Jason Statham talks diving, Jennifer Lopez and ‘Parker’

Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham are sighted on the set of 'Parker.'

With “Parker,” Jason Statham continues his bid to be 21st century answer to his “Expendables” co-stars Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a purveyor of action films that can be big and loud but don’t have to be dumb.

His latest finds him playing a crafty crook with a surprisingly strict moral code — even when faced with the likes of Jennifer Lopez.

METRO: Do you consider this in the same vein as things like “the Mechanic” and “the Italian Job,” putting a modern spin on older action material?

STATHAM: You wouldn’t be far wrong in saying that. Parker’s a different sort of animal for me, though. He’s a crook, he’s a criminal, but there’s something about him that makes you forgive what he’s doing in some way, and I think there’s an interesting aspect to that. You know, you’re not supposed to like crooks or criminals. You know, he’s devoted to his girlfriend. There’s something about that, as well. Crooks and criminals usually haven’t got many morals. They do whatever they can for their ill-gotten gains, all they want is the money. But this guy has a particular way of taking it, and he has a way of protecting what he cares about.

It’s interesting, that girlfriend character, since you also have Jennifer Lopez in the movie, and people would assume, you two together on screen…

You’d expect something. When’s it going to go off? I know, some people will go, “Oh, I don’t believe it, it’s stupid. How could he resist? It’s f—ing Jennifer Lopez. What, is he blind? Is he stupid?” But [director] Taylor [Hackford] was insistent on keeping this guy true to himself and him having a strength in departments where other men were weak. (laughs) And again, he fulfills his promises. He keeps to his word, he’s a man of his word. And that is something that people have to admire because, you know, I live in f—ing Hollywood. Your word doesn’t mean much here, believe me. (laughs)

He’s kind of an OCD criminal, particularly with one very detailed line he delivers before dispatching a bad guy.

Yes! “You were supposed to torch the hay bales behind the livestock pavilion!” Boom! I love that line. I’m glad you noticed that, I loved that line. When I read the screenplay, I was like, “Oh my God, I f—ing love this guy.” Right to the end, he f—ing never let that f—er forget, you know? (laughs)

There aren’t that many new action stars in the vein of your “Expendables” co-stars. How did you manage to become one of them?

I mean, to categorize myself in the same breath as Stallone and Arnold is a little bit beyond me, but I love their movies. I’m a big action movie junkie, and it’s great to be making action movies. I think it’s still the strongest genre and always has been. I think it gets a bad name for itself sometimes because sometimes they’re a bit thin on story, and there are more often than not a lot of crap ones that get made. That wave just seems to wash over some of them. But I love being in the action movie genre. It’s fun, and it’s better than doing period dramas back in England. For me, at least.

You got your start in diving. What do you make of sudden popularity of celebrity diving specials?

Is it popular now? I need to see that. People are going to get f—ing hurt. Who’d have thought it, because it was a f—ing tiny sport when I was doing it. And it still is, as far as I know. It doesn’t put together big crowds, apart from the Olympics, and that’s only every four years. It’s funny to hear it’s popular now, because back when I started nobody knew what f—ing diving was. If I said I was a diver, they’d go, “Oh, how deep do you go?” So it would be very funny to see.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.