jason-stathamJason Statham is widely regarded as one of the worlds most attractive male actors. Following a string of multi-million dollar blockbuster films, the martial arts specialist has gained a broad global fan base and become the man that every other man wants to be. Jason obviously experiences hair loss, as do millions of men worldwide. Whilst he appears to be quite comfortable with his hairstyle, Jason Statham is still a great example of how a short, cropped hairstyle can appear very appealing to the opposite sex. Jason is certainly not short of female admirers. One of very few English actors to find success in American action films, Jason Statham was an untrained unknown when director Guy Ritchie cast him in a close-to-home role as a con artist in his directorial debut Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Praised for its fresh visual style and quick wit, the film defined a new era of action caper and helped establish Statham as the go-to-guy for handsome, cockney outlaws. His background as a professional athlete and his proficiency in martial arts and gutsy physical stunts were not so unusual for a crime film star, but his accent and unique persona as a streetwise Londoner added an extra layer of appeal and enabled him to break through to U.S. audiences. Statham enjoyed a growing international fan base as the title character in The Transporter film series and stuck close to capers and heists with the well-received titles The Italian Job (2003) and The Bank Job (2008). Born on Sept. 12, 1972, Jason Statham grew up in southeast London where he was the second son of a singing father and a dancing mother. He was a streetwise kid but avoided getting into too much trouble, thanks to a keen interest and talent in sports. As a youth, he trained in gymnastics and martial arts, idolizing Bruce Lee before displaying real potential for diving. Statham became an amateur high diver, touring the world and competing for a decade as a member of Britains National Diving Squad. At the 1992 World Championships, he ranked 12th. But while Statham was exceedingly competitive and hard-working, his sporting talent failed to pay the bills, so he spent his downtime hawking knock-off designer goods on Londons busy shopping streets. It was his first successful acting job of sorts, as he quickly learned to engage and charm passersby with his sales pitches. He fell into a more lucrative line of work when a talent scout spotted Statham at a training gym and landed him a modeling contract with both the French Connection clothing line and Levi Strauss & Co. Stathams big acting break came with an audition for fledgling film director Guy Ritchie. During his call-in for the role of a con artist named Bacon in Ritchies first feature Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Ritchie asked the untrained actor to impersonate an illegal street vendor and to convince him to buy imitation jewelry. It was a brilliant stroke of luck for Statham, who sold Ritchie four sets of the jewelry and refused to return his money at the end of the audition. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels went on to make a sizeable splash in the U.K. as well as U.S. theaters, with critics praising the stylish and quick-witted heist film for its breakout ensemble cast of which Statham was a standout. Instant friends now, Ritchie cast Statham in his follow-up Snatch (2000), where the newbie actor played a small-time boxing promoter caught up in a twisting and unpredictable plot involving the mob and a stolen diamond. The director again delivered the fast-paced laughs, unpredictable turns and loads of colorful characters, in addition to augmenting his ensemble with known stars Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro, which only helped bring in more American audiences to this distinctly British film. Hot off his Snatch success, Statham was recruited by U.S. filmmakers first for a supporting role in the uninspired hip hop rise to fame movie Turn It Up (2000) alongside Pras and JaRule. His particular spark was similarly underutilized in John Carpenters career low point Ghosts of Mars (2001) and the moderate sci-fi success The One (2001) starring martial arts legend Jet Li. Statham finally took center stage with 2002s The Transporter an internationally produced actioner starring Statham as a no-questions-asked delivery man. The film showcased Stathams wily street tough charm and his proficiency with hand-to-hand combat, stunt-driving and even some stunt-diving. The Transporter (2002) received mixed reviews but established Statham as a new (and handsome) face in the world of international action films. He followed up with a co-starring role in the successful remake of The Italian Job (2003). The stylish, high-profile heist film was an international blockbuster, receiving considerably better critical response than The Transporter and boosting Stathams profile with his placement alongside established stars Mark Wahlberg and Charlize Theron. The tough guy went full-on villainous to play a kidnapper in the unsuccessful thriller Cellular (2004) before reversing his position in The Transporter 2 (2005) where his deliveryman Frank Martin has to protect a young boy and his family from kidnappers. He re-teamed with Ritchie, this time taking the lead in the directors confusing and poorly reviewed con game Revolver (2005), as well as took a stab at straight drama in the likewise panned indie film London (2005). He followed up with a pair of starring roles in big budget American films, playing a New York City cop in the crime drama Chaos (2006) and helming the entertaining thriller Crank (2006) as a man who must keep his heart rate up to prevent a poison injected in his body from killing him. Statham showcased his martial arts skills in War (2007), going head-to-head with Jet Li in a box office flop that enjoyed a considerably larger audience on DVD, before starring in the video game-based fantasy In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2008) which unfortunately failed to find an audience in any format. In 2008, Statham enjoyed one his biggest film successes in years with The Bank Job, a British production loosely based on an historic London bank caper from the 1970s. The film proved what the actor was capable of when well-directed in a fresh and fun adventure, and gave audiences high hopes for his summer starring role in Death Race, a remake of Paul Bartels cult classic Death Race 2000 in which Statham plays a top racer in a futuristic car racing circuit for prison inmates. Later in the year Statham hit theaters in Transporter 3, which found his package deliverer relocating to Paris.

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