In an interview, director David Ayer revealed why Jason Statham’s stuntman had almost nothing to do on the set of “The Beekeeper” and how dedicated the Brit was on set.
It’s quite remarkable: In the early 2000s, Jason Statham was considered the new hope for action in Hollywood and the legitimate heir to established action stars like Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bruce Willis. With his martial arts experience and, not least, through the films “The One” and “War” alongside martial arts superstar Jet Li, the Brit was even expected to inherit the legacy of agile stars like Jean-Claude Van Damme. An action star to fill all roles: Statham was the promising all-around hit.
Two decades later, Statham still outshines the competition and makes even younger action stars like Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “Tyler Rake: Extraction”) look old. Time itself seems to make a wide arc around him. Despite being 56 years old, he appears as fit, fresh, and young as ever. By comparison, just take a look at recent photos of Will Ferrell, Mark Ruffalo, or Kiefer Sutherland, who are also from the 1966/67 cohort.
Perhaps the secret to his youth lies in continuously filming action-packed entertainment? In this ending year of 2023 alone, Statham appeared in four action films. Whether as a James Bond lookalike in “Operation Fortune,” a shark whisperer in “Meg 2: The Deep,” a mercenary in “The Expendables 4,” or a speedster in “Fast & Furious 10,” when Statham is involved, it’s a thunderous affair.
And the action continues: In early 2024, he will not only showcase his skills as a beekeeper in the next action film, “The Beekeeper,” but also deliver some harsh lessons to evil characters—loud and explosive. Directed by David Ayer from a screenplay by Kurt Wimmer (“Equilibrium”), Ayer, known for hard cop thrillers like “End of Watch” and even tougher action films like “Sabotage,” was surprised by how many stunts Statham did himself. While many stars talk about doing their own stunts, they often let their stunt doubles take over when things get really risky. Not so for the British action star (via Empire):
“The biggest shock was how often he performed his own stunts. His stunt double just sat around, hoping to be invited to the dance.”
And the result suggests an action-packed experience promising entertaining and thrilling moments, as hinted at in the trailer in the video.
“The Beekeeper”: Jason Statham Was Not Stung Once, Director David Ayer, However, Got Stung a Lot More
Even more surprising to David Ayer was Statham’s meticulous preparation for his role as beekeeper Mr. Clay. Portraying a beekeeper convincingly requires knowing how to handle bees. His crew laughed at him and doubted that Statham would work with real bees:
“But Jason [Statham] wanted to do it. So, we brought him together with a beekeeper, and he learned how to open a beehive and work with the bees. He enjoyed this zen-like beekeeping. Jason was not stung. I got pretty badly stung during the bee scenes. But that’s okay. When you’re making a movie titled ‘The Beekeeper,’ you get stung.”
Action fans can look forward to it: “The Beekeeper” is already set to release in Germany on January 11, 2024. Jason Statham in a bizarre action-sci-fi-horror mix? You can stream the forgotten film “Ghosts of Mars” by cult filmmaker John Carpenter on Amazon.