Jason Statham in THE MECHANIC | ©2011 CBS Films

Jason Statham in THE MECHANIC | ©2011 CBS Films

Action star Jason Statham, 38, kicks ass on screen again in his new movie THE MECHANIC where he plays Arthur Bishop, an elite hitman who, believe it or not, has a code of conduct he sticks by religiously.

With the film opening today in theaters, Statham takes five to talk about the making of the film and playing bad guys with inner turmoil.

TAKE 1

About taking on a remake and a role made famous by Charles Bronson in 1972…
“Obviously trying to do anything that’s been done before well has a certain amount of expectation and you’re always going to get people that compare it,” says Statham. “But this is many, many years later. We’re not trying to do exactly the same thing. We’re trying to do something that has a little bit of a modern spin on what was done way back then.”

THE MECHANIC (1972) movie poster | ©1972 United Artists

THE MECHANIC (1972) movie poster | ©1972 United Artists

TAKE 2

On checking out the original for inspiration…
“I tried not to look at it too closely,” he admits. “I’d seen it a couple of times before I signed on to do it. The original screenplay was sent to me and I knew that they were remaking it again and I said ‘yes’ to the exact word for word original screenplay. There was no rewrites or anything. Then I went away and did a film, came back and it was completely different. I knew that it was in the right hands because of [producer] Irwin Winkler. So then I knew that it was going to have a great set of producers taking care of it.”

TAKE 3

On playing guys with inner turmoil who really like taking care of business…
“They say a lot less words,” says Statham. “I get paid by the word now. There’s a lot less to say. So it’s soothing all my vocal cords. I don’t know what it is, but they just seem to keep coming back. I tend to get asked to play these parts. Maybe they see something in me that makes them come after me for these roles. I don’t know.”

 

 Jason Statham in THE MECHANIC | ©2011 CBS Films

Jason Statham in THE MECHANIC | ©2011 CBS Films

TAKE 4

On keeping in good shape to take on the demands of the role…
“We train with all the stuntmen,” says Statham. “Everyone likes to keep in shape. A lot of stuff that we do allows us to do the choreography, the fights, whatever it is that we need to do. It’s not as good as drinking in the bar every night and waking up with a hangover.”

TAKE 5

On mixing his career up a little bit with a breezy romantic comedy…
“Usually the good stuff that comes from that genre is always going to the right people,” he says. “Ben Stiller and all the people that are so good at it. The stuff that comes my way from those areas is not so good. So I tend to stay away from it.”

(additional reporting by Emmanuel Itier)

CLICK HERE for ASSIGNMENT X’s review of THE MECHANIC


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