Before he became everyone’s favorite on screen badass, Jason Statham was one of the world’s top competitive divers in the early 90s. He was on the British National Diving Squad for 12 years and even competed in the Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand in 1990. While he was an elite diver, he never qualified for the Olympics.
You would think that he is a little too rough around the edges for a modeling career, but think again. After his diving career, Statham started modeling for French Connection.
“We chose Jason because we wanted our model to look like a normal guy," Lilly Anderson, a spokesperson for French Connection, said in a 1995 interview with the Independent. "His look is just right for now—very masculine and not too male-modelly."
Statham has no shame in his game. In 2015, two ‘90s music videos where he was featured half-naked and all oiled up went viral. One was “Comin’ On” by The Shamen and the other “Run to the Sun” by Erasure. Go ahead and check them out. You won’t regret it.
After years of diving, modeling and dancing half-naked in music videos, Statham needed to find another way to make a living. His next career was selling knockoff perfume and jewelry on the streets of London. This guy has certainly lived many lives.
5. John Carpenter Wanted Him To Star As The Lead In 'Ghosts Of Mars'
While he got a lot of praise for his role in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, he had yet to star as the leading man in a movie. Director John Carpenter wanted him to play the lead in Ghosts of Mars. The producers did not think he was ready for the role and gave it to Ice Cube instead.
Statham takes pride in doing his own stunts, whether it is hand-to-hand combat or dangling from a helicopter 3000 feet above downtown Los Angeles.
“I'm inspired by the people who could do their own work,” Jason said. “Bruce Lee never had stunt doubles and fight doubles, or Jackie Chan or Jet Li. I've been in action movies where there is a face replacement and I'm fighting with a double, and it's embarrassing.”
While filming a scene in Expendables 3, Statham was driving a three-ton stunt truck when the brakes failed. The truck flew off a cliff and went into the Black Sea with Statham inside.
"It's the closest I've ever been to drowning,” Statham said on Today. “I've done a lot of scuba diving; I've done a lot of free diving ... No matter how much of that you've done, it doesn't teach you to breathe underwater ... I came very close to drowning. It was a very harrowing experience."
Statham’s movies have brought in more than $1.5 billion in the United States and $5.1 billion worldwide. Some of this came from him joining the Fast and Furious team. Fast and Furious aside, he has also had 7 movies cross the $100 million mark worldwide.
When filmingLock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels, Producer Matthew Vaughan drove to set to show off his new Porsche. When he left, his car was making a terrible clanking noise and Vaughan took the car into the mechanic to see what could be wrong. When they popped the trunk, they found a trunk full of horseshoes, courtesy of Jason.
Statham is a member of the Hollywood United FC, a soccer club founded by the Sex Pistol’s guitarist Steve Jones. His teammates include Dermot Mulroney, Robbie Williams, and Vinnie Jones. How do we get tickets?
In the movie Crank, Statham is in a very public sex scene and shows off his bare ass. When they were filming, they didn’t tell the extras what was going to happen in the scene. Their shocked looks are all authentic because they had no idea that it was coming.
In 2010, Jason got in trouble with the law for stealing a golf cart and joyriding at a party at Coachella. He says he “borrowed” the cart. Who cares if he stole it or borrowed it. He is Jason Statham. He is such a badass, he can do whatever he wants.