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When you sit across from Jason Statham, it's hard to not be aware that he could end you if the mood struck him.
As one of the youngest members of the core team of "The Expendables," Statham gets to do some of the most physical hand-to-hand combat in the movie. He's got a scene in a church in the film that is him at his balletic badass best.
Talking to him about this second film in the series, I wanted to ask about how the action scenes were designed this time around. It feels like this second film did a much better job of building scenes that gave each cast member room to show off the skills that qualified them for the movie in the first place. Statham talked to me about how he works with his fight choreographer, a guy who he's been working with for a while now.
Statham is unusual because he's one of the few members of "The Expendables" who I can imagine having a successful career outside of the action genre. Sure, he's great at the kicking and the punching and the running and the jumping, but Statham's also got a great intensity that would work just as well in a straight drama, and that could be really funny in the right comedy.
I feel bad that I didn't quite get around to asking him about "Parker," his upcoming film based on the novels by Richard Stark. While I'm very familiar with earlier films based on the same work, including "Point Blank" and "Payback," I've only just started catching up with the rest of the series this year, and now I'm dying to know if we're ever going to see more films adapted from the other books. They're all hard-boiled gems, and Statham's just the right guy to play the character.
"The Expendables 2" opens in theaters today.