Jason Statham chats about his return to the electrifying action franchise “Crank”
He’s one of the last remaining legitimate action stars and this weekend sees Jason Statham return to the electrifying franchise “Crank”. Picking up from where the first film left off, “Crank High Voltage” finds hitman Chev Chelios (Statham) still alive after falling from a helicopter and dying – except he didn’t because of his indestructible heart. Now that very heart has been replaced with an electric model to keep him going while they harvest his other organs for transplant. Chelios has to go on the hunt for the missing pump, while keeping himself going with regular electric shocks. Here, Statham talks to Movies.ie about his return to the Crank franchise, getting in shape for the pic and his work on Sly Stallone’s Expandable:
Q: What can you say about Crank 2? How crazy was it to make?
JS: “It was one of the most enjoyable films I’ve shot in the last decade. It is absolutely madder than you could imagine. It’s so offensive! Whatever the first one was, this one’s more – just completely rude, offensive and plain mad in every way. It’s great, there’s no movie like it and they’ve exceeded all expectations. Chev Chelios is running around with a plastic heart. They’re farming him for his organs, because he’s the man that cannot die, so they give him an ‘Aviacore,’ a totally artificial heart, and he’s trying to find his heart. I’m giving too much away now.”
Q: Can you give an example of how crazy it is?
JS: “No. It is nuts. It’s like the first one, times 100. It’s just ridiculous.”
Q: Were you kind of surprised that they were going to make another one, considering how your character was left at the end of the first film? You fell out of a helicopter in the first film, so the audience assumed that you were dead…
JS: “If you look closely, in the first one, when he lands, you’ll see that there’s a heartbeat and the blink of an eye. That’s always been there. So, people who thought he died probably weren’t looking close enough.”
Q: It must be tough sustaining the high-energy action . . .
JS: “It is so out there, it’s so unbelievable, but at the same time it’s the Neveldine and Taylor edgy, mad filmmaking that they do so well. It’s fun. It’s entertainment. Some people think it’s sheer horseshit but every person that I’ve met has actually said it’s terrific. I’m sure there are some people that don’t like it – you can’t please everybody – but there are a lot of people that love it and I particularly love it.”
Q: Could Crank be like your 24? You could come out with a new one every year, for another day in the life of Chev?
JS: “You know, that’d be good actually. We had so much fun. When we finished Crank 2, we said ‘Shall we do another one?’ Literally! I said ‘Yeah. F*** it! Let’s do Crank 3 in 3-D.’ So, yeah, I’m sure the next episode will not be too far away.”
Q: Have they talked to you about a third Crank?
JS: “Yeah. Already. We were three quarters of the way through it and we went “Ummm,” because we knew we were making something really far out and original. And then I said, “Why let this be the last one? Let’s do another one. What about Crank 3 in 3-D?”
Q: Is there another movie in another franchise that you would like to jump into?
JS: “Yeah, a few. There are a couple of things out there. I’m not going to start giving you the names of them ‘cause it starts sounding a bit like sour grapes that you haven’t gotten them or you know, ‘why didn’t I get that part?’ Or ‘you said I was going to get this part and you haven’t given it to me yet.’ But there are a few cool things that I know I’d be really good for.”
Q: Do you see these characters, from Transporter and Chev from Crank, going down in movie history like Rocky and Rambo and John McClane?
JS: “Oh they’re not quite as big as Rocky and Rambo. They’re literary films with old Sly Stallone. You know, we’ve got a much smaller audience.”
Q: Rumour has it, you’re going to be teaming up with Sly Stallone for a movie soon.
JS: “Yes. He’s writing, directing and starring in a movie called Expendables and he’s invited me along for the ride. I’ve seen every movie he’s ever done. He’s one of the legends of our time. He’s also a great guy. I had a couple of meetings with him. So charismatic, very funny, and he looks as fit as a butcher’s dog. You know what I mean?”
Q: We talked to Sylvester recently and asked him what he thought of his successors and he mentioned you. How does that feel?
JS: “Did he? Tell me what he said.”
Q: He said that Rambo could take on the Transporter.
JS: “(Laughs) I’ve always liked Sly’s sense of humour. You know the fact that he’s even talking about me makes me very happy. I mean, I’ve watched his movies for years, and to think that he would even know who I am is very cool. I love his films.”
Q: Maybe you could fight Rocky in part 7 or 8. ..
JS: “Me and Rocky, huh? I’m not bad, I’m better without the gloves though. He might have to – one glove and one no glove to make both of us happy.”