Career & Later Life
Statham came into the limelight when the agency Sports Promotions spotted him while training at London’s Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. Later, he became a model for the clothing brand French Connection.
In order to make ends meet, he was forced to follow his father’s footsteps, and took to selling fake perfume and jewellery on street corners - something he never wanted to do.
From 1993 to 1995, he made appearances in music videos including “Comin’ On Strong” by The Shamen, “Run to the Sun” by Erasure and “Dream a Little Dream of Me” by The Beautiful South.
He collaborated with Guy Ritchie in the 2000 movie “Snatch” in which he played the role of “Turkish” alongside popular actors such as Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina and Benicio del Toro.
With “Snatch”, he was able to break into Hollywood. In 2001, he appeared in two movies - “Ghosts of Mars” and “The One”. His impressive performance helped him in getting more roles.
From 2002 to 2004, he played supporting roles in a number of movies including “Mean Machine”, “The Italian Job” in which he played Handsome Rob, and “Cellular” in which he played the lead villain.
In 2006, he played a dramatic role in the film “London”. He played Chev Chelios in the action film “Crank”, and in its sequel “Crank: High Voltage”.
In 2008, he appeared in the crime thriller “The Bank Job”, and “Death Race”, a remake of “Death Race 2000”. He was hailed as the leading action film star.
In 2010, he appeared in “The Expendables” alongside action stars Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li and Mickey Rourke. Statham played Lee Christmas, a former SAS soldier and expert at close quarters combat.
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In 2011, he starred in the remake of the Charles Bronson film, “The Mechanic”. He returned to act in the British film, “Blitz”, a police drama.
He played the assassin Danny in “Killer Elite” who comes out of retirement to save his friend played by Robert De Niro. It was based on real events from Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ fictional novel “The Feather Men”.
His 2012 releases were “The Expendables 2”, in which he reprised his character Lee Christmas, and “Safe”. He also had a cameo role in “Fast & Furious 6”.
He starred as the antihero in “Parker” directed by Taylor Hackford, released in 2013.
Statham got his first major break in 1998 by Guy Ritchie in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” which was well-received.
In 2002, he played Frank Martin in “The Transporter”. He performed all his stunts himself as has studied Wing Chun kung fu, karate, and kickboxing. He reprised his role in “Transporter 2” and “Transporter 3”.
Personal Life & Legacy
Statham dated British model turned presenter and screen actress, Kelly Brook, for seven years, and later Sophie Monk, an Australian singer/actress and former member of popular music group, Bardot. He also dated Alex Zosman.
Since 2010, he has been dating model English model and actress, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 20 years his junior. The news became public after they were seen attending the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival together.