By Fred Topel | Image property of Universal Pictures
Jason Statham had fun with Death Race. He's into cars, and he knew exactly what kind of movie it was. "It’s a car movie," said Statham. "It’s not The Godfather. Some of the deaths are just gory and hilarious. I like the fact that death can be gruesome and funny. I think it’s important not to take it too seriously. This is entertainment. Everyone who sees it seems to get their money’s worth."
Jason Statham Lead Driver in Death Race
With much of the automobile work shot with real stunt drivers in real cars, Statham thinks his Death Race kicks those CGI car movies' asses. "The big action pieces with the cars are just terrific. I think it’s one of the best car action movies for the last 10 years, at least. CGI is so boring. People just switch off to that and I think they know if it’s just a little bit pushed in a direction where it just doesn’t look possible then people are just completely turned off by it. I know Paul [W.S. Anderson] wanted to shoot a ton of it, as much as possible, in through the camera lens. It’s always more interesting and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do it with all the action movies that I’m a part of."
Of course there were stunt drivers, but Statham wanted there to be plenty of shots where he's really behind the wheel. "I like to get stuck in and do the stunts and show that we’re actually doing it because people just switch off. I mean I personally do. I find CGI very boring. Paul’s very conscious of that and he wanted to shoot real people in real cars doing real stunts and just use a limited amount of CGI."
Even with all the hard work going into these scenes, Statham never let it become a chore. "I just like working with people, kicking around with Ian McShane and Joan Allen. That’s not too much of a bad thing, is it? I just liked the whole atmosphere that Paul brings to the set. It’s a very relaxed one and it’s just a pleasure to go in and do some work. We’re running around in souped up, tuned up cars."