Jason Statham has come a long way since he was one of the UK's most prolific competitive divers, spending over a decade on the national team, before making his mark in Guy Ritchie's 'Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' in 1998.
Next week sees the release of his latest action-flick, 'Homefront'. Penned by Sylvester Stallone, Statham plays a former drug enforcement agent, who opts for a quiet life, until peril, in the form of a local meth druglord comes calling.
We chart Statham's journey to present status as one of the big screen's go-to actors for anything requiring energetic action sequences, undilted aggression and - when the occasion requires - a whole load of buffed up brawn...
Jason was cast as the lead role for the action movie 'The Transporter'. Written by Luc Besson, the film tells the story of a man whose job is to deliver packages without asking any questions. One day, he breaks those rules... There have since been two sequels, Transporter 2 (2005) and Transporter 3 (2008)
2. Crank (2006)
In this thrilling action film, Jason plays a professional assassin, Chev Chelios, who learns that his rival has injected him with a deadly poison that will kill him if his heart rate drops. In order to keen the adrenaline pumping, Chev's life becomes increasingly chaotic, as he gets into fights with other gangsters, has altercations with the police, and takes numerous drugs.
Jason starred as ex-con Jensen Ames, forced by the warden of an infamous prison to compete in a dangerous car race where inmates must kill or be killed. It is a remake of Death Race 2000 (1975). When it was released, American film critic Armond White declared that Jason had "best track record of any contemporary movie star".
4. The Expendables (2010) and The Expendables 2 (2012)
In 'The Expendables', Statham appeared alongside fellow action heroes Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li and Mickey Rourke. Jason's character is Lee Christmas, a former SAS soldier and expert at close quarters combat using knives. The film was a success, much like its sequel. Released in 2012, 'The Expendables 2' sees the gang reunited once again, only what promised to be an easy pay-check goes awry when one of their team is killed on the job... 'The Expendables 3' is out next year.
Jason also had a cameo role in the most recent Fast & Furious film. It is rumoured that he will play the main antagonist of 'Fast & Furious 7', Ian Shaw, the brother of 'Fast & Furious 6's antagonist.
6. Homefront (2013)
Jason goes up against James Franco in this crime thriller directed by Sylvester Stallone. Jason plays ex-cop Phil Broker, who is soon targeted by a local meth-dealer Gater Bodine (Franco), after his daughter is involved in a fight with Gater's nephew at school.
'Homefront' is in UK cinemas from Friday 6 December. Watch the trailer below...Suggest a correction