An Atypical Heist - Jason Statham Interview
The man with the permanent 5 o’clock shadow is back. 3D’s Anita Connors talks to British action star Jason Statham about his latest film The Bank Job and the real life robbery that inspired it.
“We never really took into account the fact that whether that D-notice was around or not, oops. Fuck it, we made the film anyway,” Statham says. “It’s too late.”
Based on one of the largest bank robberies in the UK, the “walkie-talkie robbery” of 1971, The Bank Job imagines what it would have been like for the small-time crooks involved, forgoing the government request not to broadcast information about the burglary which lifted millions worth of cash and jewellery from a London bank vault. Indeed it was the very fact that it was a true story that secured Statham to the project, as did the allure of the “nasty, illicit earnings and you know, blackmail material and all kinds of stuff” that were kept in the safe deposit boxes.
“I thought it was very interesting that, you know, it’s a story that had a huge cover up involved with the political scandal and the involvement of a certain royal princess,” Statham says. “There was all this great, juicy material that needed a story telling about it. This wasn’t so much a bank robbery and the climax being the bank robbery. This was all about what happened after the bank robbery, so I thought it had a really different sort of slant to the typical heist movie.”
The Bank Job is definitely not a typical heist movie nor is it a typical Statham movie. Fans will be surprised how little actual violence there is in the film.
“No one likes just a selfish criminal doing bad things,” Statham says. “I mean one of the charming parts about this little gang of robbers is that fact that they’ve got into a safe deposit bowl without holding up a gun or hurting anybody. They’re not violent types, you know, they robbed a bank violence free. The motivating fact was to try and make a better life for him and his family. So the motivation comes from a good source.”
In a weird twist of fate, Statham looks like a younger version of his real-life robber-counterpart.
“It’s funny, they brought him to set because Roger [Donaldson, director] wanted him to meet me and he wanted to obviously let this chap see what we was doing and involve him as much as he wanted to be involved. You know, he came to the set one day and people said, ‘Ah mate, is that your dad-’ It was really quite funny that people thought he was my dad…”
The Bank Job is in cinemas now. More information from thebankjobmovie.com .