Jason Statham is a man's man, and is not afraid of death. To prove his manliness once and for all, he's signed up for MEG, a killer shark movie that allows him to punch a 75-foot prehistoric man-eater right in its fucking face and then drink Mai Tais while roasting the creature's corpse on the shore. I've read Steve Alten's book. They've made changes to accommodate the British badass.
But did you know that Statham is also devoted to his craft in a way that would make the average actor bow down in fear? In a new interview with EW, the former Olympic diving team hopeful outlines how he prepped for his role as an underwater explorer tasked with rescuing the crew of a deep-sea submersible after it's been attacked by the titular creature: by swimming and punching real goddamn sharks in their noses.
“On the early stages of the prep, we took a trip to Fiji, and we went diving with some bull sharks. They hand-feed them and it’s a spectacular thing to see. These things are three meters in length, huge big things. There were 20 or 30 of these things, and they were hand-feeding [them] big tuna heads, and we got very, very close, and it was a spectacular moment. To swim in close proximity to a big, three-meter shark, is to be recommended to all and everyone.”
In essence, Statham just called out the world for not swimming with sharks. But, to try and blend in with the rest of humanity, he played along with the interviewer's questions and feigned mortal feelings such as "anxiety" and "fear":
"You know, it’s funny, because you get anxiety when you’re on the boat. But once you get in the ocean, things take a very different turn. You get very relaxed, and when you’re in their environment, it’s quite a tranquil sort of thing, the anxiety goes away completely. It’s remarkable to experience. All of the fear — or the perceived fear — is done in your own head before you get down there with them. Once you’re swimming down there with all the other divers, it’s phenomenal. It’s one of the greatest experiences you could have, for me anyway. I’m a big SCUBA diver fanatic. Wherever I am in the world, if I get a chance to get in the ocean, I do.”
Word, Jason. I, too, enjoy bathing with things that could possibly kill me whenever I get the chance.
MEG (or The Meg as EW keeps fucking calling it in that article) hits theaters August 10th. To go along with this conversation with Tha God Statham, they also included an exclusive still of the monster he'll be stomping out like it's just another day at the zoo.