August 2001
One for the Road : A Conversation with Ghosts’ Jason Statham

Interviewed by Midas

One for the Road : A Conversation with Ghosts’ Jason Statham

There’s more to Jason Statham than just that cool accent. Although you may not thoroughly enjoy his character’s personality in the “Ghosts of Mars,” Statham could probably convince you that he is more complex than Jericho over a beer at the “local pub.” Based on his current track record it most likely would be his treat. His recent successful string of films has him positioned as one of the hot commodities in Hollywood and you can expect to see more of him in “The One,” starring opposite Jet Li. In this interview, Statham touches on a number of topics including what drew him to the “Ghosts of Mars,” working with John Carpenter, and his perceptions of co-star, Ice Cube. Oh and for the record, he has some CDs he thinks Ice Cube might be interested in borrowing from him.

M: What did you think of John Carpenter before he asked you to do this film?

JS: Speechless. I am familiar with all of his work. I knew he was a great filmmaker. We got together for a couple of beers and before you know it he is putting me into a film. It was great.

M: Had you seen all of his films?

JS: Well, I probably missed a couple. I had seen Halloween. That’s the way with John. I knew Ice Cube was going to be in it. It was a chance to work with a great cast and a great filmmaker. Enough said. There are a lot of reasons that an actor takes on a role.

M: Do you have a particular interest in science fiction?

JS: Obviously, I have an interest otherwise I would not be doing it. But yeah there is an interest, I have always been a big fan.

M: How was John’s style of directing different from Guy’s [Ritchie] style?

JS: More laid back and less violent. (Laughter). No strangling between takes. Guy is a more feisty director. He likes sarcastic people around him. Whereas John is more laid back and calm. Each director maintains a different personality.

M: On this side of the pond we know you from Guy Ritchie’s work like Snatch, but it seems like you are taking on more physical action roles.

JS: I love the physical stuff. I used to be a sportsman. I used to do high diving for the country. So I have always had the physical background. Boxing and fighting with Guy.

M: Did you do your own stunts?

JS: There are certain things that they just won’t allow you to do, but that I am capable of. They want to make sure that you turn up the next day. You get to the fighting scenes, but they won’t let you walk across the catwalk.

M: What other projects are you currently working on?

JS: I returned home and again I am working with Matthew Vaughn and we are doing a remake of Burt Reynolds’ “The Longest Yard.” I am playing the character who was the Specialist, I believe. I am actually playing goalie because it is a soccer movie. They stick me in goal for this movie.

M: They are not calling it the “Longest Yard” are they?

JS: No, I actually think they are going to call it “The Mean Machine.”

M: In the film, Mars is a matriarchy and women have the power in the film. Was there a different vibe on the set because women played the most prominent role?

JS: Yeah, it was great to have females around instead of a number of men my age. It was a pleasure.

M: Did you suffer any injuries on the set?

JS: Just the typical ones, a hamstring, bumps and bruises.

M: The rumors about John’s ability to party have resurfaced again. Did you get a chance to go out on the town with him in Albuquerque?

JS: Yes, we had a couple of great nights. That’s the great thing about John, he creates a family environment. No one is excluded from anything. All the boys went out the last night there and it was a great bonding session. It’s great that he takes the time to do that. It makes you work that much harder.

M: How was your relationship with Natasha? She seems to put you in your place throughout the movie.

JS: Yeah we got along very well, very, very well, but her husband seemed to put a stop to that. (Laughter)

M: You are in a film with Jet Li. How was that and did you get to fight with Jet?

JS: Yeah, I got to fight with Jet. He sort of throws me around.

M: Can you talk about your experience working with Ice Cube and did you guys perhaps exchange CDs?

JS: (Laughter) No we did not exchange CDs. I have been known to sing from time and gotten thrown out of many establishments. I got some CDs that I can pass on to him. (Laughter) Yeah, I love the hip-hop scene. It was great working with him. He is so cool. The thing is, he is not trying to be cool, he just is. Some people try to be cool and they so are not. He is just cool. The personality he has is great and it was cool to work with him.