Movies & TV

Jason Statham Was a Competitive Diver Before He Was an Actor

His belly flop at 1:50 is truly a relatable treasure.
IMAGE Warner Bros.
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I suppose it shouldn't come as a surprise that Jason Statham, fictional car drifter and prehistoric shark aficionado, was a professional diver in a past life. Turns out the actor currently starring in The Meg, the most important shark film of 2018, also had a pretty decent career as a professional diver. Actually, he spent twelve years on the British National Swimming team and competed in the 1990 Commonwealth Games. Watch for yourself.

Let's break it down. As we all know, that first dive had way too much forward travel. His second pass, which was fine at best, still left quite a lot to be desired. But look at that face. Look at that jaw, which could cut me open and steal all my organs like a poorly written heist movie. It almost makes up for the fact that his highest mark on his final belly flop pass was a 2.5.

I'm saying all of this as someone who can't dive off the side of a pool. And nearly 30 years later, Statham's abilities as a 51-year-old man are still light years ahead of anything I will ever be able to physically do with my body. When you are fighting the titular meg (which, to my chagrin, is not Meg Ryan), you don't need a perfect entry. All you need is a speedy exit. Megaladons aren't interested in technique; they're interested in blood.

Anyway, Jason Statham didn't happen to make it to an Olympics or anything, but he did say in an interview with IGN, "It was a great experience, you know, to travel the world and compete at a certain level. It teaches you discipline, focus, and certainly keeps you out of trouble." Fair enough, Jason Statham. You're out there doing more than most of us during pool season.

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Never give up on your dreams, and watch for sharks out there.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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About The Author
Justin Kirkland
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture. Prior to Esquire, his work appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, and USA Today. He is from East Tennessee and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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