Were it not for some quick thinking, Jason Statham may have sunk to the bottom of the Black Sea while performing a stunt, never to be seen again.
While shooting the 2014 film Expendables 3, Statham, who performs his own stunts of course, was driving a three-tonne flatbed truck along the docks of the Black Sea in Bulgaria when a test drive went terribly wrong.
The brakes failed, Statham’s truck hit two cameramen and careened over the edge of a jetty before plunging into the sea.
This being 2014, if Statham had met his demise, he would never have been able to reprise his cameo role from the Fast and the Furious 6, nor would he have been able to star in the Mechanic sequel. And he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to dive back into the water for The Meg.
The world would have been robbed of an action-star in his prime.
Thankfully, Statham realized what fate would befall him if he didn’t take matters into his own hands. As he told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, Statham actually thought this could be the end.
Statham, weighed down by heavy boots and a jacket, composed himself, pulled himself out of the window and started swimming back up to the surface.
He finally reached the surface, gasping for air, and when he made it back on solid ground, Expendables star Sylvester Stallone cheekily asked, “Hey Jason, you need a towel?”
Our hero survived his brush with death and action-film fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief.
Statham is no stranger to stunts. In the 2006 movie Crank, he was in a choreographed fight scene while dangling from a helicopter 3,000 feet (914.4 m) above Los Angeles.
He finds it embarrassing when he’s in a choreographed fight with one of his co-stars’ stunt-doubles.
In order to ensure he can perform realistic fight scenes, Statham practices boxing, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He might just be trying to keep up with Director Guy Ritchie, who he’s worked with often.
In an interview with Men’s Health about Ritchie, who has a black belt in jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in karate, Statham said, “I remember when we started out, we’d go on a press tour for Lock, Stock… and we’d be moving all the furniture out of the way in the hotel room, trying to choke each other out.”
That attitude is exactly why he’s part of the star-studded Expendables series, which is still awaiting its fourth installment.
While Stallone irons out the details of the next Expendables film, fans can get their fix by checking out the graphic novel The Expendables Go To Hell, for which the art was recently completed.
Wherever this team is off to on their next adventure, just make sure the brakes work before Statham takes the wheel.