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Jason Statham: the 'Killer Elite' star talks about kicking butt while tied to a chair, and acting with Robert De Niro

Killer Elite

(Jack English)

Every new Jason Statham movie is a cause for rejoicing wherever folks who like to see goons get their faces pummeled in new and interesting ways can be found. Take his latest, Killer Elite. As anyone who’s seen the trailer already knows, Statham, that gruff Cockney cue ball, manages to dole out a brutal ass-whupping on a mustachioed Clive Owen while tied to a chair. Take a peek…

Pretty cool, right? Well, we spoke to Statham (or as costar Robert De Niro calls him in the film, “your worst nightmare”) about that scene, among other things. Read on…

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Tell me about that awesome chair scene. I know you do your own stunts, but not that one, right?
JASON STATHAM: Why wouldn’t I be doing that one?

Because you flip over in a chair and then crash out the window, come on?
What, you don’t think I do all that kind of stuff? The thing about those stunts is they get so dangerous, they do them on the last day of filming so at least if we kill ourselves they have a film they can show the people.

Seriously, though, how much is you and how much is a stunt guy?
You should turn up to one of my movies one day and come and watch what we do. Just because the rest of the people in Hollywood don’t do their stunts doesn’t mean I don’t.

I know you’ve been injured making films in the past, did you get banged up on Killer Elite?
I always get banged up. It’s impossible… you get in the ring in a boxing match, you’re gonna get a clump around the head. If you’re gonna do action movies, you’re gonna get an injury at some point. It’s inevitable.

Is that your favorite scene in the movie?
You know, any scenes with De Niro are going to be my most memorable.

What was it like working with him? That’s pretty big. Was it intimidating?
Well, you know, it’s an amazing privilege to be working with someone like that. I mean, he’s regarded as the greatest living actor, and possibly out of my 20 favorite films, he’s been in 10 of them. So you’re just completely in awe and have ultimate respect for the man. You’re only as good as the person opposite you. If they’re bringing it, then you end up bringing your best.

What’s your favorite movie of his?
Raging Bull probably.

What was the last movie you saw?
Crazy Stupid Love. It was hilarious.

I wouldn’t expect that…
What, you don’t think I have a sense of humor?

I’m sure you have a wonderful sense of humor.
You’ve got a perception of me that is quite a way from who I am. You should never assume about someone.

You’re a complex man, Statham. In the trailer for Killer Elite, they play the Scorpions’ “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” Why should people see this movie other than to hear that song while butt is being kicked and see you beating people up while tied to a chair?
[Laughs] Nothing more than that. You nailed it immediately on those two points. But the fact that it also has De Niro and Clive Owen. It’s a kickass action film but with some integrity. Enough said.

Enough said, indeed. Killer Elite opens on Friday, Sept. 23.

Read more:
‘Killer Elite’ trailer: De Niro, Statham, and Clive are locked and loaded
‘Killer Elite’ trailer: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, and Robert De Niro fight
Open Road nabs ‘Killer Elite’

Originally posted September 21 2011 — 4:45 PM EDT

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