“It is a bit of a sore point”: Jason Statham Regretted Not Being skilled Enough After Almost Drowning in ‘Expendables 3’
Jason Statham is widely recognized as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after action heroes in recent times. What sets him apart from many other stars is his commitment to performing his own stunts in movies, making the action sequences feel more authentic. This formula has proven successful for him, with starring roles in blockbusters like “Mechanic: Resurrection” and others.
However, there was a moment in Jason Statham’s career where all his dedication to performing stunts could have ended tragically. During the shooting of his 2014 movie “The Expendables 3,” he found himself in a life-threatening situation. In true Jason Statham style, he managed to save himself from death’s grip, thanks to his exceptional skills as a professional diver.
As an action star, Statham often finds himself with fascinating stories about the high-intensity stunts he performs for his movies. Despite feeling embarrassed at times shooting these scenes alongside his co-stars’ stunt doubles, he remains adamant about doing them himself. He believes that among the many established and up-and-coming actors in the industry, this sets him apart.
However, such dedication to performing his own stunts comes with its risks. While most incidents can be brushed off as mere inconveniences, there are rare occasions when they can turn fatal. Jason Statham had his first brush with near-death due to this very reason. While shooting “The Expendables 3” in Bulgaria, there was a scene where he was supposed to drive a 3-tonne flatbed truck along the docks of the Black Sea.
During a test drive for that scene, the brakes of Statham’s truck suddenly failed. Trying to regain control and stop the truck’s movement, Statham ended up colliding with two cameramen, careening off a jetty, and plunging into the sea. Unfortunately, he was wearing a heavy jacket and boots, which added to the weight dragging him down.
Fortunately, Statham’s background as a professional diver came to his rescue. He quickly calculated the tragic fate awaiting him if he didn’t take matters into his own hands. With a calm mind, he managed to pull himself out through the window. Being a diver also helped him remain composed in such a situation, allowing him to hold his breath and swim upwards until he reached the surface.
Although Statham recounted the story with good humor during an appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show,” joking about his co-star Sylvester Stallone cheekily asking if he needed a towel, it’s evident that the accident had a significant impact on him.
While Statham maintains his physical fitness for his action-hero career through regular practice of judo, boxing, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, there is a notable regret he still carries regarding his career choices. Before stepping into Hollywood, Statham was a professional diver, and he represented England in the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. However, he did not win any medals in the competition, which effectively ended his diving career.
This regret still lingers within him, as he once expressed in an interview, mentioning that not making it to the Olympics is a sore point for him. Despite making peace with it, he acknowledges the talent of current divers, stating, “The divers now are just terrific,” referencing the increased funding for diving after Team GB’s success in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
At times, Statham still wonders if he would have fared better in a different sport. He admits, “I started too late. It probably wasn’t my thing. I should have done a different sport.” However, it was his choice of becoming a diver that ultimately saved his life during the incident on the set of “The Expendables 3.” Thus, even though he didn’t win any medals for his country