Aubrey Plaza Loves Slapping Jason Statham’s Butt

Aubrey Plaza admits in an interview that the butt-slapping in Operation Fortune with Jason Statham was something she did between takes.

By Robert Scucci | Published

When stars have great chemistry off-screen, their bantering and playfulness will often make its way onto the screen. A recent We Got This Covered article talks about just this type of relationship when going behind the scenes for the new Aubrey Plaza and Jason Statham (The Transporter, Wrath of Man) film, entitled Operation Fortune. What started as playful behind-the-scenes antagonism from the Emily the Criminal star ended up working its way into the movie in the form of Plaza slapping Statham’s butt aggressively.

By now, it’s no mystery that Aubrey Plaza is pretty shameless and forward with her sense of humor, and that’s exactly how she landed the role starring alongside Jason Statham. Plaza said it herself about her initial interview with director Guy Ritchie, stating that she ambushed him, saying “you know I’m the man for the job. I’ll get it done. I’ll be funny, I’ll kick people’s ass, I’ll do whatever you want me to do. So just hire me.”

This is exactly the kind of confidence that translated onto the big screen in Operation Fortune, and it’s why many consider her parts in the film so memorable. Aubrey Plaza’s willingness to throw herself into her role and bring out the best of those alongside her, including Jason Statham in the action comedy film, is apparent in her role as Sara Fidel. After all, it makes sense that a cast should get along well behind the scenes, and Plaza is no amateur; the White Lotus star just took home a SAG award for her contribution to season two of the series.

But where did the game of grab-ass come from? Aubrey Plaza says she was always gunning for Jason Statham behind the scenes and that Ritchie wanted to capture this energy on film. Plaza reveals that it all happened pretty organically, saying, “I would do things like say a line and then slap his ass really hard, and Guy would come up to me in between takes, and go, ‘You know, I liked the bit where you slapped his ass, and maybe you could do that again.'”

jason statham operation fortune
Jason Statham in Operation Fortune

Normally, no one could go up and start slapping around their co-star; what’s different here? The important thing to consider is that Aubrey Plaza and Jason Statham were incredibly comfortable around each other during production, and the playful antagonism really made their characters shine in Operation Fortune. Plaza says that “it was fun and felt like we were just trying to take the piss out of each other, as all the British people say. It was great fun.”

Operation Fortune is an action comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie. Though released in January internationally, the film is making its rounds in the US as of March 3. The story is your classic “transport the goods” kind of wild goose chase, and Aubrey Plaza’s chemistry with Jason Statham carries the show. We’ve seen these kinds of plots play out before, but Operation Fortune is special because you can tell that everybody involved was having a great time while making this movie.

It’s said that Aubrey Plaza really stole the scenes in this movie, so we hope that Jason Statham doesn’t mind that she’s stealing a little bit of the limelight. But when stars truly get along on-screen and off screen, it’s safe to say that they will continue to encourage each other in their careers. While the former Parks and Recreation star brings her comedy chops to a new level by becoming an up-and-coming action star, we can only hope we’ll see more of Plaza’s infectious energy kicking butt and cracking jokes in this context.