Jason Statham is typically known for playing the same kind of character in each film he does: a tough and rugged antihero who is more than capable of defending himself, and a man who serves out justice in a most exquisitely painful way. As a result, Statham’s latest movie Parker seems like the same kind of role for him, but this one stands out in a way many of his other films do not.
Directing it is Taylor Hackford, who previously made Ray, An Officer and a Gentleman and Dolores Claiborne, and Statham is surrounded by a very talented cast which includes Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce and Clifton Collins, Jr. While it may seem like your usual Jason Statham action movie, the pedigree behind Parker is quite impressive.
Statham’s character in the film is a professional thief who is not the least bit remorseful about what he does, but he does have a set of rules he always follows: he never steals from those who are poor and he never hurts innocent people. The role is a perfect fit for Statham, who deals out a lot of the kick ass action his fans have come to expect, and it also shows how effective of an actor he can be.
We recently caught up with Statham at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California where the Parker press conference was taking place, and he was very excited to talk about the movie. He talked about what makes the character special, his favorite movies to watch while growing up and more.
Check it out below
We Got This Covered: How is the character of Parker different from the ones you’ve played before? What makes this character special to you?
Jason Statham: The good thing about Parker is… I played a thief before, I played a tough guy before, I played a lot of things that might have elements of what Parker has, but what makes this specifically different is that it comes from a great quality of writing. Donald Westlake wrote over 20 books about this guy and he’s a crook, he’s a criminal, he’s a thief, he does many bad things but for all right reasons. He has a redeemable quality in him and we’re forced to try to figure out what that is, but I think it’s to do with loyalty. He doesn’t steal from people who can afford it (laughs). Does that make him a good person? I don’t know. He doesn’t hurt people that don’t deserve it. There’s a moral side to him that is quite strong. At the end of the day I’m more attracted to the story of how it all unfolds.
We Got This Covered: What was the hardest thing about playing Parker for you? Was it the physical part or the emotional part?
Jason Statham: The physical aspect presents its difficulties and the emotional parts do too. They’re approached very differently. The physical stuff I’m… I feel that I’m very accomplished at that. I know what I’m doing I know how to navigate the sequences (laughs) pretty much pain free. I tend to try to rely on my experience with those things. For the drama I put all of that in the director’s hands, and we’re given good situations and I’m acting with good people so all of that kind of takes care of itself. You just have to be committed.
We Got This Covered: You do a lot of your own stunts in Parker as you have in other movies you’ve been in. What would you say was the toughest or most insane stunt that you did in the film?
Jason Statham: Jumping out of the car wasn’t easy, hanging over the balcony wasn’t too pleasurable (laughs). All that stuff, that’s the popcorn fun of the cinema. If you can have a great story that people can follow the mystery and get the suspense, and then you have those moments of tension and a splash of visual fun, then you kind of get everything. You get your money’s worth.
We Got This Covered: Was it fun to put on the priest outfit?
Jason Statham: I looked ridiculous (laughs). I put that on and said “thank God I’m bald!” It just doesn’t suit me. It was funny to see that stuff, it was very funny. I had on the glasses and a priest outfit, and we’d be at the state fair and there’s thousands and thousands of people there. I would be walking down there and I have the priest outfit on and the briefcase and they’re all “hey Jason! How’s it going?” And I’m like “really?!” People just recognized me and it was like one of those weird things. I was supposed to be in disguise! Must be the broken nose or someone must have heard me say something. Must be the accent. Good fun though, getting behind those costumes.
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