His featured role in The Expendables, last year's convention of practically every action star in Hollywood, should have confirmed the obvious: Jason Statham is one of today's top go-to tough guys. The star of The Mechanic, a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson film, talked to TIME about knife throwing and wanting to be James Bond.
A key phrase that pops up in the film is "victory loves preparation." How do you prepare for these action roles?
I go to this gym full of stuntmen. There aren't any TVs or treadmills there. This is a spit-and-sawdust kind of place. It has a lot of great training aids--trampolines and bags and every weapon ever invented to do harm to a human being. If you want to learn how to throw a knife, it's great.
Much of The Mechanic is about vengeance. Anything in your life you'd like to avenge?
Nah. Revenge is a caustic thing. I say, Breathe in, breathe deeply, let it go.
You've played a transporter in The Transporter and a mechanic in The Mechanic. What seemingly innocuous but deadly role will you take on next? The Candlemaker?
Oh, God. The Candlemaker? Doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it?
You're a huge Charles Bronson fan. He's as known for westerns as he is for action movies. Where's your western?
I love westerns. It's guys being guys. There's no room for frilly stuff. They're as testosterone-filled as a Sly Stallone movie.
As the premier British action star, would you ever want to play James Bond?
Of course. You'd be lying if you said no. He has all the fanciest gadgetry. He's in and out of bed with the sexiest, hottest women. And he gets to save the world. Come on! It's everybody's dream, isn't it?