In their new film, “Killer Elite,” British stars Jason Statham and Clive Owen go head to head in a tough-guy showdown many movie fans have been hoping to see for years. A reluctant mercenary (Statham) is called out of retirement to eliminate a trio of British ex-special forces soldiers responsible for covert operations in the 1980s. But the soldiers have their own guardian angel (Owen) hellbent on keeping them alive. Plus, it’s all supposedly true and based on the accounts of ex-army officer Ranulph Fiennes (third cousin of Ralph and Joseph). So what was it like for Statham and Owen to finally face off? Why don’t we let them tell you.

Jason Statham: Fancy film star Clive Owen has met his match

Going up against Clive Owen: That’s a good day at the office, right? Yeah, he’s a real intense individual. He takes his work very seriously. The whole movie sets itself up where we never, ever come face to face. It’s like this cat-and-mouse game. I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing. I don’t want to see this guy. I want to get the situation taken care of and get out, and he’s just got to be the man to stop that happening. So when he gets a hold of me, it’s a bit of an intense situation. We made it really, really real and gritty and very rough around the edges, and it just paid off.

Clive Owen: I will kill Jason Statham with kindness

 

Going up against Jason Statham: It’s actually a pleasure doing those big fight scenes with someone like Jason because he’s so experienced. He’s technically really gifted and really good at them. I’m pretty good technically with those fights. I’ve done quite a bit of them myself. You can really commit, but you know that there’s an understanding and an element of safety.

There is a moral ambiguity in [“Killer Elite”] not about good guys and bad guys. When they do come together, obviously you want to see a bit of fireworks. [Real tough guys] are much more low-key than you would think. They don’t strut around, they don’t act tough. They just are, and they’re very quiet about it. It’s a pretty obvious thing that it’s not the ones who are showing out and acting tough — they’re never the serious ones.

So, who would win in a fight?

Owen: Jason.

Statham: We’d rather get drunk together. I don’t know about beating each other up.

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