Statham, Jason: Profile (2008)

Jason Statham is the star of the new actioner “Death Race,” a remake of the Roger Corman's cult film.

Born in Sydenham, England, Jason Statham was one of the best divers on the British team. He placed third in the Olympic trials on three different occasions, eventually placing 12th in the world.

While training at the famed Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in London, film crews and photographers pursued him as a new talent for commercials and print campaigns. One of those jobs was a French Connection print ad where he met the owner of the company, who was also executive producer of a film in preparation: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Statham had a meeting with the director, Guy Ritchie, who gave him a role. He went on to work with Ritchie again in his next film Snatch, starring opposite Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro. Next came Turn It Up with U.S. music star Ja Rule, followed by a role in the sci-fi film Ghosts of Mars and The One, with Jet Li.

In 2002, Luc Besson cast Statham in the title role of Frank Martin in The Transporter. He starred as Handsome Rob in the summer 2003 blockbuster remake of The Italian Job and as the adrenaline-compromised action hero in Crank.

Statham returned as Frank Martin in Transporter 2 and reteamed with Jet Li in War. He was recently seen in Roger Donaldson's The Bank Job, which opened No. 1 in the U.S. and the U.K., the true story of the 1971 Baker Street bank robbery, a story of intrigue, scandal and danger. Statham will next star in Transporter 3, out this Thanksgiving, and Crank 2: High Voltage, reprising his iconic role as Chev Chelios.