Jason Statham’s back doing what he does best: kicking butt and taking names in Homefront, out Wednesday.
Instead of the one-man wrecking crew the Brit has played in movies like The Transporter, The Expendables and Parker, Statham is Phil Broker, a single dad (and ex DEA agent) fighting to protect his daughter from backwoods meth addicts — played by (believe it) James Franco, Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder.
We talked to the 46-year-old action star from the Delano Hotel about the film, coproduced by buddy/ Expendables costar Sylvester Stallone, who also wrote the screenplay.
How did you first get involved in this project?
I’ve made a few movies with Sly and we’ve got a lot of time on our hands, ya know [laughs]. He had this great movie that he’d written years ago for himself. Believe it or not, he was going to make it into a Rambo. But it went on the back burner. I loved it — it had the action, pulled on the heart strings. All the characters were interesting and cool. There was quality there.
How involved was Sly during filming?
He was an integral part all the way through. He gave me some of the best encouragement I’d ever have, making me understand who [Phil] was. Sly just loves what he does and feels passionate about things being correct. He came to all the rehearsals. He’s a specimen: the amount of dedication and work and sacrifice in being and looking that good, it’s superb and really motivating. You just think, ‘Get off your arse!’ There are no excuses.
Do you guys ever work out together?
We’ve been in the same gym at the same time. But we don’t go [imitating Sly], ‘Hey, give me two more pullups!’ We try to keep a decent relationship. He looks a lot stronger than me.
How was the chemistry with the other actors?
James Franco brings a large element of [horror]. He’s such an interesting actor. He’s so good at what he does. He has all these kind of gifts. He really raised the bar. I thought Kate Bosworth really blew the part away. I never saw that coming. Such a contrast of what she really is.
How fit did you have to get for the role? Did you get injured at all in any of the fight scenes?
You know, I’ve done it for so many years. I know what these parts require. I tend to focus a lot more before we go in. I try to miss rather than connect. If you’ve done a good job, it looks as if you’ve actually hit each other. Though there is a real safety issues with guns. The hand-to-hand stuff is usually quite safe. Basically, the adrenaline is pumping through the veins and muscles react a little quicker, and people do get whacked. Not when I’m around but...
If this movie does well, do you think there will be a “Homefront 2?”
Sequels are always a good thing. I’m in part seven of the Fast and Furious franchise now and just wrapped Expendables 3 over in Bulgaria. If these things work, they just keep going on and on and on.
You filmed “The Transporter 2” in Miami. How was that experience?
I have very fond memories. I stayed in the Shore Club. I’m not sure if that was a good idea. We used to go out to this place Mynt, then hit a little kebob shop downstairs. It’s brilliant, I love it down here. People are chilled out and the party goes on.