Tom Cruise Started Jason Statham's Entire Movie Career in the Most Bizarre Way

Tom Cruise Started Jason Statham's Entire Movie Career in the Most Bizarre Way
Image credit: Legion-Media, Gramercy Pictures

If it wasn’t for Tom Cruise’s intervention, Jason Statham would’ve likely not been the world-class superstar he is today; in fact, his career could’ve ended before it even began.

On the big screen, Tom Cruise is typically saving the world or America. On the small screen, he does pretty much the same, only after the theatrical run of his movie is over. In real life, however, Tom Cruise is selflessly saving the cinema over and over again — he even managed to rescue already-dying theaters during the pandemic.

While the big save with Top Gun: Maverick is the one case everyone knows about, Cruise has always cared about the movie industry in many ways, and it was with his help that many now-popular actors’ careers started. Take Jason Statham, for one: we’re all so used to him now, and it seems like he’s always been around, but…

…but if not for Tom Cruise’s timely and, honestly, rather ridiculous intervention back in the day, Statham would’ve most likely not become the superstar that he is now. You see, back in 1998, Jason Statham was cast in the new indie movie Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, and its producer was struggling to find distributors.

Fortunately, the producer was none other than Matthew Vaughn, and he managed to reach out to Tom Cruise and ask for his assistance. The Mission: Impossible star believed in Vaughn’s project, so he came to the American buyers’ screening of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels in person and tipped the odds in its favor massively.

“It was hysterical. You had all these mid-level executives sitting there, and Cruise walked in. He saw them all sit up and pay attention, all getting on their phones, and suddenly all these senior executives joined the screening. At the end, Tom got up in front of everyone and said, ‘This is the best movie I’ve seen in years, you guys would be fools not to buy it,’” Matthew Vaughn shared with The Business Of Film.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that if not for Cruise’s direct involvement, a few hours from his busy schedule, and the blatantly audacious behavior at the screening, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels would not have been released at all — and since it was a breakthrough for them both, Statham and Vaughn would’ve remained unknown to the world.

Source: The Business Of Film via BBC