Jason Statham's made a name for himself as a rough-and-tumble action star in such flicks as 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,' 'Crank' and 'The Transporter.' His latest, 'Death Race,' won't disappoint his fans. In it, Statham's a wrongly convicted prisoner who's blackmailed to join a hyper-reality-show-style driving contest. Moviefone caught up with Statham on fast cars, sex scenes ... and why you won't find him asleep in his trailer. -- By Angie Argabrite
Sergio Dionisio, Getty Images
1. Had you seen the original, 'Death Race 2000'?
I haven't seen the original, I'm afraid. But I'm not the only one. I don't think Ian [McShane] or Joan [Allen] saw it either. And still haven't.
2. How did it come about to make a remake of a movie that you hadn't seen?
I was interested in working in a movie that was basically a big studio picture. I had never done a studio movie before. And I went and had a meeting with Paul [W.S. Anderson] and I actually liked him quite a lot and we got along rather well. He told me about the movie and then showed me the script and then showed me the concept drawings of the cars and I was absolutely blown away by 'em. So I was very keen to get in.
3. Did you do a lot of your own stunt work?
Yeah, I tend to do as much as they allow. You know, within reason. They keep me away from anything too dangerous and too silly. But all the skillful driving and all the fights is all me.
4. Wow, you really did all that crazy driving in 'Death Race'?
Why do you sound surprised? What do you think, I was in the trailer asleep? [Laughs] You know what I should do? I should take you on a little trek one day and see if you loosen your seatbelt. [Laughs] I've had so many hours behind the wheel at stunt schools, and this is not my first driving movie. So I've certainly done my apprenticeship, if you like, at high-speed driving. It's nothing new to me. So for me to indulge myself in tricky stunt driving is something I enjoy, and I think it's probably one of the reasons that they hired me for this job.
20th Century Fox
5. What do you drive in real life?
I've got a couple of cars. I've got an Audi S8, which is very useful. And one I have to run around the track on -- I've got myself a little Porsche GT2, which I take to the track now and again. That's the one that gives me a bit of fun.
Ferdaus Shamim, WireImage.com
6. Which is harder for you to do: fight scenes or sex scenes?
I've only ever done one sex scene, and it never actually made the cut. It was in a movie called 'The Bank Job' with Roger Donaldson that we shot lost year. And I suppose it's difficult, too. But it was with Saffron Burrows, so it was rather fun. You know, I'm getting used to doing the fight scenes. I've done a fair amount of movies now to get used to what's required of me. Yeah, I enjoy them. [Ed. note: He also has a sex scene in 'Crank' and its upcoming sequel.]
7. You were a world champion diver. How does that compare to being where you are now?
They're very different, you know. One's an amateur sport. And the other one's a very glamorous lifestyle and has lots of money. [Laughs] So they're quite different, yeah.
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
8. So, a glamorous lifestyle, is that ...
Preferable to being a diver? Abso-f***ing-lutely. [Laughs].
Ray Tamarra, Getty Images