQ
's Red Faction II
alongside veteran actor, Lance Henriksen
. This was followed up by a role in 2003's Call of Duty
where he played as Sgt. Waters in the British campaign. Also, while not a video game, the film Crank features many references to video game culture including Chev Chelios himself mentioning how he claimed to be a video games programmer as a cover for being a hitman and several scenes showing 8-Bit graphics including a leaderboard shown in the opening credits. This theme is continued in the sequel, Crank: High Voltage, in which Chelios is given an extra life
for his high score breaking performance in the first movie.