British badass Jason Statham is known for his hard hitting action roles that usually see him kicking-ass and tearing apart both villains and heroes. Films like Crank, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Transporter and Snatch have continually solidified his casting as a serious, hard-edged bad-boy of the silver screen.
It’s this that makes his appearance in Paul Feig’s (Bridesmaids, The Heat) latest comedy SPY so damn enjoyable. Statham’s almost self-satirising portrayal of agent ‘Rick Ford’ is over the top and it’s this juxtaposition with his previous work that makes SPY so hilarious. Alongside Melissa McCarthy, Stratham seems comfortable in a film that’s outrageously funny, but still slick and sophisticated at the same time.
To mark the Blu-ray & DVD release of SPY on September 30 later this week, TheVine.com.au caught up with the legendary Jason Statham to talk about the shift to comedy, working with Melissa McCarthy and where to from here.
What was it that convinced you to take on a comedic role?
It wasn’t a calculated decision. I caught up with Paul Feig, meeting him and I love his movies. So I was intrigued to know what he was up to. He told me he was a big action movie fan and said he’d seen pretty much every movie I’ve done.
Which I found again, like really?! I had to scratch my head. He named Crank and he named all of my films. He said I really want to put you in the next movie I’m going to do. He’s so charming and he’s so talented that you could never say no to the man.
Did you give Melissa [McCarthy] any fighting tips?
No, she knows what she’s doing. She’s as tough as nails. Listen to her delivery. No one swears better than Melissa McCarthy.
When she gets angry she gets angry. She’s tough. But she’s also soft and emotional, she’s an extremely unique actress.
Was the fact that it was a pretty straight Spy movie appeal to you?
We didn’t want to make a spoof. Paul said we’re going to try and do something very slick and sophisticated…I’m not going to do a goofy spy movie. I want to do something extremely cool. Because of his fascination with action movies Paul wanted to do a really quality action movie that had some humor in it.
We’re not going to be trying to make people laugh and falling on their face every five minutes, doing some slapstick routine and winking at the camera. He wanted to make a sophisticated movie. So we play it very, very straight. We really believe everything that we’re doing and what comes out is what’s really funny.
What was underneath those sheets at that great moment at the end of the film?
We ain’t telling ya. That’s for sure. You know, no one is supposed to know that.
Was there anything that didn’t make the final cut?
Well there’s a lot of stuff. We had a big sort of wrestle type dance on the dance floor. There’s a ton of alternate lines and a couple of little stories.
The great thing about Paul and having this “post-it” style presentation every half a minute is you can make three or four different movies out of it.
I’m sure with the extras all the good little pieces that they didn’t use are going to come out. There’s so many.
Can we expect a sequel?
You can never get too ahead of yourself. The movie’s not out yet. But I would love to do another one of these. We had a great time.