Jason Statham was an Olympics level diver before becoming an action movie star.
Long before he took to the big screen in action adventure franchises such as The Expendables and the Fast and Furious films, Jason Statham was a decorated and award winning diver, nearly taking his skills all the way to the Olympics. According to a 2003 interview with IGN discussing the at-the-time freshly released film The Italian Job, which Statham starred in alongside Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, and Family Guy‘s Seth Green, Statham went into detail about his pre-Hollywood career as a diver on the British national diving team, earning him 12th place in a 10-meter springboard event.
Jason Statham has been widely regarded as one of the greatest action performers of the last several decades, rivaling iconic action stars such as Keanu Reeves, Chuck Norris, and even Jackie Chan. As most viewers can tell based on his incredibly choreographed performances in films such as The Transporter, Death Race, and Crank, the actor has an extensive background in stunt performances, with his earliest IMDb credits listing him as a choreographed dancer and swimmer in a number of music videos.
Of course, some of the star’s most impressive pre-Hollywood work came in the form of his high-diving skills, which utilize a great deal of core strength, discipline, and precision to pull off at the highest level.
Jason Statham’s diving skills have even been showcased in a number of feature films, including The Expendables 3, in which the ensemble cast, including Terry Crews, Sylvester Stallone, and Statham himself, must escape from an incoming missile by leaping off the edge of a dock into the ocean. According to interviews with the cast after the film’s release, Statham’s diving skills and impeccable breath control narrowly prevented him from getting injured during one take where the stunt had gone horribly awry, causing a flatbed truck to fall into the water prematurely.
Other films, such as 2018’s The Meg, were specifically crafted with Jason Statham’s diving skills in mind. The Meg takes place almost entirely in the ocean, giving Statham’s character ample opportunity to put his diving skills to use on camera, as well as providing his character with a backstory as a diver, which plays a significant role in the film’s plot. Jason Statham has recently wrapped shooting on a production of the sequel to the prehistoric shark film titled The Meg 2: The Trench, which appears to take the high-octane action a step further than the original, perhaps utilizing Statham’s incredible diving form once again.
Of course, everyone in Hollywood comes with their own unique story and special set of skills that allows them to tap into a number of powerful performances. For Jason Statham, his impeccable stunt choreography and history in high-diving allows him to create stunning visual masterpieces, and even sometimes prevent him from taking on serious injuries. With over half a dozen films in various stages of active production according to IMDb, including sequels to franchises such as Fast and Furious, The Expendables, and Spy, we’re certain we’ll be seeing a lot more of Statham’s diving abilities in the coming years.