Alan Simmons from Live For Films interviewed director Simon West back in July, who directed Jason Statham in “The Expendables 2” and “The Mechanic.” They reunited for “Wild Card” and the director gave some great insight into our favorite Brit’s upcoming new role.
Simon West: This is a project that Jason has owned himself for years, maybe over five years. He showed it to me once when we were doing Mechanic, but I was off doing something else, but then he showed it to me again after Expendables 2 and I got into it, because of the writing really. William Goldman is a hero of mine.
I actually worked with him on General’s Daughter. He did plot hole work on the script. So this was a chance to work with him on a whole script – not just a polish on a script. It was a formidable thing, there are pages and pages of dialogue – it’s a drama really. It’s not an action film really, it’s a character piece. Jason is the lead in every scene and he has huge dialogue scenes. I knew he was passionate about it, but was like “Are you happy with all this dialogue stuff” and he said “Yes, yes. I love it. I want to do it”.
So I turned up on the first day not knowing what it was going to turn out like. Especially after The Mechanic where he only has five lines in the whole film! That character has no dialogue. But we turned up on the first day and he knew every word by heart and was amazing. So, Wild Card, I think will surprise a lot of people – it’s a very strong dramatic piece by him. There are, of course, also two or three fights! I think some of his best fights ever are in it. They’re very realistic and we spent a lot of time on them, so they’re very detailed and very well executed I think. But it’s a great performance, and he’s surrounded by some very cool actors: Stanley Tucci, Anne Heche, Sofia Vergara… he’s in a proper actor’s environment and he really stepped up. I was amazed. I think this is just the beginning for him, I think you’ll see a lot more dramatic stuff from him.
How fantastic does that sound? It goes without saying that we love to watch Jason get physical in front of the camera and show off his breathtaking fighting skills, but to see him in something more dramatic like “Blitz” or “Redemption” where his acting is front and center is even a bigger treat. So a big YES to more dramatic roles for our action hero who is capable of so much more.